Friday, January 18, 2008

AWNM Design: Period 5

January 18th Live Blogging Participants:
12:14 pm- 1:12 pm

Karen Janowski:

Karen is an Assistive & Educational Technology Consultant whose “passion is to remove the obstacles to learning for all students. It is important to make the curriculum accessible to all learners and provide opportunities for struggling learners to demonstrate what they know using principles of universal design.” She lives in Reading, MA.

Tim Stahmer:

Tim is an Instructional Technology Specialist working in the Office of Instructional Technology Integration for an overly-large school district on the Virginia side of Washington DC. He taught middle and high school math as well as computer literacy. For the past 11 years he has helped teachers, administrators and others at all levels make sense of technology in their classrooms and, of course, repaired a few computers and printers along the way. These days he works mostly with the technology trainers in elementary schools.

Sylvia Martinez:

Sylvia is president of Generation YES. She has a varied background in both educational and consumer software and games, with expertise along the way in design and development of online environments that encourage learning and communication. Generation YES is a for-profit company seeking to bridge the gap between students being empowered in their learning and the successful implementation of technology assisting in that endeavor.

215 comments:

1 – 200 of 215   Newer›   Newest»
Sylvia said...

Looking forward to this!

Sean said...

Hey everyone. My name is Sean Doherty and I work as an intern in the Colorado State Capitol for House District Representative Debbie Benefield. I am here to observe and maybe even participate in your learning experience through blogging.
First, I would like to say 'thank you' on behalf of Representative Benefield as well as Representative Judy Solano who have both asked me to update them on the developments of this blog and what I have learned.
I have read through 'A Whole New Mind' and I am excited to read/hear Arapahoe High School student's feedback and insight in this online discussion.

Tim said...

Hi Everyone, It's great to be part of your discussion today.

Karl Fisch said...

We're just about to start.

Karen Janowski said...

Looking forward to this

maddisonm said...

how do you think design plays a role in our every day academic classes?

lesliel said...

So, with the question in the middle, relating the right and left hand to the right or left brain, do you think whether you're right or left brained determines whether you are right or left handed?

ryanm said...

Is there a biological or psycholohgical reason we are right or left handed or brained?

jordanh said...

Well, going off of the inner circle conversation, I am right brained and right handed. I don't remember chosing or deciding about it, but it just happened(being right handed). I think that it is just a natural decision (unless somebody makes you do one or the other).

Karen Janowski said...

Lesliel - interesting question but I'm not aware of any research that validates that

katyj said...

leslie- i think that whether you are left or right brained may depend more on the way you are raised not nessacarily on which hand is dominant.

ZachH said...

Ryan-I think we are probably born right or left brained. To me its confusing how you can be right brained and right handed if the left ride of your brain controls the right side of your body.

lesliel said...

My teammate was forced to use her left foot when playing soccer by her dad, and now she is left footed when she was originally right. So, I think that you are born one way or another but you can change it as you grow.

Laurenc said...

Lesliel- I don't think your writing hand affects whether you are right or left brained. If you look at the majority of people you will notice that most of them are right handed but many of them are still right brained.

Ryad said...

Well, my mom told me that when I was little I was left handed but as I got older it became harder and harder to do things with my left hand so she suggested that I use my other hand. I've been right handed ever since. I'm also a right brained person.

ryanm said...

lesliel, i think that its the enivironment that you are born into that determines your right or left tendencies, but its also the enivironment that we are raisedin that also helps us determine those tendencies.

melissaz said...

I'm so excited to have all of you joining us today.

jordanh said...

OK, since we have some professionals on hand, I want an opinion. I have asked this before, but I am curious for other answers:

Will the occupation of a doctor be obsolete in the Conceptual Age???

(I really want to be a doctor, but I also don't want a job that won't exist.)

mattw said...

maddisonm - I don't think it really does. Everything is usually layed out to go in the most efficient way possible. I guess they're focusing on "utility" over "significance". Generally all they want to do is make sure we know the material well enough to pass to the next grade. If they wanted significance, they'd leave the cirriculum more open to personalization.

maddieh said...

Leslie- I really don't know if there is any connection between left brain and right hand or vice versa. I think that you do learn to rely on one or the other more at any early age, I don't think that being left or right brained has any real impact on whether you are right or left handed. I think a lot of it is kind of conditioning. You learn to use your left brain, you learn to use your right hand. I don't think it is something you are born with.

katyj said...

lauren- i completely agree with you. i am left handed and right brained but there are many people who are right handed and right brained.

Sylvia said...

the brain controls physical movement with one side of the brain controlling the other side of the body. Thinking happens on both sides. Right/left brain is a metaphor, not a real thing like writing or kicking a soccer ball.

Tim said...

jordan, I doubt that doctors will become obsolete but like many other professions the "routine" stuff will be done by machine or lesser skilled workers. Diagnosing and treating people still require people.

Selenam said...

Ryanm-Well, my grandfather wrote with his right hand, but he taught himself to write with his left hand as well, so I think it's a combination of both.

Tylerg! said...

I think that it can be controlled by the brain, because I re-took the test and scored 56% left and 44% right brained and I'm ambidextrious with almost everything so I think it does have an affect.

mitchs said...

I don't think being left or right brained determines your handedness. I am left brained, but I don't have a dominant hand. Your experiences determine which hand you use. I write with my right hand, but I can write with my left hand. I play hockey and bat in baseball left handed in baseball but throw right handed. Your handedness is determined by whichever one feels more natural to you when you are first learning.

ZachH said...

