Your Thoughts for Rob! Dreamer, Rob Darrow, talks about the upcoming 21st Century Literacies Impact Conference, in UC Berkley this week.  The main sponsor for the conference is the National Council of Teachers of English.  Also involved are:

From the conference web site:

The 21st Century Literacies Impact Conference will focus on how teaching and learning 21st century skills are embedded in and supported by teacher education, assessment, and professional development. Ideas generated at the conference will jump-start collaborative efforts among invited educators and member organizations of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills to accelerate the pace of reform, particularly in three “high leverage” areas: teacher education, assessment, and ongoing professional development.

Rob will be attending the conference as a representative of the American Association of School Librarians, and has asked, through his blog, for input today on what assessment looks like in the 21st century.  Here is the response that I posted, and as I say below, there is nothing new here.  I want to urge you to give this some thought, and to post your responses on Rob’s blog, so that he will have your great ideas to take with him.

..I’m envious of this opportunity that you have, to bring your voice to this Gathering — and excited that it is happening and that people are starting to pay attention.  

This is probably something that you’ve all thought about and talked about already, but I think that I’ll state it anyway, that 21st century assessment is not simply assessing 21st century skills.  I think that the assessment itself must be different.

Assessment today tends to evaluate  products: knowledge gained (multiple choice tests) and skills applied (writing and math tests).  21st century assessment should be just as concerned about process as product.  When, so much of what we learn in this decade will be obsolete in the next decade (or the next three years), a student’s ability to learn, as a skill, is perhaps more important than what he or she has learned.

That said, I think that our assessment practices should evaluate not only the facts and knowledge, but how the learner found them, what questions they asked and decisions they made, what they did with (and to) the information to add value, and how they chose to express what they found.  It’s as much about decisions as about  facts and knowledge.

Well, that’s about 2¢ Worth!

Again, please post your comments on Rob’s blog.

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.