Resources for Student Assessment

By M. G. Kelly; Jon Haber | Go to book overview

PREFACE
In this era of accountability, it's sometimes said, [You get what you test.] While that phrase may seem almost punitive in inferring that assessment drives the curriculum, enough work has taken place over the last several years to demonstrate the benefits, as well as the challenges, of integrating assessment into classroom experiences.We have all seen or heard stories of how overemphasizing standardized test preparation can work to the detriment of good teaching practices. On the other hand, we have also seen or experienced the benefits of using the clearly defined, objective-driven goals of assessment to inform the curriculum and the professional development of teachers. Assessment also lets educators, administrators, and researchers make decisions based on a picture of classrooms, schools, and districts informed by data. NETS»S: Resources for Student Assessment sets the stage for you, as an educator, to create a well-defined assessment program focused on assessing student development of technology knowledge, skills, and application.Given our current globalized, technology-driven economy, the ability of students and educators to master and use technology to enhance learning across the curriculum is becoming increasingly critical.Although we continue to espouse the importance of technology, the infusion of technology into education continues to lag behind our expectations. While most schools are reported to have Internet access, the access at the classroom level isn't always as pervasive as necessary. We must continue to work to increase the use and effectiveness of technology in the classroom for teaching and learning. As a testimony to the national level of commitment, nearly all states have adopted technology standards for education, most of them based on the International Society for Technology in Education's (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS»S), the NETS for Teachers (NETS»T), and the NETS for Administrators (NETS»A). Effective assessment strategies can help us look at the results of our work in a critical way as a means to improve our teaching and implementation strategies.But, at the same time these goals are being met, we're recognizing that access to equipment and the adoption of state-level education technology standards—important as they are—do not by themselves ensure positive academic outcomes. Initiatives such as the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (www.21stcenturyskills.org), as well as similar projects on the state, national, and international levels, are highlighting important lessons regarding the implementation and use of education technology.Among the most notable:
Technology literacy consists of both [hard] skills and [soft] skills. Hard skills are the mastery of today's technology tools. Soft skills are the higher-order thinking skills required to apply these technologies effectively in real-world settings and for real-world purposes.
Technology can be taught as a stand-alone subject. However, integrating technology into the curriculum by employing education technologies to support content area learning leads to greater student achievement in both hard and soft technology skills.

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