I disagree that the way you are raised determines if your left or right brained. My brother is very left brained and mathematical where i am much more right brained and prefer English.

maddisonm said...

lesliel, i think that’s hard to say because some people can be just about 50-50, but according to the online test I am more left brained and I am right handed, but on the other hand my friend is more right brained but is right handed. Therefore, I think a number of things play a role in if you are left or right handed, such as how you’re taught, what you experience, and how your brain is formed.

whitneys said...

I really liked how Pink said that design is both utility and significance. However, he also says significance is becoming the differing factor. For those of you that are against what Pink says, this further shows that Pink is calling for "a whole new mind" in which the left brain is still needed to fulfill utility.

Sylvia said...

jordanh, the "conceptual age" is just something Daniel Pink is predicting, not a reality. there will always be a need for doctors.

Laurenc said...

Jordanh - I'm no proffesional but I think that the occupation of doctor will never become obsolete. Even as we get more technology and better medicine there will still need to be a personal relationship with patients. Like Pink said, doctors need to connect with their patients more and the mind can never be entirely figured out by machines.

lesliel said...

Jordan, I doubt it. How can machines possible be able to take care of sick people, and determine what virus they have, and give them the right medicine? I think that people will still be needed to regulate and ask questions.

lesliel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

I don't think whether you are right or left brain is permanent. I've become much more right brained in the time I've been working with similar creative people.

jordanh said...

My opinion on the right hand/ right brain connection is that (to agree with Ryan) the environment really determines the decision in part, but also instinct plays a big role.

mattw said...

If we are going into a "conceptual age", are we still in a left brain society? Have we always been one? Even during the Renaissance? Does a country's culture affect this?

maddieh said...

Do you think that if you are a good designer, you are automatically a good artist? Or if you are a good artist, are you automatically a good designer?

ryanm said...

selenam, i am trying to do the same thing to try and prove hat you can change your dominant tendencies.

Tylerg! said...

I agree with jordan to some extent, machines may be able to figure out what is wrong with a perso and process what medicine t take and where to get it. They can't provide interaction, but that is a right brain mechanism, so will there really be a need for doctors like they are today?

katyj said...

i think that Sylvia had a very good point. Being right or left brained is a metaphor, it doesnt really have much to do with what your dominant hand is.

lesliel said...

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

melissaz said...

During the last weeks fishbowl, Ms. Smith said that she believs that kindergarten is the best grade level at teaching every aspect, left and right brain thinking, and I totally agree. (my mom is a kindergarten teacher)Do you think that if these influences were pushed more through out the education system, would America be producing more high quality workers, and people that create more one-of-a-kind work? Is that aspect really important to creating a more right brained society, or are right brain thinkers born with the abilities to create unique ideas?

mitchs said...

ZachH- How can you be sure that people are born either left brained or right brained. I think that you are born pretty much equally on both sides of your brain. The way you develop and the way you are brought up determine whether you are right brained or left brained.

catem said...

Talking about the inner circle, I think that separating people by which brain is more dominate is wrong. If someone is born left brained,and wants to pursue a job as an engineer, and is only taught in a left brained perspective, then that person is going to fail, because then they never learn the right brained way. The same is true for someone who right brained, because then they never learn the logical ways to solve simple problems. So i think it is vital to a person's development to be taught equally in both right and left brained people.

Tim said...

Do any of you think there's too much emphasis on math and science in schools these days? Or do you get enough of a balance?

jordanh said...

Thank you for the opinions from everyone.
I agree that the human touch will always be a necessity for the sick. A computer can't tell somebody it will be OK, or help a patient mentally.

Ryad said...

Jordan- I agree with Sylvia, we need to stop thinking that Pink's word is final. It's still a prediction and the future may not end up being exactly the way he sees it.

Karen Janowski said...

Pink's book is about developing our right brain in a left brain world

Tim said...

maddie, I think it's possible to be a good designer without being an "artist". Much of design is creating interfaces that make it easier and more pleasurable to use something.

ryanm said...

i agree with katyj and Sylvia, because i am trying to learn to be ambidextrous to show that your dominant side of the brain does not detemine your dominant hand

Laurenc said...

Mattw - I believe that the world will have to be primarily left brained to function. An age of perfect technology is very unlikely and I also believe that we need to keep some focus on left brained ideas. Not many teenagers our age can do basic math without a calculator anymore. Art and music is important but we can't get rid of math and science just because something else can do it for us. That will just make us a less intelligent people

maddisonm said...

Yeah joranh!!! I was think the exact same thing!! when I grow up I hope to have a job in the doctor field. I one of my PLJs i reacted to the three questions Pink asks, they are on page 51, and I answered the questions as if I was a doctor, and really personally feel that a doctor could make it in the future.

ZachH said...

Maddieh-I think design is seperate from art. I think it can be the same, but i think design can also be related to people. Like Ms. Smith just said about designing schools in other ways than physical buildings. I think design is also related to the inner system of a business or school or even of a person.

hannahl said...

I am in the outside circle and I disagree with one of the comments Becky made. She said that in kindergarten you may like fingerpainting and then want to become an artist, and therefore we can't let people choose their path in life when they are young and ignorant. I disagree because although some people are not mature enough to know what they want to do, we shouldn't discriminate against those students who do absolutely have a passion in life in high school. If they have a purpose, education should foster that passion.

mattw said...

tim - I think that in our school specifically, it's well-balanced. Both my science and math classes are only four days a week, as opposed to my english and history classes, which are five-day-a-week classes.

mitchs said...

I agree with Tylerg. Doctors will always be necessary, but they may not be needed for the same jobs. It is possible to program a computer to run tests on a patient to diagnose the problem and then give them the correct treatment. Maybe doctors in the future will be people who are with patients only to interact and make them feel better. Almost like a psychologist.

Tylerg! said...

