Lest I'm accused of a mindset only focused on the staffing needs of the Canyons School District, I thought I'd share a comment that I left last night on Karl Fisch's blog. The post, simply entitled Disconnect(Ed), shows a picture of a collection of cell phones, obviously swiped from students while they struggle their way through the current round of standardized tests. All told, I've collected paper box lids of cell phones like that myself, because I had to, and even at times because I wanted to.
Before I left my response, the only comment on the post was written by Andrew Neely. In it, he gives the type of reasoning that is typical of forward-thinking educators and, at least in my opinion, seems to echo the sentiments of the glaring majority of writers that frequent our online conversations.
In that, Andrew's my kind of guy.
Nonetheless, I feel somewhat unsettled - not so much by the matter-of-fact tone in Andrew's comment - but by how easy so many seem to think that the kinds of change we're begging for will take to honestly become a reality. Thus my response (with spelling corrected and emphasis added):
The implication you're making here is huge, Andrew.We're talking about colossal shifts here: In schools, in teachers, in assessments, and in attitudes. All because we can (?), and ultimately because we should.
You seem to be saying that our current systems of traditional learning are broken - that not only are our assessments flawed, but that the very foundations upon which we have built our schools (societies?) are no longer supportive of the kinds of learning that we (society) now need our students to do.
In other words, not only do we need to change the way we test, but the way we teach - and all this because of the ways that our students can now learn. Is it so wrong now to want our students to prove what they know and can do all by themselves? Apparently so - after all, we now live in a networked world.
No wonder it's taking so long for shift to happen in our schools.
One teacher, one class, one school, one district, one nation, and one world at a time.
Original image source: Karl Fisch. Amazingly edited with Aviary.