by Guest blooger Gina Marie De rosier-Cook, Joliet Junior College
The problem: Since the implementation of the new test we had seen a significant decrease in the number of students taking any part of the test. We thought the reasons students were not taking the tests were fear of the computerized test, not having a credit card to pay, lack of computer access in the home, the content was much harder than the previous test, limited availability (there wasn’t any night or weekend testing times in our area) and lack of computer skills. We polled a large sample of students asking why they were not taking the test and the following top three reason emerged:
- fear of harder content,
- fear that the test was computerized,
- and fear of the unknown.
Ultimately they were just very scared to go and take the test. We needed to shake off the “new test fear”. Word travels fast in the community and our students had a preconceived notion that the test was ridiculously hard and no one would pass. I partly blame the lingo of the close out campaign because it was stated over and over “Test now! The next one will be harder”.
Do you ever wonder how to get started with computer-based instruction? Cindy Lock, the Adult Education Specialist at Illinois Valley Community College has provided a step-by-step outline of how to implement i-Pathways in the classroom. As identified by her strategic plan, student success begins with careful planning, teacher development, and familiarity with the curriculum.
Have you ever played the game Monopoly? You move your game piece around the board while attempting to acquire property and wealth. Teaching is a lot like running a Monopoly game. Instead of buying properties, students move through the learning process and acquire knowledge. However, unlike the Monopoly game where everyone starts at the same space, students begin studying and often attempt to skip the “first box”, or page one. But why is page one so important? It’s the starting point and it’s important to teach students how to read the first page of any text.
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
Mobile technology is changing the way we think and the way we learn. It is creating a need for teachers to develop different instructional strategies. Often, students are on the cutting edge of technology use in their personal life, yet they experience a traditional classroom setting that relies on books and lectures. To remain effective, teachers must create a bridge between students’ personal use of technology and their classroom expectations. For many teachers, moving from traditional instruction to integration of mobile learning is a difficult transition.
Assessment drives instruction. That’s a generally accepted statement in education, but what does it really mean? Teachers across the country are shifting their instructional practices in order to teach more complex content while preparing students for the high school equivalency exams. Proper use of assessment is critical.