I don't believe math and science get more of an emphasis Tim, it seems like every teacher wants kids to just fcus on them so we get a good balance. I like to see myself as left-brained, and the emphasis to me seems to be on English in the school. We get plenty of work here on our English and creative process. We also have a right-brained math teacher who would score about a 85% towards that side, and that proves you don't have to have a left brain to teach math.

lesliel said...

Mellissa, I think that if all of the different aspects taught in kindergarden were made with limits and responsiblities and grades, that people would just be expected to design and think more with the right side of the brain. I mean, after all, people are expected to know how to do math, and know science, ect. ect.

Karen Janowski said...

hannahl - does school allow you to pursue your passions?

katyj said...

tim- i think that math and sciene do not hold enough sway in schools. At ararpahoe we only have science three days a week and math four, where as we have history and english five days a week.

ZachH said...

Tim- I think it is difficult to say if there is too much emphasis on Math and Science. I think they are both important skills we need to have, but in reality, not everyone is going to be an engineer or scientist. It's difficult to say.

maddieh said...

Melissa- I really do wish that we could incorporate more right brain activities in our classes along with the left brain thinking we use in our classes. If this book has told me one thing, it is how frustrated I am with those classes where all you do is take notes and regurgitate the information. That teaches me nothing. I wish we could activate our minds and incorporate ourselves into our learning.

mattw said...

I remember I presented a question when we read "Fahrenheit 451", but I want to bring it up again.

Is it better to know HOW, or WHY?

I also wanted to know if R-brained thinkers generally want to know why, and visa versa for the lefties.

maddisonm said...

So do left handed people do better on certian tests then right handed people and do right handed people do better on certian tests then left handed people?

Sylvia said...

I think it's important to teach everyone to use all their skills, not to create false separations. I hope that no one thinks that because they identify themselves as left brain that makes them boring, or if they identify with right brain, they are too dumb to learn math and never try. Labels are self-fulfilling prophesies.

hannahl said...

Karen, I don't feel as if it does. My passion is dancing and I am not even able to take a dance class. Also, I am constantly bombarded with questions about why I am not in sports. Therefore, people think that I am not an active student. The only reason they see me this way is because I have a passion that is not part of my school. I think many people run into this becuase thier passion is not an accepted one.

jordanh said...

Tim- I think that knowledge of math and science will be necessary to an extent in life-
My mother (a librarian) never uses hardcore algebra in everyday life, but she did need to know how to divide last night at the store to figure some unit prices. So, emphasis on math, I think is taken way to far, since a computer can do it all anyways.

As for science, I think that if one is going into a field of science- doctors, nurses, experimenters-but otherwise, science isn't so necessary.
BUT if Design and right brained thinking is going to be important in the future, there is NOT enough influence on right brained thinking in Arapahoe.

catem said...

WhitneyS: I agree with what you said about the significance and utility idea from the book, however I have a question for you. Do you think that significance will become a priority before utility? What I mean by that, is do you think that people will only pay attention to design, now and then end up with a disfunctional product?

ryanm said...

tim, the math class i am in is a four day a week class. My science class is only three days a week, with a lab on either tuesday or thursday. however, english and history are both five day a week classes. it doesnt seem like a balance to me, but math and science arent my favorite subjects. but in my personal opinion, i dont think its balanced, but i prefer it the way it is.

Laurenc said...

Tim - I believe that our school is fairly balanced but the art and music side is completely optional. Sometimes there isn't enough room in your schedule to fit in art. this is especially true for those taking honors classes that occur every day. I would have loved to take more art and drama classes but was only able to fit one music class into my busy academic schedule

lesliel said...

Matt, I wouldn't know whether R-brained thinker always want to know why over how, but personally, I am right brained and I find myself always wonder why instead of how.

katyj said...

tim-i think that to some extent people can focus on thier passions in school. The problem is what if you do not know what your passion is?

mitchs said...

Tim- I don't think math and science receive more attention than other subjects in school, if any. I would say that math and reading get the most emphasis because of the standardized testing on those subjects. But, these subjects are a bit more important because the abilities to read and do simple math are required for many jobs.

melissaz said...

Karen- Yes, eeveryone that reads Pink's book needs to realize that he is not saying that the left brain is losing its power, it is definitally still very important and he is saying that we need to bring right brain thinking into the left brain. The right brian just hasn't quite been worked to the standards for today. Not that future artists will become extremely successful, that people need to combine both parts and that will help future works be more successful.

Tim said...

One major point that Pink makes is that right vs. left is not all or nothing. Forward thinking companies realize they need a mix of both.

Google is a great example. They employ lots of engineers but also musicians, sculptors, psychologists, writers, and more.

mattw said...

Mz. Janowski - I just wanted to answer your question you had for hannah. I don't think school does let you pursue your passions, at least until the college level. I think that's okay though, because if you're an excellent chef, then you can make a living off of that with the only math you use being tablespoon to fluid ounce conversions, but come time to pay taxes, you need to know math, regardless of your profession.

ParkerH said...

This is really backdated, but I think there is an emphasison on math, yet there is not too much of one. Arapahoe does a decent job of requiring studies in the other areas, like fine arts and practical arts. It is hard to get the credit hours, but it is good that students have at least some sort of knowledge in different areas.

ZachH said...

CateM-I don't think that significance will ever over take utility. I mean if i product looks great but only works half as well as a product that works great but doesn't look like much, the product that gets the job done is going to sell better than the one that only looks good.

Karen Janowski said...

what courses are offered at Arapahoe that develop the whole mind?

Sean said...

Where / how do Arapahoe students see CSAP testing in relation 1) to Dan Pink's book and 2) effects on the creative process and 3) the focus this takes in class time etc.,

Tim said...

Very good point, mitch. The tests seem to put the emphasis on the tested subjects.

