education, technology, and everything else

Cook County Challenge

Posted by Miranda on March 26, 2007

There’s an interesting article in the Daily Herald, dated February 22nd, titled Educators face new technological challenge. ( I just can’t help thinking of the Blues Brothers when I see the words Cook County, but I digress).

Starting next February, federal law requires every school district nationwide to grade the technological literacy of its eighth-graders.

I had no idea, did you? Probably. But anyway, the gist of the article is that just because kids know how to IM, how to blog, how to surf the net, doesn’t make them technologically literate.

“There’s the assumption that just because kids use technological tools, they are technologically literate,” said Dennis Pierce Jr., managing editor of eSchool News Online. “Everybody can use Google, but do kids understand the search results?”

Wicked good question. And how do you measure that, in Cook County or anywhere else? More importantly, if teachers are going to be doing the measuring, do they understand how it works?


One Response to “Cook County Challenge”

  1. Great question! I have a sneaking suspicion that technological literacy will be measured in all the wrong ways. I can imagine a multiple choice test that quizzes kids on features of Microsoft Word and Excel (“What menu is this feature on?”) And that would be a shame.

    If I were writing the test, I’d ask students to send email, describe how the Internet works, and describe how to apply page numbers to their research papers. Of course, there’s so much more that I’d ask. I want to know if eighth grade students can correctly apply Boolean operators, if they can tell you what a database is good for, and how to write a spreadsheet formula.

    But that’s just me on my soapbox. Time to step down…Thanks for the post and the link to the article!

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