Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Preparing for 21st Century Assessment

I read the post and after my stomach stopped churning I started wondering what are we really doing as educators?  We continue to beat the drum talking about change and 21st century learning and yet our methods of assessment continue down a tired and bureaucratic path designed to produce a workforce that is already outdated.  With no disrespect to Shyla Nott or the rest of the fine folks at the Global Educator Institute who really do some fine work, the following is a "tongue-in-cheek" parody (with hopefully a ring of truth) which offers an alternative approach to assessment.  Please do read the original article Classroom Preparations for Testing Season because there is some great advice there to deal with our reality.  But in an alternate universe...

Classroom Preparations for the Real World

It’s that time of the year again–gearing up for publishing student e-portfolios. For months your students have been preparing— creating ways to learn new vocabulary, creating digital posters, designing interactive videos.
You’ve supported them through guided facilitation, collaborative exercises, differentiated instruction, connections with global classrooms and honest encouragement.  Examples of their work are displayed throughout the room and some of it has already been posted to the web.
But now, in anticipation of the year end celebration of learning, it’s time to upload it for the world to see. What stays, and what goes? How will they complete their final edits?

Do a walk-through

Before publication is in full swing, ask your students to evaluate each others final products and discuss digital citizenship and personal branding. Determine as a group what should be shared and why. This will reinforce what made the work authentic and personal while providing an understanding that the work was done and the life lessons it served. This activity should help reinforce certain topics, helping students to remember them for the rest of their lives.
*After publishing, determine as a class what information should be replaced or whether new information is needed for the next class of students.

Promote and encourage sharing of ideas!

Share as much of the students work as possible that may assist future students and allow them to build upon the foundation that has been laid before them.  Here are a few examples that school personnel should consider when preparing for publication:
•    Digital Posters, maps, charts, and displays that define, explain, or illustrate terms or concepts
•    Screencasts of Mathematical formulas/theorems
•    Conceptual mindmaps and storyboards for digital productions
•    Word lists and word clouds of written work to analyze content
•    Recorded On-Air Hangouts
•    Blog posts that have demonstrate understanding of knowledge
•    Videos that displayed process and scientific method
•    Writing formulas

Other considerations

There is no manual for 21st century learning.  Every setting should be different and reflect the needs of that group of students.  Learning environments should be open, adaptable and comfortable.  Noise and interruptions should be frequent and expected. Students should have room to move and collaborate.  Materials should be provided as needed for effective completion of tasks. 

Global-Friendly Displays

There are various ways to display portfolios effectively.  Blogs, Sites, Edmodo groups, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr are all great places to start that will make the students work much easier to find later on.
With just a few changes we can see how alternative assessments like globally published e-portfolios can really demonstrate how we are changing the educational landscape one classroom at a time.

I'm curious.  How do you prepare your classroom for 2025? And how are you assessing your progress?
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