Tylerg! said...

Tim, that's true you need a balance, but not being a head of a company and just coming out of high-school and being told the left brain is not going to be as important, it's just going to be their as a support for a right brain, so it's hard for people without a balance to comprehend the opposite side.

katyj said...

sylvia- i think that is a very good point. i am 76% right brained, but that certainly does not mean that i am too stupid to learn math and science, on the contrary i am in geometry and biology as a freshman.

maddisonm said...

mattw- I think that R-brained thinkers generally focus on the how becuase if you remember when Pink was talking about how the right brain was the picture and the left brain was the 1000 words, or how the right brain focus on how it was said and the left on what was said. The left brain I think focus on the what and why. Does that make sense?

Ryad said...

Hannah and Karen- I am also very interested in the arts. Music is my passion. While there are opportunities to take music classes at Arapahoe, the arts get less and less funding every year. I know that on days when I have a music or drama class I feel more confident in my school work. It is almost as though by working my right brain it helps my left brain. But as arts loose their place and acceptance in school the academics will fall to. This goes with Pink saying that we need a WHOLE new mind.

maddieh said...

KarenJ- I know your question was directed at Hannah but I have something to say about that. I really don't think school lets you pursue what you want because as open a variety of classes as we have, we are still limited by requirements. Personally, I hate math. I have no intentions of being a mathematician in my life. I fully understand why I need to know basic math, but I have never had one teacher who has really shown me when I will need to use some of the stuff we learn. I'm very right-brained so math doesn't click with me but I think that my left-brain doesn't understand why I need to learn math. So, sometimes I feel that we are limited by what we HAVE to learn and do in school.

whitneys said...

tim -Personally I think there is a fairly equal balance between all subjects. The only comment I have about education is I feel in most classes there is too much left brain thinking. In science we are given an experiment about something someone has already discovered, rather then creating our own experiments. In history we are given facts to memorize so we can regurgitate information on a test. Perhaps classes could incorporate more use of both sides of the brains.

ZachH said...

I agree with MattW- School really doesn't let you focus on your passions. I really like english and history, but if i only take those electives, i won't get enough math or science credits to graduate.

mitchs said...

Catem- That's a vey good point. Many commercial items today have become more focused on significance than function. The Ipod touch is the perfect example. It could have more memory and battery life, which would be more focused on function. However if they put in a bigger battery and a hard drive then the Ipod touch wouldn't be as slim or look as sleek. So, significance overtaking function is already happening in our world today.

Tylerg! said...

karen, there is sociology, web page design, AP anything in math, statistics and probability, pshycology and many more, it is a good place to expand your brain.

jordanh said...

Karen- no course can offer a whole mind. Pink says that you need a variety of skills and different techniques to problem solve. No course at any school has a class that teaches design, art, math, science, english, history, and gym. We need to have a cluster of abilities, and no class (in existance right now) could offer that.

Laurenc said...

ms Janowski - I believe the only classes that really involve the whole mind offered at Arapahoe are music classes. Since you need a sense of math to read music, creativity, and definatly passion to play music then I believe it involves the whole mind.

Karen Janowski said...

Ryad
Very interesting observation!
"I know that on days when I have a music or drama class I feel more confident in my school work. It is almost as though by working my right brain it helps my left brain."

lesliel said...

Ms. Janowski, I couldn't think right away of any classes that do develop both sides of the mind, but then I thought of this class that we're in, and I realized that the way Ms. Smith teaches English makes us use both sides of our brain. For example, she gives us projects with open ends. Allowing us to make it go one way or the other. She also had us in first semester study some pre SAT words and take tests on them every week which I think required more left brain thinking.

hannahl said...

Karen- I believe that it is not so much the classes, but the teachers that determine if a course is whole-minded. Smith, for instance, teaches English in a right-brained way. However, she realizes that a whole minded approach is better for her students and their futures. There are some teachers that make a left-brained class whole-minded through thier understanding of how the right side of the brain can supplement the left. I think education should target teacher training rather than curriculums to create a whole-minded approach.

Tim said...

Good point whitney about the balance of left and right within a particular class. There are ways to inject more creativity into "right brained" subjects.

mattw said...

I am generally right brained, and I've been in GT programs for a while, and I usually suffer in math or science subjects.
People say GT students get bored with normal stuff becasue they're so "special";
which I think is a load of crap. I know the reason I struggle is becasue I have ADD, but I also have minor OCD, so I have a very mixed personality.

ryanm said...

Karen, i am in our concert choir, which is one of the courses offered to support the artistic students. the whole east side of our school is dedicated to arts, both fine and practical. they also offer all of the more "left brained" classes such as advanced math classes, and AP chemistry and all sorts of those types of courses. i think that our school is very balanced in terms of "whole minded" courses offered

katyj said...

karen- i don't think that any classes at arapahoe develop the WHOLE mind. most classes are either completely right brained, like drawing or design, or they are completely left brained like algebra or geometry.

melissaz said...

cate- That is a great question for Whitney and I just had to jump in. I do think that the visual aspect is becoming almost too important. My brother just got a phone, and the main reason he wanted one was to play and mess around on it, not to actually use it to call. Many times, I will buy a shirt because I like the way it looks, and the next time I wear it I get a rip. There are so many aspects in my life where I almost pay too much attention to the design not the function because I already expect it to work, so that is not an important factor.

ParkerH said...

I agree with Jordan, yet I don't. There is a reason why we take multiple classes in one day. If we take sculptre, or music, or something, along with the math class, then it develops a whole new mind more than not taking the art classes.
There are some photography classes, Journalsim, Newspaper, and many other such art-type classes.

Laurenc said...

