Blog

#5

When will enough be enough? I have yet to meet one teacher, student or parent that actually likes standardized testing. There are so many negatives, if it was up to me I would do away with it as soon as possible.

I do not see the point in it at all. It puts pressure on students and teachers that is completely unnecessary and completely avoidable.   Teachers are being put in jail and students are not passing to get into the next grade because of these tests. So what are we waiting on?

To make sure teachers are doing their job, why not have someone come sit in their classrooms and watch instead of taking a test. We need a school board that is more involved and a government that makes education a priority and not just put it on the back burner.

Education shaped the future and I feel as if it is never made a prominent issue when clearly it is. Where would our world be without education. It should still be treated as the privilege it once was. Teachers get paid almost nothing and they have the power to impact todays youth. If we start focusing on education more it will make society better as a whole.

I’m not sure what it would take so people can see this is a huge issue that no one is giving enough time to. We need to take out standardized testing from the curriculum and focus on other aspects besides if students can pass the test. Whether or not you are successful in life is not determined by a test and our education system should not be treated that way either.

Advertisements

#4

As, I have talked about before standardized tests puts enormous pressure on all of those involved. Recently I read an article about a principal who took her own life because she had forged answers on standardized tests. Is this really what the education system has come to? This issue cannot be ignored and frankly Government on all levels need to start taking action.

A successful New York elementary school principal had forged standardized English exam scores for her third grade students. She was the founding principal of the Teachers College Community School and the elementary school was considered a success. Unfortunately after forging answers she jumped in front of a subway train and took her own life. She wrote in answers because some of the students had not completed their tests. She was never interviewed by the department before she took her own life.

Obviously, she knew she had done wrong and perhaps that was one of the reasons she committed suicide, but that is not the root of the problem. She wanted her school to be a success and society tells us that a successful school is measured by test scores and that is the only factor of success. This principal felt so much pressure to have high test scores that she took extreme action. Nothing about this story is okay. This is just one story of many that proves our education system needs to change.

The only way to get around testing is if a school is privately funded, so public schools really don’t have a chance unless the government changes. Education seems to be one of those issues that is low key in most elections. I think it should be more prominent in elections, because it is one of the only issues that affects everyone. If suicide hasn’t caused change, when will enough be enough?

We need to make a difference, we need things to change. We are told that success is only measured by a test, and I’m sure most can agree that statement is false. It has gone on too long and I believe the government has abused it’s right of power. If we can better the education system we can better today’s youth. So let’s not let this issue slide under the rug any longer and do something about it!

Tool Commercial

We decided to use groupme as our tool commercial. It is an app that people can use to connect with groups of people!

https://www.powtoon.com/online-presentation/dyhq6N5Wria/groupme-edit-2000/

Activity:

Each member of the class (grades 6-12) downloads the app GroupMe if they do not already have it. Then they make a group with all of the class members. Then the teacher will show a video ( having to do with whatever topic they are discussing in class at the time). The students will then actively engage by commenting on group me about the video. Comments can be anything as long as it goes along with the video and students can comment back to other students. Teachers can put requirements on this assignment however they choose. For example, each student must @ at least two other students and have a total of 5 comments. This assignment can be however long the teacher wants typically the length of whatever video they are presenting. The only thing needed for this project is the app GroupMe and a video of the teachers choosing.

Maker Project Reflection

This project was especially interesting. It was a time that we took a step back from learning and we were the teachers. We got to teach our fellow classmates how to make something. This projects was a way to learn without feeling like we were leaning. I learned how to use technological tools that I had never used before. I also learned how to make things through my other classmates. I was also able to share a couple of things that I know how to make with others, that will hopefully benefit them in the future. Since we shared these things using technology maybe even others will view our creations and learn how to make something. All the way around this project used various types of learning and was very beneficial.

