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Posts Tagged ‘edutopia

I have started watching the Digital Youth Portrait series offered by Edutopia. The videos there provide a peek into the lives of various children and how technology impacts their lives.

So far I have watched four of the ten videos available at Edutopia and there are lots of takeaways. For example, one thing that struck me about the portrait of Dana was something her mother said about the use of technology at home and in school: “They are more digitally native at home than they are at schools.” That’s a scary thought but I think that is real in Dana’s context and in an increasing number of kids’ contexts in our part of the world.

I think that I will incorporate these videos as part of the ICT course that I facilitate. I could use them at the beginning or end of each session to provoke discussion or reflection. Or I could integrate them into the course where we focus on digital natives and 21st century learning.

Thanks to an email list, I discovered two articles that may interest my preservice teachers.

The first is an Edutopia article on “Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement“.

The other is from Teacher Magazine and is titled “When Testing Fails“. This site requires registration, but it’s free.

I highlight the first article because the course I facilitate is ICT for Engaged Learning, but we focus largely on ICT-mediated pedagogies. The article describes some other principles for engaging students and these cover the gamut of classroom management, classroom culture, managing relationships, etc.

How about the second article? It is a tongue-in-cheek yet serious look at how much emphasis many administrators place on test scores… which are subjective rather than objective!

The second article emphasized how poorly test scores indicated the effectiveness of the teacher. For the same principles brought up in the article, I think that test scores also do not necessarily reflect how much a student has really learned. There are just too many variables that influence learning.

So instead of trying to tackle learning with tests, I say we engage them instead. Provide meaningful experiences. Encourage learners to play, ask questions, and get answers. Get them to think and self-evaluate. I am certain that if we do this, we will prepare them better for an uncertain future better than tests ever will.


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