Ryad - I agree about the music programs getting less and less funding and how this proves a problem. I am very upset about the lack of attention paid to the Orchestra department in particular. It does not have it's own room (orchestra is held in a small choir room), and the intruments do not have their own lockers. In fact the schools cello's are kept in the theater which gets very cold and can damagae them. Sadly, nothing is being done about this

catem said...

Karen: I know that you intended this question for Hannah, but I would like to comment. I think that school gives you the skills to pursue your passions. Although school may not be able to in Hannah's case, make you a better dancer, she can learn the skills to help her make ends meet. I mean, that dancing is a wonderful passion to pursue, but if you only focus on that, you will never have a fall back plan. If she doesn't know how to do math, she can't make sure she is getting a proper pay check. So,although school may not always help you pursue your passions, without the basic classes, a passionate person, will not be able to pursue their passion and get the most out of it.

maddisonm said...

tim- going back up to a question you had asked, I feel I get a good balance of classes. If anything I think that I get more history and English, since I have those classes every day and Biology and math less, since they are not everyday classes. Also, I feel I get very little of classes such as design, or PE, since my schedule is already so full with the core classes.

whitneys said...

catem- If you are saying that people will begin to care about the design of something more than how well it works, I think that is true. Now don't misunderstand me, BOTH are important. However there are limits on how much an object's efficiency can be improved, while the design is limitless.

mattw said...

laurenc - I've heard that too. My sister's french class laast year was held in a wood-shop room. I don't understand it.
We have about four or five gyms.

ryanm said...

lauren, I am in choir, right before orchestra, and im sorry that you dont have the proper places to store your instruments. i think that we should try to raise money for the fine arts department so you may have lockers and a large enough room for everyone to have some space.

ZachH said...

Ms. Janowski- Arapahoe offers a pretty wide variety of classes. ERE, Biology, and Chemstry are required Science classes, but there are electives like Astronomy and genetics. There are 4 years of required english, plus electives like journalism or "What makes a hero" film study. There are 4 years of required history (as freshmen we have to take American History, then next year it is world history. I am not sure after that) but there are also electives on specific time periods from history. I don't know about the required number of years in math. Spanish, french, and American sign language are offered as foreign languages along with Chinese. Art, music, and drama are offered along with intro to computer applicaations and technology studies are othe electives

Sylvia said...

I think teachers who give students assignments often try to include elements that will allow different kinds of students to have success. But it doesn't always break down neatly into right/left brain as defined by Pink.

Karen Janowski said...

thank you all for your thoughtful responses to my question about do schools allow you to pursue your passions.

hannahl said...

Catem- I do think that a fall back plan is very important. I am not saying that school is a bad thing for my passion, without out it, I would find myself out on the street at 35. However, having people say that dancing is not important enough to teach is school demeans my art and discourages anybody who loves to do it because it will not make them enough money. This is so backwards because my passion is stomped on daily by an educational system that does not deem it worthy of funding.

maddieh said...

Sean- Personally I hate the CSAP. I score well on it but I find it a very poor reflection of our learning. It seems to be a left-brain focused test. I realize that it is probabally hard to find a good alternative to the CSAP but I feel that it could be revised. Some people don't learn from memorization and that reflects poorly on themselves, the school, the county, the state, and so on. I really think that there needs to be more of a balance between left and right brain thinking on standardized tests. I don't think I have ever found someone who looks forward to CSAPs. I think most people see it as a waste of time that really doesn't do a good job of showing how well we learn. I feel like all it does it stress us out. I don't mean to whine, but I feel like most people have a hard time on CSAP because of its design.

Laurenc said...

Tim - I strongly dislike the focus put into CSAP the 2 weeks or so before they happen. In my opinion way too much focus is on getting a good score just to make the school look good. Sitting in a room in front of that annoying orange packet for an entire school day could drive anyone crazy. Also kids and teens will get tired of testing towards the end of the day and not do as well.

Tylerg! said...

Karen, as a freshman, no, but as you go on yes, you get to choose your calsses more as you get closer to college where you need to pick a major.

Tim said...

Test design is a major research area these days. However, is that the same kind of design that Pink discusses?

katyj said...

whitney- that is a very good point. you can always design new ways for the same object to look, while there is a limit on how much you can improve the object quality for its purpose.

ZachH said...

I really dont like scantron tests. I would rather write an essay than take a scantron test. I am not saying multiple choice is bad, but the scantron design is bad

melissaz said...

Karen- That is a great question, and really, I have to step back and think, what classes really do help with fulfilling the whole mind? And I don't know of too many classes that actually focus on the whole. The way the students need to complete the whole is by having classes that support all aspects to bring all of them together. Our schools are not quite to the point of involving all parts into one class.

Sylvia said...

whitneys your point is a good one. but many times it's simply manufacturing capability that limits design. People have always wanted custom, unique products, but it's only recently that technology (left brain designed technology) has existed that allow the manufacture of something like an ipod at a reasonable cost.

Design becoming more important isn't some social phenomenon, it's just a factor of improved manufacturing techniques.

ZachH said...

I think the best kind of tests would be where you are given a list of big ideas and have to write down how they are related. We do this in Biology all the time and I think it represents how well someone knows the material better than memorizing facts for a multiple choice test.

lesliel said...

Lauren, I fully agree with you. I find that after testing for 2 or 3 days and then the next day when I have to take the "reading" section, I find my eyes glaze over and I read so much slower than I usually do, and on occasions, I can not finish that section. I exremely dislike CSAPs because of the continous racking of infomation for a whole week.

mitchs said...

