Information Age Education Blog

The goal of IAE is to help improve education at all levels throughout the world. This work is done through the publication of the IAE Blog, the IAE-pedia, the IAE Newsletter, books, and other materials all available free on the Web. For more information, go to http://iae-pedia.org/.

Using a Spell Checker When Taking a Test

I can still remember when I was taking English Composition as a freshman at the University of Oregon. We often had in-class writing tests. My spelling abilities were not very good. I would compose a sentence in my head, check to see if I could spell all of the words, and edit the sentence so that it avoided words I could not spell.

Many years later my quality of life was much improved by spell checkers becoming available on the computers I used.

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A Questionable Approach to Improving Education by Failing More Students

 

One of my favorite quotes is:

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SAT Scores: A Few Numbers Don’t Tell Us Enough. A Person Is More than a Number

Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable. (Richard Buckminster Fuller; American engineer, author, designer, inventor, and futurist; 1895–1983.)

The College Board SAT scores for 2010 were released today. See http://professionals.collegeboard.com/data-reports-research/sat/cb-seniors-2010. In very brief summary, “There’s nothing worth writing home about.” Tables in the report give results on Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing for each of the years 2006–2010. Data is also given on Critical Reading and Mathematics going back to 1972. (Writing became a part of the SAT in 2006).

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Setting Unreasonable Standards in Student Assessment

As you know, it is easy to construct a test that most students will fail. Or, for a test that already exists, it is easy to adjust the passing mark so that many students will fail.

I am on the Distribution List for the Oregon Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The following is quoted from a 9/13/2010 posting to this list:

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Integrating Computational Thinking into Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math Education

I contribute time and energy to the Oregon PrISM (Preparation for Instruction of Science & Math) project. (See http://www.theprismproject.org.) Yesterday the leaders in this project spent time discussing possible content for a new proposal to the National Science Foundation that would continue and extend the good work that has been done so far.

As I have done repeatedly with this group, I pointed out that the content of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) areas has changed significantly due to computer modeling and computational thinking. (See http://iae-pedia.org/Computational_Thinking.) Also, students have changed significantly through growing up in a world of cell phones, text messaging, computers, computerized games, multimedia recording and playback devices, and the Web.

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