Thursday, March 12, 2009



  1. What an amazing statement this picture makes. I too have been a part of "the great disarming" during high stakes testing.

    What we are saying with this one act is, "We know what a powerful tool you have in your pocket, we know that it allows you to connect with some of the greatest minds and ideas of both the past and present, but we want you to do this on your own."

    It seems to me at least that this "disarming" is very unnatural. Remove connections and then ask students to perform. I've always believed that we perform at our best when we make solid connections to others. Why do want to assess our students when they are not at their best?

  2. The implication you're making here is huge, Andrew.

    You seem to be saying that our current systems of tradional 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.

  3. This can ONLY mean its time for standardized test time...

  4. The question then becomes, what makes one individual's learning better than another's. Is it a person's ability to connect or use their connections or is it the knowledge amassed by that person? Do we assess learning or do we assess creativity? We are good at assessing amassed knowledge, but how do we assess creativity? What standards do we use? What are we really looking for??

  5. Every time I read these posts and comments I feel somewhat emboldened by the fact that others are out there with similar views on learning. Of course we don't all have the answers, but constantly break new ground as we zig zag along our quest in pursuit of creating a fun, productive and beneficial learning environment and experience.

    However I think we also have to be grounded in reality. In some cases the same technology we utilize to enhance the learning process can be a distraction from the task at hand. This is also part of the learning process, but sometimes removing the distraction can assist with the ability to focus.

  6. What a great picture. It makes such a bold and powerful statement.