Hannahl- The educational system stomps on a lot of people's passions. Your's is dancing, mine is hockey. There isn't any type of hockey class either. The educational system can only do so much. The reason dance doesn't get funding is not because it isn't worthy of funding, it's because the schools don't have enough funding to pay for it. The school system spends all of it's money funding subjects that teach basic life skills or that they think are more important than dance or hockey or many other passions that people may have.

Karen Janowski said...

My son who is a senior is about to take mid-terms. What do you think about changing midterm tests? Would it make more sense to reflect on what you learned that semester?

ZachH said...

Tim-I believe it is the same kind of Design Pink is talking about. I think test design is simular to ballot design refrenced in the book. I know i have failed tests because i didn't understand the layout and wound up putting my answers in the wrong place. I think essays are better forms of tests because they show if the student can really grasp the concepts and reason through ideas.

katyj said...

i just had a very interesting thought. i love beng in the inner discussion because i canpay attention to the people that are talking, and i can see thier facial expressions, where as on these blog discussions i have a very hard time reading long messages and often just skip over them. though i always see who wrote the message.

Ryad said...

Sean- When I think of CSAP the first thing that comes to my mind is waste of time. The CSAPs test have never helped me. Some kids get so nervous about tests that they do poorly on the tests. This certainly did not give an accurate judge of what we learned in class.

jordanh said...

hannahl- I agree with you completely. It must be extremely offending to have your passion "stomped on". I can sympathize with that. In Middle Shcool the only sport offered was basketball. I LOVE running in cross country. But of course, the school would never have sponsored such a sport.
I tried to start a prgram (with a friend) where if you walked (or ran) a mile at recess, then you would be giving money to a charity. But, nobody helped us get it off the ground, and it was disappointing.
I hate to see when somebody has the skill and passion to achieve something great, and it can't happen because of money or sponsorship.

catem said...

WhitneyS, ZachH, and MelissaZ: I agree with what you said. Take for example clothing. How often have you bought something really pretty (or very handsome) that then ripped the day after you bought it. I think that design is very important in everything (especially things like tests that they are taking about in the inner circle) but I think that with material things society has to be careful how caught up in design we get.

Laurenc said...

In response to a lot of the stuff being said about design - Design is very personal and very based on personal opinions. Some modern art I just don't plain understand but some people think it is amazing.

so I guess my question is, do you really think anyone can succeed in design when it's such a personal thng?

Selenam said...

This kind of ties into the inner circle conversation. I think it's really important for students in any school to take initative for thier own learning and for teachers to understand their students. I turned 13 last November and through school I had to talk to teachers and make sure I was learning something at my speed. I'm pretty whole brained, 55 right and 45 left, but in middle school, my math teacher was extremely left brained and I found it really hard to concentrate on the lesson. I don't think she knew why I couldn't do well in her class. If teachers are trained in whole brained ways, then they might be able to understand their students, even if the student's thinking process is completely different from the teacher's.

mattw said...

My worst part of tthe CSAP's is when we have to write a short story/essay. They force you to plan, and I hate that. Whenever I write, I make it up as I go.

i've been told that your first answer is usually the best, and if you repetitively edit and re-edit your paper, it's really in sincere.

hannahl said...

Mitchs- I agree, and I understand that. I am simply an idealistic person who believes that money should never be an obstacle in education, even though it obviously is. In my Dad's generation, the kids had a choice one period during the day of what they wanted to do. This could be bowling at the ally (not a class) or bike-riding. This makes sense, the school wouldn't teach it, but rather give you and me a chance to take time during our educational day to do what our passions tell us to do, even if it doesn't include district funding. This would be a very hard idea to make a reality, but it is a good way for education to meet the needs of its students.

ZachH said...

Ms. Janowski-At Arapahoe, we take our mid terms before winter break. I think that is a better point in time to be tested (via the right brained method) that to take it in Janurary.

ParkerH said...

There is a point at which design gets in the way of function. There is a story about a bridge that collapsed due to steel plating being too thin. The steel plating was too thin because of decoration, or design. Once design replaces function, there is a serious problem.

maddieh said...

Leslie- I totally agree. I can NOT focus on CSAP because I am just not motivated. Yes, teachers and adults tell us to try our best and do as well as we can but not feel pressured if we do badly. But the truth is that we are pressured. We get bombarded by questions for days and wear us out. We need a break from using just our logic, analytical left brain. We need to have chance to use the creative right side of your brain.

melissaz said...

Sylvia- I agree. Teachers do seem to be trying to add different aspects to really have a "fruitfull" thinking. Our history teacher is having us research a battle of WW2 but then create a power-point, find pictures and reflect our learning. Or before we just drew, and there was a list of required elements, but we could create our own reflection of our learning.

mattw said...

laurenc - I don't think you can.

"beauty is in the eye of the beholder" or something.

Tylerg! said...

katyj, it depends to me whether I know the person who writes the comment. If I'm friends with them i can picture what they were thinking, but if I don't know them I agree, it is hard to understand what they are feeling.

jordanh said...

Karen- I think that if midterms were more focused on the big picture that it would show the actual comprehension of the subject. Instead of teachers getting you on details, they should see if you understood the main idea.

Sean said...

thanks for everyone's comments concerning my questions about CSAP.

Tim: thanks for expanding on the question and asking about Test Design. That's a good point and I do think it's important to discuss here as well, especially in relation to Pink's book.

ryanm said...

katyj, sometimes i get bored when reading long messages, but also i read through them because there might be a point that fires me up, and makes me want to write a response and keep the converstaion going, but make it more intereseting

lesliel said...

Ms. Janowski, the only reason why I would disagree with the reflection would be that sometimes the end of the semester exams are a good review to remember what we've been taught. If a student had a teacher that didn't teach the material in a way that the student can remember for the rest of their life, they're going to need to review at the end of the semester if they havn't been review throughout the semester.

