New Common Core Standards – Where’s the Tech?
Posted by durencls on June 4, 2010
On June 2nd, 2010, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released the Common Core State Standards for grades K-12.
“Developed in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders including content experts, states, teachers, school administrators and parents… [we think that the] standards establish clear and consistent goals for learning that will prepare America’s children for success in college and work. ” [Read press release]
Many in the K-12 field and the field of Adult Literacy Education have been closely following the development of the Common Core Standards (see our 4/21/2010 post). It is expected that these standards will have a dramatic effect on WHAT is taught, WHEN, and HOW in all education fields. Upon (an admittedly quick) review of these standards, I noted these things overall:
- The English Language Arts and Mathematics Standards documents have signficantly different formats/approaches (clearly written by different folks). Thus how these two documents address technology skills is very differently.
- The Language Arts document is organized around a set of “College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards” in 4 areas: Reading – literature, informational text and foundation skills, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language) – skills they feel students should have upon exiting K-12 education. They also provide a ‘vision’ of students who are “College and Career Ready in English Language Skills.”
- The Math document contains a general list of “Standards for mathematical Practice” – processes and proficiencies important to all mathematical processes (technology is only mentioned in one place here in the entire document). The remainder of the document focuses on grade-specific “Standards for Mathematical Content” listing the procedures and understandings students should have at that level. They note however, that order may vary and hope that implementation of the standard may “…allow research on learning progressions to inform and improve the design of standards...”
- The Language Arts document includes skills as applied in Social Studies and Science, and strongly emphasize the integrated nature of language skills with all other disciplines. The Mathematics Standards do not seem to do so.
- Overall the Language Arts document seems richer and more well developed. There is much more mention of technology integrated throughout. [But, then, it was written by *writers* not mathematicians, who tend to think about writing in a different way 🙂 ]
- Technology: While I have not yet had the chance to read every paragraph under every grade level, I believe the writers of both documents have approached technology as a tool, not a set of skills in itself, and mention of technology is found mostly in the more “overarching” sections of the documents.
- Lastly, it feels (to me) like there is something of a bias in these standards towards skills needed for success in higher education settings, although Career Readiness is mentioned throughout, there seems (to me) an emphasis of prepration for more academic environments.
So – what do these standards say about Technology skills for success?
The Mathematics Standards document says simply this, under Standards for Mathematical Practice:
5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
Mathematically proficient students consider the available tools when solving a mathematical problem. These tools might include pencil and paper, concrete models, a ruler, a protractor, a calculator, a spreadsheet, a computer algebra system, a statistical package, or dynamic geometry software. When making mathematical models, they know that technology can enable them to visualize the results of varying assumptions, explore consequences, and compare predictions with data. Mathematically proficient students at various grade levels are able to identify relevant external mathematical resources, such as digital content located on a website, and use them to pose or solve problems. They are able to use technological tools to explore and deepen their understanding of concepts.
The English Language Arts Standards document has more to say in several different sections:
Key Design Considerations: Research and media skills blended into the Standards as a whole
To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and nonprint texts in media forms old and new. The need to conduct research and to produce and consume media is embedded into every aspect of today’s curriculum. In like fashion, research and media skills and understandings are embedded throughout the Standards rather than treated in a separate section. (emphasis added)
In the Language Arts ‘vision’ statement – “Students Who are College and Career Ready in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, & Language”:
They use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
Students employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use. They tailor their searches online to acquire useful information efficiently, and they integrate what they learn using technology with what they learn offline. They are familiar with the strengths and limitations of various technological tools and mediums and can select and use those best suited to their communication goals.
In three of the four College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards:
7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
Speaking & Listening:
2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
5. Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
And also – New technologies have broadened and expanded the role that speaking and listening play in acquiring and sharing knowledge and have tightened their link to other forms of communication. Digital texts confront students with the potential for continually updated content and dynamically changing combinations of words, graphics, images, hyperlinks, and embedded video and audio.
WOW, that’s a lot to think over! And you may have other things you want to investigate in this new document as well. So Bill & I are going to give ourselves a chance to ruminate, and compare this standards document to both our list of meta-skills and the overall philosophy behind this blog and get back to you on this later. (We’re going out of town soon and need to go do other stuff!)
In the meantime, you think on it too – and PLEASE feel free to make comments!
This entry was posted on June 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm and is filed under Changing the AE field, Job Skills, Meta-Skills, Teaching Tech Skills. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.