The New York Times has published a major article on technology use in schools titled In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores.
I’ll be adding it to The Best Research Available On The Use Of Technology In Schools, but I wanted to highlight what I thought was the most interesting part of the article:
Karen Cator, director of the office of educational technology in the United States Department of Education, said standardized test scores were an inadequate measure of the value of technology in schools. Ms. Cator, a former executive at Apple Computer, said that better measurement tools were needed but, in the meantime, schools knew what students needed.
“In places where we’ve had a large implementing of technology and scores are flat, I see that as great,” she said. “Test scores are the same, but look at all the other things students are doing: learning to use the Internet to research, learning to organize their work, learning to use professional writing tools, learning to collaborate with others.”
Of course, the entire agenda being pushed by Ms. Cator’s boss, Education Secretary Duncan, is based on using test scores as the only way to measure…..well, just about everything — Is a teacher good or bad? Is a student really learning anything? Is a school or school district failing?
It would be nice if Ms. Cator and Secretary Duncan realized that students learn lots of things that may not be measured by test scores, and not just through the use of tech tools. How about developing resiliency to push through challenges, a desire to become a life-long learner, a greater sense of intrinsic motivation and self-control, skills in working cooperatively with others?
What do you think — Will Secretary Duncan ever listen to her… and to us?