The following photographs could likely be taken at almost any College of Education today in the United States. I’m not sharing this to be harshly critical of the current institution for which I am teaching as an adjunct instructor: Rather I’m sharing these images because they reflect the assessment status quo for many professors / instructors and students today, even within our education colleges.

It’s the end of term, so it’s time for students to turn in their final projects. What does this project turn-in process look like for many classes? Something like this.

Student Projects to be graded

Student Projects to be graded

Student Projects to be graded

If I was king, all the students at our college would be required to have their own laptop computers, and all projects like this would be turned in electronically. The university has a license for WebCT/Blackboard, and many faculty use it, but (according to the university staff who conducted my orientation session in January) most simply post their syllabus online.

Lion King
Creative Commons License photo credit: cheesy42

Times need to change. We need 1:1 computing NOW in our K-12 schools and in our universities. As Alan Kay says, “The predominant technology defines the predominant learning task.” When everyone doesn’t have a wireless computing device, it’s hard to ask everyone to work paperless. It’s time to move all our universities and schools into the 21st century. To do this, we’ve got to work more digitally with ideas and information than we ever have before.

Sichuan handout ceremony
Creative Commons License photo credit: One Laptop per Child


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On this day..

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  • http://debot.edublogs.org Deb

    We need to update our expectations of how teachers at all grade levels should update their practice. When I was in teacher training, many years ago, I was told that with luck I would be able to shut the door and teach the way I wanted. That is a great concept and has allow me to try new things and build tight classroom communities. On the flip side it could have allowed me to shut the door and stagnate, repeating the same old, same old every year.

    The Last week in May the state of NH is organizing a summit – Redefining Educator Development for 21st Century Learners. http://www.redefineteachered.org. It will be live streamed. View the conference goals at http://www.redefineteacherednh.org/summit-goals.

  • johng

    I teach at a community college, and I have been having my ESL teachers submit out of class work via our LMS (Angel now, WebCT formerly) for several years so they will be prepared for their college level classes. Your post makes me wonder if I might leave some students puzzled when they get into their “real” classes if teachers don’t require digital homework.

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