You may feel all is lost when you turn on the nightly news. Shootings, race relations, terror attacks, climate change, and mud-slinging in politics are typically what you see within the first 5 minutes of turning on the television or reading feeds in your social media accounts. How can you tie these current event issues to the content covered in the High School Equivelancy exams? After all, the first question a student may ask is, “Do I really need to know this for the test?” Well, I’m glad you asked that question, my friend. Let’s just take a look at the items I mentioned above and get ready for News Engagement Day on October 4th and discuss why the news matters when preparing students for their future.
If you haven’t heard yet, you probably will very soon about a game called Pokémon Go. Maybe Pokémon is familiar to you from the animated series that started in the 1990’s. Maybe because you watched it yourself, or had to endure it with your children. Well, it has made a comeback in the form of an augmented reality game for iOS and Android devices. Although you may not have realized it you have probably seen people playing this game. It usually takes the form of someone walking along with their face planted in their smart phone – (I know you are thinking this is nothing new) but the smart phone app was just released in the U.S. on Thursday July 7, 2016 and has more users than Snap Chat, Tinder, and Instagram. Viral videos can be a positive force in connecting real world issues in the classrom, and now this game is a viral powerhouse. So how can GED students benefit from playing Pokémon Go?
I have written about the i-Pathways project and its extremely successful use in corrections’ education using an Internet-connected model to provide computer-based instruction to classrooms in 33 facilities throughout the Illinois Department of Corrections. We have since expanded to a county facility in Maryland using that same model and have begun using a new delivery model called Oasis.
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”.