The Education Reformation

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What do Johannes Gutenberg and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? Gutenberg was the inventor of the printing press in the 15th century. This marked a major transformation in how people received information. Printed newspapers, books, and other materials became the basis for future communication. Zuckerberg brought us Facebook in 2004. Over the past few years, social networking has forever changed the way we communicate and engage with others. Today, the internet and associated technologies far surpass print as the dominate method of communication. The popularity of social networking is a … Read More

Project Skyway Bootcamp

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Over this past weekend – June 10th-12th – twenty-five startup companies were invited to come together and be part of Project Skyway’s first “bootcamp.”  See who was there from the official list, and the “speed pitch” videos that tech.mn’s Jeff Pesek shot.  Naiku was honored to have been invited. This is a post about founders.  The founders that we met during the weekend were absolutely amazing.  Every time I started talking to someone, it was fascinating to discover how hard they had worked to identify markets, write code, and in some … Read More

Student Reflection: “It’s like a game”

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I’ve written about the importance and benefits of student reflection in the testing/learning process before. Reflection is a great way to engage students in metacognition. But basically, it’s a fun way for students to give feedback to their teachers. At least, that’s what third graders tell me. Recently, I had the opportunity to observe third graders take their first test on the Naiku system. Taking tests on computers was not new to these students. So, they went about it in their usual fashion. They worked diligently and tried their best, as … Read More

The Achievement Gap: Part 2

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Part 2 in the series on the Achievement Gap by guest blogger Takeshi Terada (tera0026@umn.edu). In Part 1 of this series on the Achievement Gap, I described how closing the achievement gap may not necessarily mean that children’s academic performances are getting closer to each other. This is because the achievement gap is defined and measured as the difference between the percentages of students being proficient for each group, not the difference in academic performance. Why do we permit such misleading results? Under NCLB, states are allowed to set their … Read More

Reliability Concerns for Classroom Summative Assessment

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As Jim Popham has so eloquently stated, “Validity and reliability are the meat and potatoes of the measurement game” (Popham, 2006, p. 100). They are what every psychometrician AND teacher need to know and understand. When psychometricians build large scale tests for state departments of education, there’s a list of validity and reliability concerns that they need to address. What about when teachers build tests for the classroom? Should they be concerned about the same validity and reliability issues? Or are the concerns different for classroom assessment? Let’s address reliability concerns … Read More

Google Chromebooks

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When I visit classrooms that are using Naiku, one of the most frustrating downsides of laptops and netbooks is the length of time it takes to get the class started.  The machines can take 5-7 disruptive minutes to boot up, find a network, sign in, and open a browser.  This takes precious time away the class period, effectively making them “special event” devices. Mobile devices are a fantastic counter-point to this problem. When students use their own devices (iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Droid, etc.), most of those students are ready to … Read More

The Achievement Gap (or Proficiency Trap?): Part 1

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This is a guest blog from Takeshi Terada. Takeshi’s interests are in educational policy and assessment. He is particularly interested in data-driven educational evaluation, policy-making & analysis, and decision-making systems in K-12 education that apply both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, mostly using assessment test scores. Takeshi is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and can be reached at tera0026@umn.edu. Key Challenge in K-12 Education The achievement gap remains one of the key challenges in U.S. education. Ever since the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, most … Read More

The Importance of Student Reflection

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Student Reflection When I do professional development for teachers and administrators on how to incorporate Naiku into their formative assessment practice, the part that gets them most excited is when I talk about student reflection. Merriam-Webster.com defines reflection as “a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation.” Here, I define reflection as a process by which students engage in metacogntive thinking about what they have done, what they are doing, and what they will do in the future. This type of thinking helps students … Read More

Should Formative Assessments be Scored and Graded?

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Scoring Formative Assessments Often, when I do trainings or demonstrations on how to use the Naiku Platform for formative assessment purposes, I am asked how the assessments are scored and exported to grade books. Essentially, the question boils down to “Should formative assessments be scored and graded?“ This is a good question. However, I am hesitant to answer the question right away. Rather, I often answer the question with another question: “What feedback are you trying to give to your students and yourself when you grade that assessment?” To me, … Read More

Interview with Dr. Beach – What problem is Naiku solving for you?

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This is a video interview Adisack and I did with Dr. Todd Beach.  We’re always talking to our users to see what we can do to make Naiku work better for them.  Dr. Beach was kind enough to let us record some of the conversation. [vimeo http://vimeo.com/21086522 w=398&h=224&frameborder=0&color=98C93C]   Tweet

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