I chose to make soup for one of my maker challenges. I can remember in the third grade our class did something similar to a maker faire. Everyone in the class had to make something and then present it to the class with a visual aid. Technology was not as prominent back then, so most people made a poster or something of that sort. However, a few students made a video to show the class. Most people made some sort of food and then brought the food to class. I remember loving this project, because we got to do something creative and of course eating all types of food was cool too! It definitely supports k12 learning. In elementary school you could even ask them to make something that is particular to their culture. This gives the students an opportunity to share where they come from. It will be a project they enjoy and learn a lot about their fellow classmates. In a higher level class you could ask them to make something particular to a certain topic. I see this working especially well in a history classroom when talking about different time periods and cultures.

This project definitely supports Universal Design Learning.  It motivates learners because it is something different and is a way for students to be creative. Since we did two projects and represented them in different ways it provided opportunities for everyone to learn. It was not directed and one individual learner. We showed a variety of skills in each project. Also, anyone can have access to these projects making this a universal project that benefits everyone and anyone can learn from it. Some people learn better in certain ways. I personally learn by doing. Hands on projects is when I do my best learning and can actually fully grasp the content. So for myself and people that learn like me actually making something supported my learning. People that learn visually also could physically see how something was made by looking at any of the various projects. It was a way for all types of learners to learn.

It supports student voice because we were able to use different apps and other technology to support learning. Personally, I used snap guide and flipagram. I had never used snap guide so I was able to learn a new tool for learning. After using it I think I will use it again to do other things, it was very helpful. We had previously made a flipagram before so I knew how to work it and was able to express and expand my knowledge as a global collaborator by using these two tools.

We were able to use technology in ways that supported education.  As a future teacher, I learned one tool that I have never used before and I think would be very useful in my future classroom. We used educational technology to show how we made something. We were also able to display it to the class using technology. Since we created snapguides, flipagrams, videos, etc. they are there for anyone to watch and also learn how to make something.  Anyone can access these guides and how to’s so we used technology in a way that benefits others and not just us or our class individually.

Overall, I really liked this project. There was a lot of variation and we had many options to choose from, which was nice. I had fun doing my projects. I used the soup all week and ate it for many meals, so that was definitely beneficial. I was also able to share something very simple to make with others. Iced coffee can be bought for over $3 , so hopefully I saved some people a little money teaching them how to do it themselves. It was interesting to see what other people made. I know I will for sure use some of the guides to replicate some people’s projects. It was cool to see the things that people made, because some of them were distinct to their culture or hobbies so I got to learn a lot about my classmates just through this project.

Blog Post#3

A standardized test is a test that is given by public schools they have identical questions and are usually high stakes. High stakes meaning the score a child receives is weighted heavy. One of the biggest tests given in the public schools of Georgia is the Georgia Milestones test and it determines whether or not a student is able to move on to the next grade. Personally, I think these tests hold way too much weight and there should not be such high stakes.

Teachers are having to teach to a test just so their students can pass and move on to the next grade. They have common core guidelines which they must abide by. The test goes hand in hand with those guidelines. This leaves little room for creativity for the teachers and extra stress to make sure the students cover all of the material.

After the standardized test is over students may feel like they do not have to try for the rest of the year because they are basically guaranteed to go to the next grade level. Some might not even come to class at all and have excessive absences. They may not give their best effort. All and all students may wonder why school is even necessary after they pass the standardized test.

These tests are also long and boring. Most students dread it. It is math and reading based, while their are questions relating to the other subjects it is not as prominent. It completely leaves out the arts. So, it seems like they are unimportant. I believe this to be so unfair! How is one to say that one subject is more important than another?

Overall, I think standardized tests are a horrible and definitely should not be as high stakes. Teachers feel the stress. Students may not want to try after the test is over and maybe not even the whole school year if they know their destiny relies on a standardized test. Most of all it completely leaves out some subjects making them see unimportant. I hope this weight on a test changes int he near future.

Blog Post #2

Standardized testing puts enormous pressure on more than just the students taking the test. Anyone involved in the school system feels the pressure from these tests from  the teachers to the superintendent of the county. The scores from the test are somehow supposed to adequately decide if  the school is up to par. There are various consequences if a school does not meet the “standard,” which can drive those involved to cheat the system.

I am sure most everyone has heard about the many test cheating scandals that have even put some teachers in jail. Some may wonder why teachers would put their entire career and life at risk like that. What most do not realize is that teachers are pressured by the administration and sometimes even the county for their students to do well. Because it is the teachers who administer and take up the test they can easily cheat the system in many ways.

