After spending yesterday listening to experts, entrepreneurs, and other passionate educators at the Arizona State University SkySong Campus, it’s more than evident we are on the road to big disruptions in education.
To start off the day, Vince, Eric and I attended a session on “The Personalization of Learning” with panelists from Kaplan, Knewton, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and more. My favorite recurring theme in the discussion was simple: innovative companies keep developing new, amazing online tools, but how do we know if they’re best for the end users—the teachers and students? In other words, what features give schools the most bang for their buck?
The panel’s conclusion? We should be focusing on teaching the “skills and abilities” kids actually need (and want!) to learn. This should be the number one goal. Because if we test students on team work, collaboration, and problem solving rather than on rote memorization, we test them in areas that grow them into better students, employees, and citizens. Traditional testing can be a component of assessment, but solving real world problems is rarely simple as choosing A, B, C, or D. And innovative solutions get discovered through collaboration.
At MentorMob, we know that collaboration and engagement are key to meaningful life long learning. And there are big plans for MentorMob in terms of developing next generation assessments. In fact, students are already collaborating on Learning Playlists as they complete homework on subjects like Life in the 1920s, WWII, and Algebra I. The best part is, these Playlists are easily created, edited and updated:
Makes me wish I were back in school to take advantage of what is to come! :)