Overcoming our Metric Obsessed World with Stories

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:03 am

I’ve been yacking about storytelling for a long time on my blog. Partly from a personal passion and love, partly because new technologies have allowed us to tell stories differently and partly because storytelling is at the core of who we are. But beyond all these reasons it’s becoming more and more apparent that we are living in a time where storytelling is now more than ever an essential skill to combat the obsessive world of metric based living.

“In this world in which we are so centered on metrics, those things that are not measured get left off the agenda,” he said. “You need a metric to fight a metric.”Technology brings ever more metrics. The strange thing is that nothing in them prevents us from using other lenses, too. But something in the culture now makes us bow before data and suspend disbelief. Sometimes metrics blind us to what we might with fewer metrics have seen.

I’ve been fortunate to work in an environment where metrics and hard data have only been a small portion of determining value in education. I’ve operated in work places … Read the rest

Student Involved Assessment

This post was last updated on 4 months ago at 4 months ago

The concept of student involved assessment is hard to deny as a powerful learning practice. Students taking care of their own learning and being able to use meta-cognition to dissect understanding and progress and seek ideas and support to learn more. The work of Rick Stiggins and others provides extensive research into this practice as the most important component leading to student achievement.

Whether or not you’ve done any study of this concept, this video does more than about anything I’ve seen recently to support this notion. 

Here’s why I think this is one of the best examples of students owning their learning and assessment.

First, the young boy demonstrates what he already knows. Using a simple video camera he models and speaks to his current level of understanding. Second, he identifies what he doesn’t know, not simply by saying he doesn’t know but by offering some suggestions about what might be wrong but questioning his methodology. And here’s where it gets interesting. Instead of him floundering around with the people in his local vicinity who may not be able to help him he reaches out. Reading … Read the rest

One year later, nothing has changed

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:16 pm

Did you ever start telling a story and part way through you are trying to remember if you've told the story before?  I feel that way a lot when I blog and wonder if maybe it's a sign to shut up but I'll likely just repeat the story. But I digress…

Yesterday's blog post was eerily similar to the one I wrote about the same conference a year earlier. Even the title was the same. I'm starting to steal from myself.  After a conversation with a disgruntled principal I realized I had had the same thought a year earlier. I still basically feel the same way.
 

If they’re just achieving better grades, better study habits and better test taking skills, it doesn’t seem all that important to me.  Now I realize that none of these speakers would say that’s what this does and they even reference rigorous standards and I think I heard the term 21st century learning (whatever that really is), I’m still fearful that the zeal to improve scores and test results leads to the perpetuation of school as we knew it and still

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