ZachH said...

I'm not saying I love to take CSAP but i have to say that in order to make sure students are learning, some kind of test has to be made.

Do you think an essay test would be better? What about a test like MAPS?

Sylvia said...

many people feel tests like the CSAP are a very poor way to check that students are learning. Do you think there will ever be a time that tests like this are not used? Would you be in favor of that, and would you work to make that happen?

mitchs said...

Tim- I don't know much about CSAPs as I just moved here from Texas, but in Texas we have TAKS testing. From what I've heard about CSAP, it's a much better way to do testing than what we do in Texas. Instead of just two weeks of focusing on doing well on the test, teachers devote a part of every day to review for TAKS because if students don't pass it, they can't be promoted to the next grade. So, it's really annoying to do review packets every week just for a one day test. I actually like CSAP compared to my experiences.

Karen Janowski said...

lesliel - how about if you reviewed as part of your reflection?

Tim said...

If we put the title "Honors" on a class and then filled it with "average" students, do you think they would learn more/faster/better?

ryanm said...

sylvia, i think that as long as the test produces results that are promising, the government will continue to issue them to schools.

katyj said...

ok to tie into the inner circle, honors students aren't nessacarily smarter than everybody else, they just work harder than most people. For example, some of my freinds in honors classes come to me to ask me what certain words mean becuase they have a genuine interest in what it means so that they can do better in classes, and they know i have a pretty good vocabulary.

Laurenc said...

In response to the inner circle -

I used to get very agree about my GT teacher I had for one year in middle school. She treated her GT kids like geniuses who were so above other kids and it made me sick. I don't think "honors" kids should get special treatment. There are two types of students. Those who care and those who don't. Honors are just a bunch of kids who care about their learning but I don't think you deserve anything better then anyone else. I believe in the same opportunities for all.

lesliel said...

I totally agree with you Maddie, don't you think students would want to do CSAPs more if some right brained testing was incorporated in CSAPs?

maddieh said...

Karen- I would really like to be able to reflect at midterms rather than be tested. My brothers are the kind of students who have a hard time getting motivated to try hard. I am lucky enough to be able just have that stuff click with me. I think that being tested isn't fair because some people just don't see the point of some of what we learn and no one tells us WHY we have to care. It's not fair to penalize someone for how their brain works.

catem said...

HannahL: I agree with you then. I do feel as though the school system sets a concrete path for you to follow;go through the school system, go to college, and then get a secure job. I think that the school should support more of a variety of paths for a student to follow.

Sylvia said...

ryanm but aren't we the government? aren't citizens responsible for deciding this?

mattw said...

Has anyone noticed how some honors classes have the same cirriculum as the normal ones?

It's just a month or two ahead?

whitneys said...

sylvia - That is a very valid point and I agree with you. Technology has opened the doors for design. But isn't that what Pink is saying in his book? Design is becoming more important because of technology.

jordanh said...

tim- No. I, myself, had no honors or acceleration available in Middle School. I still pushed myslef, did the work great, and tried to learn. The title doesn't set myself apart, but my work ethic. I don't care about the title, and whatever class I am ever in, I will do my best.

ZachH said...

I can relate to the inner circle conversation. I haven't always been in honors and i think that has made the title mean less to me. Like Ms. Smith just said on the inner circle, I'm not getting any higher of a GPA or any bonus points for taking all these honors classes.

Why has it become so important? Are honors classes poorly designed? or are regular classes?

ryanm said...

tim, i agree with you, because then the kids in the class will feel stimulated to learn, but the honors kids might feel that they are being put down to a lower level.

ryanm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Janowski said...

If you were the teacher, how would you design your course (any subject)?

mitchs said...

Tim- Yes, if you put average students in an "honors" class then they would learn more and more quickly. The title "honors" makes people want to try harder because it makes them feel special when because they are in a class above everyone else. If someone is in a non honors class then they don't want to try as hard because it doesn't mean as much, they don't feel special.

Laurenc said...

Tim - to be honest. Most "average" students don't care at all about honors kids. I have heard honors kids be called stuck ups and know it alls and all sorts of things. In their opinions it would be "social suicide" to be an honors kid

ryanm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ryanm said...

slyvia, we aare the government, but we arent old enough to vote yet. we may be able to persuade the government to change this, but because we arent old enough to vote, it would be hard to get rid of the tests

maddisonm said...

Tim/Sean- when I read the design chapter the design of tests was not the first thing that came to my mind. I think that design that Pink's talks about specifically are more involving business and how design "differentiates one product form another in marketplace." However, when we think of the design of tests, the differences in design from one test to the other can determine an A or a C. So yes I think if we step back and look at Pink's idea of design, it does relate back to Test Design.

lesliel said...

Well, Ms. Janowski, I guess it would depend on the environment of the reflection. If students had to be in a class without the help of notes and just told the teacher or reflected in how they learned, the I could see how that can be a good review. However, if a student was expected to go home and write a reflection at a certain length of with certain amount information in it, then I think that many students would simply bring home all of their notes they had taken over the semester and basically copy them down.

Ryad said...

Lauren- Some of the "average" students were at the testing for honors classes, they just didn't make it.

Sylvia said...

whitneys well, that's what I was hoping he would say when I picked up the book, but his examples seemed really weak, as if design was some new idea that has suddenly appeared. or as if it was some sort of left-brained conspiracy to squash artists.

mattw said...

tim - I don't know.... It really depends on the person. It might make them feel special, and they'd want to prove themselves. I really don't know though.

ZachH said...

Tim- the honors title is a major motivator. I think teachers sometime put down their regular students. I have had several teachers who prefer to teach honors students and repeatedly told the students they are special and almost better than everyone else. I think everyone would learn better in a class if it is called an honors class.