Since scores decide whether or not a school meets the standard of a “good” school, if they do not then students zoned to that particular school have the option the go to another school. Government funding for schools is based on how many students are enrolled and if students choose to leave the school they are zoned for enrollment goes down, which causes government funding for that school to decrease. That along with getting labeled a “bad” school due to to it not meeting the common core standard are the consequences that puts the pressure on teachers.

Since a school could face those consequences, in many cases the Board of Education will push for high test scores which involves all of those beneath them. The Board pressures the administration who pressures the teachers for their students to perform well. Ultimately the fait of the school it is up to the students and since teachers administer the test they may feel the need to cheat. There are many things that are considered cheating. A teacher may alter the directions instead of reading from the prompt, more thoroughly explain what a student is to do that could even cause them to give a student the answer, give students more time per section, or even change the students answers after they have turned it in. All of those are examples of cheating done by teacher and many times they have been caught, but sometimes it goes unnoticed.

All in all cheating stems from the pressure put on teachers by those higher up. If they have not fully covered all of the material laid out in the common core standard they may even feel like they have no other option, but to cheat.  It seems unfair that teachers are the only ones punished for acts of cheating, when in reality everyone in the school system is involved. The fact of the matter is the pressure to have high test scores is not going to go away unless the government stops holding schools to a standard, which is almost impossible.

Thoughts on Learning with Technology

Incorporating technology in the classroom is almost inevitable for students in school today.  Almost every school uses some sort of personal device that each student posses. Trying to avoid using technology in the classroom is just stupid. However, I think teachers ultimately control how much they use it in the classroom. Technology should be used responsibly  and should not be used as a crutch for teachers, they still should be actively teaching their students. As a future educator myself, I want to be able to use technology in my classroom affectively.

Using technology to bring students together is a great thing. Before, most learning was done individually, but with technology such as google docs it gives every student an opportunity to participate. Even the shy students might feel comfortable typing something on a Google doc rather than speaking aloud in front of the entire class. It also allows for more room for creativity. So many schools lack funding in the art and music areas, and technology offers students to show their creativity. I think when teachers find GIFs and memes that relate to the topic they are teaching, while also relating to the student, students are more interested and are engaged learners. Technology has the power to activate more meaningful learning if it is used in the right way. It presents more ways to acheive collaborative leaning and learning application.  It promotes classroom conversation and activates prior knowledge which are key characteristics for meaningful learning.

Standardized tests are used frequently to test a students knowledge. It is a heavily debated topic and that along with my future career is why I chose it as my topic of interest. Where does technology play a role in standardized tests? Truthfully, I do not think it applies to standardized testing, which is one of the reasons I am so against the idea of testing. This is 2016 and we are still giving and taking these tests the same way I did and many others older than me did. That is longer than 15 years, and nothing has changed. Technology is promoting collaborative learning , where as standardized tests are based on individual learning. When students are being taught to the test they make little effort to fully understand and apply knowledge, which prevents meaningful learning. They do not activate prior knowledge or experience.  Standardized Testing promotes learning to take tests, not actual learning that is meaningful. The education system is moving forward by promoting meaningful learning with technology being so prevalent in the classroom, but because we rely so heavily on standardized tests to asses if students have learned everything on the curriculum then what are really accomplishing? Everything that technology is supposed to accomplish is contradicted by placing so much value on standardized tests.

Overall, technology is a great thing when used properly. As long as teachers use it to their advantage and not to do their job for them it can create a whole new opportunity for students to engage in learning. It has the power to encourage classroom conversations, help students visualize information, keep students interested in the lesson with things such as GIFs and memes, add a creative element to learning, and much more. However, I think standardized testing diminishes all of the positive elements of learning with technology. The education system needs to change, because all of the recent progress made is being taken away by placing so much weight on testing. Test scores should not determine how good a teacher is, how smart a student is, and whether or not a school is adequately teaching students everything they should know. Students will not develop conceptual understanding by continuing this. Learning with technology creates opportunities for meaningful learning, which will help students not only remember what they have learned, but also apply it to their lives.