Featured Post

Waltee’s Quest: The Case of the Lost Art

What it is: The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland has one of the most incredible site for students I have seen.  Waltee’s Quest is an interactive adventure where students help solve a mystery and discover a variety of art along the way.  Students begin their adventure by watching an introduction animation of the Walters Art Museum where inside curator Waltee is getting ready for an exhibit and preparing the museum for visitors.  While Waltee is preparing, lightning strikes, the elevator shakes, and a wild whirlwind takes all the museum treasures with it.  Students ride a magical elevator to travel to different worlds in an effort to find the lost art.  As students explore the different rooms, they discover treasures and learn about the real museum items. Students can click “Learn more” every time they discover a new item and the “Walteepedia” opens up with more information. This is truly one of the most engaging, interactive, sites I have seen.  I love that the site drops students in the middle of a story mystery and enlists their help to right the museum.  As students explore each room they learn more about history, see incredible artwork, and get an inside peek into being a museum curator.  The graphics and attention to detail are really amazing! How to integrate Waltee’s Quest into the classroom: Waltee’s Quest was created with attention to detail.  When students begin their quest, they are asked to enter a name and passcode.  This combination can be used at a later time to access a saved game.  This makes it ideal for the classroom where students may not have time to complete the game in one sitting. Students can visit Waltee’s Quest as a center on classroom computers.  Because students can track their progress, they don’t have to complete the game in one sitting but could work on it in bits and pieces throughout the school year.  The quest allows students to get up-close and personal with a variety of art and history.  Students can use what they learn in Waltee’s quest as a launching point for art history or as inspiration for a creative writing piece.  Students can write a story about the art itself, about Waltee and his quest, or a mystery based on the game. In the elementary classroom, Waltee’s Quest can be used to introduce students to the idea of mystery.  If you have a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard, students can work together to explore the museum and find treasures.  As students find clues, they can work together to solve the mystery. Waltee’s Quest can also be used as a virtual trip to an art museum, if you can’t swing a trip to a local art museum as a class, this site will provide students with the next best option in a way that engages them in discovery. Tips: Make sure that students know to write down the name and passcode they use to login, if they want to return to their game they will need this later! Please leave a comment and share how you are using Waltee’s Quest in your classroom.

Read More

Cost of NCLB Testing Info Graphic ($5.3 billion is TOO high)

Posted by admin | Posted in Download, education reform, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources | Posted on 21-09-2010

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

16

Lately I have been wondering about how much state testing costs us.  There are a lot of costs involved in standardized testing.  In addition to the cost of administering, grading, and recording the test, there are other less tangible costs such as the impact on learning.  Curious, I sent out a tweet asking if anyone had info on how much testing cost (I was coming up empty in a Google search).  A few of my PLN sent me a link to Stateline.org where I found this:

I knew the numbers would be high, but this is shocking. All of that money per state for testing.  I started wondering what else that money could have been used for and sent out another tweet, this time asking what one thing teachers would want in their classrooms if money was no object.  The info graphic above holds the results.

The info graphic is based on the following numbers (links to data sources):

iPod Touch 4 $229

iPad $499

Average cost of children’s books $21

Soccer ball $10

64 Count Box of Crayola Crayons $5

Exercise ball (to use as chair replacements) $20

Price/square foot for school addition $222

Paraprofessional Salary/year $26,000

Violin $340

I don’t know about you, but every one of those items above feels like a better use of money.

Image links: Pencils, Exercise ball, iPod Touch 4, iPad, Soccer Ball, Crayons, Violin


Price: $
Looks like you have entered a product ID in the shortcode that doesn't exist. Please check your product ID and the shortcode again!

Comments (16)

You should be able to get down to $200/sq ft on a school addition because I checked out some figures for the west coast and was able to get around $200/sq ft.

That is a very cool info graphic! Isn’t Pages brilliant? I love the way you unified it with frames, and added shadow to give it that stuck on the notice board look.

[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Cost of NCLB Testing Info … […]

I love that info-graphic. Nicely done. Startlingly depressing but makes a great point.

It is depressing!

Yes, I love Pages (obviously!!)

Even better! I got my info from link below of averages.

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by JackieGerstein Ed.D., Shelly S Terrell, David, Jenna Ream, Kim Kadeem and others. Kim Kadeem said: http://bit.ly/dkFlTC on iLearn Technology. NCLB in it's true form… what a waste of $ […]

The figures you present and the available options for spending the money is quite amazing and rather scary really. Now that people can see how much money is allocated to testing yearly, there might be more of a fuss created about the spending?

$5.3 BILLION?! Whew! It certainly seems that we are requiring schools to administer more and more tests and laying off more and more teachers and turning out more and more students without basic skills. How can that be?! NCLB is certainly far from perfect but what is a better way to do fair performance reviews for teachers? My kids have been lucky, they have had some very good teachers, a handful of phenomenal educators and a few duds. How do we get rid of the duds? Face it, there are plenty of people doing jobs they don’t enjoy and/or do not do well. In the business world, they are given performance reviews and, if not doing their job, let go. In my state it is nearly impossible to get rid of a bad teacher, especially because it takes a few years to see if the person is “cut out” for teaching, by then they are in. How about using some of that money for development? And help “bad” teachers get better or let them go?
Was development time/training one of your options in your survey of ways to spend the money? There has to be accountability, there has to be some kind of performance review, but is testing students the way to do it? Seems like there must be a better way.

Contrary to what many believe, getting rid of bad teachers is not difficult – including ones that are “tenured.” To do this, administrators, mostly building principals, must make many observations and document their findings. This is usually what is not done on a regular basis. I’ve personally seen experienced teachers let go because of job performance. In addition, those “duds” you mentioned just might have been phenomenal teachers to other children. It’s ridiculous to judge a teacher on one standardized test. I certainly agree that students need to achieve, but there are just too many variables that impact how much and what the student learns. Many of these variables are out of the teacher’s control.

What makes a bad teacher? In my experience, every teacher I have worked with could be a bad teacher in one area, and a fantastic teacher in another. One could be good with parents, yet bad with kids. Another could be a fantastic coach, and a lacklustre participant in during staff meetings. A third may teach concise lessons, carefully planned, which no students care to engage in. What, in your estimation, besides presenting a danger to the students, makes a bad teacher?

I love your graphic so much I riffed on your idea and made my own graphic. It is ridiculous to judge a teacher OR a student by a statistic because you cannot measure knowledge with a number. NCLB depersonalizes learning and harms the teacher and the students and gives parents false information.

Thanks Tammy, saw your graphic and like the adaptation!

[…] Standardized (or other forms) of testing […]

[…] Standardized (or other forms) of testing […]

Write a comment

*