Friday, October 27, 2017

Seeking Partners, but here's why to hesitate: Reason 2

In earlier posts, we shared  elements of simCEO that make it a valuable (and much-needed) way for students to learn in the 21st Century.

1) Students who move beyond recall and produce solutions with content.
2) Social Learning: Learning from and with one another.
3) Contextual Learning: Authentic roles & goals

The list above represents a change to what students experience in schools. But like any change, it does not come easily. These are challenges we have to overcome; we want to be up front with those challenges.

Do we have tested solutions to overcome all of these challenges? No.  But we believe deeply they can be solved, and they need to be solved.

That's why we are looking for partners who can help us overcome these challenges. But we want to attract the right kind of partner. With that in mind, we have come to Part 2 of our 4-Part series we call:
The list of reasons you shouldn’t partner with us.

Reason #2 Can we really assess content learning in an open-ended environment?
Schools naturally want to measure learning results for the resources they utilize.  Rote learning results are easily quantifiable. Yet, schools continue to strive (and struggle) to utilize and evaluate student learning from resources focused on 21st Century skills, the four Cs: Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking.
In short, all that can be assessed may not be important. And all that is important may not be easily assessed. 
Education wants to implement 21st Century resources, but this is an uphill battle. 21st Century resources like Minecraft are incredibly popular with students and focus on 21st century skills (and are showing greater implementation in classrooms!)  - but they still struggle in their ability to become adopted by mainstream classroom teachers as these educators weigh the ‘measurable’ learning gains (aka “recall”) versus the time needed for students to play (and teachers to initially understand).
We believe that the right kind of open-ended simulations can deliver 21st Century learning gains and provide a more effective / authentic environment for students to learn traditional (measured) content.  We believe we have a framework to do this.
But admittedly, this is a perspective that is currently in the minority.  We are looking for partners who embrace this challenge and can help us envision solutions.

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