Tim said...

As a former Algebra teacher, I STRONGLY disagree that there's only one way to teach the subject. And that teaching it can't include a right brain approach!

melissaz said...

Tim, Sean and Karen- Yes, the design of the test is very important to the actual result of our tests. Not only the look, but the wording or the actual question its self. Design is so important to the student's test score. But, the sticky part of that is, can a test, can mid-terms, can CSAP actually be designed to really meet the needs of everyone? I think if the school system actually changed the design of the test, there are still going to be poeple that have a dificult time with the new test. Some people love the layout of the CSAP. That's one reason why I feel that school's are not changing the test, because it is a huge job to tackle.

jordanh said...

ryad- some really smart people don't do well on tests. should they get into honors anyway???

Laurenc said...

ryad - Well I know that. I'm just saying the majority of teens I know in the non honors classes.

mattw said...

tim - how many ways are there to teach algebra?

ZachH said...

Tim- I agree. I took algebra last year and so much of it was over my head, i started getting extra help and my teacher was able to find a way to teach it so i could get it.

katyj said...

i know what you mean. i have some freinds who are very average. and whenever i say anything about being in an honors class, they make a little face and say something like "oh, you were in BIOLOGY, today were you" and are very like resentful of the fact that i am in a "higher" class.

catem said...

Sylvia: I think that there will always be some form of a CSAP test. It may one day be a test where we record our discussions, and send them in to be graded by a standard, but I think that CSAP is necessary for the colleges to get some general idea of how students are learning. However, I do think that there are much better ways to do that than giving everyone a boring booklet with boring questions that will determine what college you get into.

Ryad said...

jordan- I think that there is a serious need for a change in how a person is chosen for honors classes.
As I've said before people get nervous on tests and they don't do well. I fell it should be based on their performance in a class not a timed test.

Tylerg! said...

honestly now, when you hear or see the word design, what is the absolute first thing that comes to mind?

ryanm said...

tim, i fully support what you said. even though algebra isnt my favorite subject, there are many different ways to teach algebra. so many different methods to get to the same answer. i was partnered with a girl yesterday who did all the problems totally different than i did them but we got to the same answers.

Laurenc said...

Tim - I agree. I'm not very good at math but I had a teacher last year who had a very right brained approach to math. She let us use tangrams and pegboards to make shapes and analyze patterns. There are different ways to teach any subject.

maddieh said...

Sylvia- I think one thing that is flawed in the design of our government is that only certain people are allowed to participate in the government. I'm a very oppionated teenager but I am not allowed to voice my opinions to the government in the form of voting, ect. That is why I really hate that our learning is dictated by people who aren't even in our situation. Yes, they have been through school before but as Mr. Pink said in his book the world and the way we think is shifting. So doesn't it make more sense that teenagers should be able to have more influence in the design of how we learn other than people who haven't been in high school on a day to day basis in 30 years?

Sylvia said...

ryanm true, you can't vote (yet), but you do have a voice. we are talking across hundreds of miles and what you write is being read by lots of people. I think you might have more power than you realize.

Karen Janowski said...

I recently heard someone say that they prefer the creative student with the C average to the honors student with the A average.
what do you think?

Tim said...

matt - I don't know how many ways there are. But, for example, I've seen an Algebra I course constructed around using music to teach the patterns. Algebra is not just about algorithms.

whitneys said...

tim- I don't think average students would try harder in a "honors" class. Just having a different title won't change students' perspective on learning. This makes me think, are honors classes REALLY the smarter classes? Or are they mainly classes for students who are willing to work hard? Yes intelligence is a factor, however a studnets work ethic almost weighs more.

mattw said...

tylerg! - Mr. Holliman.

Tylerg! said...

k mattw, see and he is associated with art

mattw said...

tim - when you say music, do you mean singing a song to remember "order of operations" or something?

Sylvia said...

zackh "I think everyone would learn better in a class if it is called an honors class."

This has been shown by research to be true. Expectations (like thinking an honors student is "better") can dramatically affect performance, both for teachers and students.

maddieh said...

Karen- I agree. Creativity is something you can carry with you for life but who will care if you know all of the elements of the periodic table?

jordanh said...

Karen-
I don't have a lot of friends in honors classes. I have more average class friends. they are more down to earth in my opinion. I never use my HONORS title to put myslef above the rest of the average students, which other honors kids do.

Laurenc said...

Ms Janowski - Depending on the class I agree. If its just a memorize this or that class then I would prefer the creative kid who has their own thoughts then the honors kid who would just memorize the information and recite it.

maddisonm said...

Karen Janowski- If I had to construct a class it would be a science class, I LOVE science. I know this year I find myself applying so much of what I learn to my everyday life, and I think this is happening because of the teaching style. So to answer your question, I would explain the information, which may mean giving notes, and then help my students apply it to the world, look at the bigger idea, and have a more hands on approach. Therefore, a verity of styles of learning could be presented to help all different types of learners learn.

ParkerH said...

Thank you so much Tim, and Sean, and Sylvia for blogging with us.

Tylerg! said...

bye

ZachH said...

I agree Cate-I don't think CSAP tests will ever go away. Everyone needs to know that students are learning and teachers are teaching. I think the test should be more open ended so students can really show how much they know. Right now, the state test is very specific and single minded. An open ended essay or some way to really show you know the material you are supposed to know would be good. I realize CSAP is supposed to test what we are supposed to know but teachers may teach it differently or in a different order than the state expects.

Tim said...

matt - no, although I've seen teachers use songs to get kids to memorize stuff. :-) the curriculum I'm thinking of related the patterns in music to the patterns in Algebra. The class actually learned to play some instruments as they learned the math.

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