Thursday, April 29, 2010

One Size Does Not Fit All

During the second Coetail course some of my colleges and I worked on the Acceptable Use Policy for the Elementary School at ISB. As a group we agreed that one existing document was not going to be developmentally appropriate for students aged four to eleven. So we initially we decided that there needed to be a Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 2 AUP and a Grade 3 to Grade 5 AUP. After working on it for a while we soon found that even that split wasn't enough. In the end we ended up with three separate AUP's: Pre-K to Grade 1 / Grade 2 and Grade 3 / Grade 4 and Grade 5. I think the evolution of these documents is the perfect example of "one size does not fit all".

Staying in the area of technology standards I think Kim and I have found another item where one size does not fit all. As Kim and I were going over the Observation Rubric after my lesson for Course Five: Alive in the Classroom: Applied Web 2.0 Technology for Learning we discovered that while most of the criteria on the rubric could be used to score a range of grade levels one was very difficult to score in an early childhood setting. Ironically the area was "Use of Technology".
Here are the levels and descriptors for the Use of Technology standard:

Substitution: Technology acts as a direct tool substitute, with no functional improvement.
Augmentation: Technology acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement.
Modification: Technology use allows for significant redesign of learning experiences.
Redefinition: Technology use allows for the creation of new learning experiences, made possible by current technology (previously not possible)

My lesson allowed the students to meet the objective of applying turn-taking strategies on a computer while working in a partnership to provide fairness and sharing of tasks. For the lesson I used the Pilot/Co-Pilot Project that Susi and I submitted for our course 4 project. Pairs of students worked together on one computer to complete patten block puzzles. The students were able to not only demonstrate this but many were able to verbalize how they were sharing and why it was important when learning. But it didn't score well on the Use of Technology Standard. It was a challenge for Kim and I to come up with ideas of how to move into the modification or redefinition descriptors for Use of Technology while keeping the tasks child-centered, developmentally appropriate, and manageable for the teacher. Any ideas would be welcome.

So maybe this part of the rubric needs to be looked at and redesigned to better "fit" young learners and those who work with them.

1 comment:

  1. Yep. That was a tough one. But I must say (insert some back patting here) I'm pretty impressed with the rest of the rubric being easy to use from Pre-K all the way up to 12. That's some mighty fine wording there, if I do say so myself. And you know what, maybe the part that was "not previously possible" is for students to complete so many pattern block puzzles of such diversity in such a short amount of time. Would they have been able to do that with physical manipulatives?