the third rail

moving things forward

Testing Season ~ It’s in the Air and on the Walls

February 28, 2011 by seanwilliams · 1 Comment · teaching, technology, testing

word of the day

This got me thinking about something that happened last year.

At a DTL meeting last year there was discussion about how to get more teachers integrating technology and why it wasn’t happening. I brought up the very unpopular notion that since “technology” is not tested, it is not taught in the classroom. I even went as far as saying until it’s on the test don’t get your hopes up too much. Cue ackward silence.

Sure there are some teachers here and there that see the value in ed tech and do wonderful things. But if we want to see technology used in meaningful ways in the classroom, used as part of a lesson rather than filler or something extra to do, actually taught instead of “Well the kids know more than me – they can figure it out” … then we need to get it on the test.

You see – if it is important it is on the test. That’s the attitude I am seeing more and more from administrators and teachers alike. Whether you agree or not, that is the predominant  opinion and the test guides so many choices made in the classroom.

If you are not sure of my opinion on testing refer to Joe Bower.

But since we are playing the testing game there might be some promise with the Common Core Standards.

Here is a sampling of the fourth grade Common Core Standards –

With guidance and support from adults, use a

variety of digital tools to produce and publish

writing, including in collaboration with peers.


With some guidance and support from adults,

use technology, including the Internet, to

(1)produce and publish writing as well as (2)to interact

and collaborate with others;(3) demonstrate

sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type

a minimum of one page in a single sitting.


Conduct short research projects that build

knowledge through investigation of different

aspects of a topic


Recall relevant information from experiences or

gather relevant information from print and digital

sources; take notes and categorize information,

and provide a list of sources

What do you think?

Is there reason to be hopeful?

Is the move to Common Core Standards good (at least looking at it this way)?

Will this motivate teachers that so far haven’t been moved to integrate tech?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

One Comment so far ↓

  • Diane

    I think we need to get the pendulum to swing back the other way and kill testing as we know it. All this focus on testing is giving kids (and their parents) the INCORRECT message that only certain things are important. Meanwhile, rather than educating the WHOLE child, we barely even educate half of each child. So life is nothing more than language arts and math?

    Sheesh.

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