This post is cross posted at Education Is My Life.
Right now, there are thousands of educators and experts spending their time and talents on the development of new standardized assessments for the Common Core. They are tinkering with new assessment types, more realistic text passages, and differentiated questioning. That’s good.
So, while I DO believe that these assessments provide a marked improvement in the types of tasks that we use to evaluate students, I’m still not convinced that they will prioritize and capture the skills that students will need for the changing world. Like a silent elephant in the middle of the room, these skills exist as creativity, resourcefulness, and info-tention.
Creativity- Today’s students need to assemble complex puzzles in diverse ways. Rote thinking won’t serve them well as they try to tackle global problems of increasing scope.
Resourcefulness- It’s not WHAT you know; it’s how you can access resources that counts. Students who can leverage networks, people, and information successfully will be more likely to create impactful, sustainable solutions.
Info-tention- It’s easy to get distracted in today’s connected world. Students who are able to manage their time and attention will rise to the top of their fields with speed and purpose.
Research tells us that students who learn in digital and blended environments hone these skills with greater frequency. For example, Pew reports that 76% of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers believe that digital tools such as the internet, social media, and cell phones “encourage student creativity and personal expression.”
When it comes to the new Common Core Assessments, we’re building a better mousetrap. And we’re trying to use it to catch an elephant.
Maybe we don’t need a mousetrap at all.