Carl Bereiter, in his great work Education and Mind in the knowledge Age, provides a lucid metaphor to illustrate how our thinking about assessing learning needs to in our Digital world. Before the era of great Greek sculptors, the criteria for determining the artistic merit of a work was how “human” or “life-like” it looked. Observing the primitive or stiff figures of earlier eras shows that this criterion was useful. Regard the formal features and rigid form of the early Greek girl or Kore. Click on the image below or here to view a larger file.
But for the Greek masters, such mimicry was easy, their challenge was to capture the essence of moments, emotions and an individual’s character. Laocoon, he and his sons tortured by snakes, show anguish in rippling muscles, pulsing veins, the arch of his head. Click on the image below or here to view a larger file.
How can education validate significant student learning in our Digital Era?
In a world of limited information, “knowing the facts” was a good criterion for learning. But with our era’s easy access to an exponentially expanding body of knowledge, assessing student learning through products that can be copy and pasted from the Web makes little sense.
Extra References (explore for fun)
Here is a (wide!) range of productions by young people. Do they suggest any criteria for merit or lack of merit in digital productions?
- 6th Grader Tom Suarez at TED on App Developing
- The Scale of the Universe – “The Scale Of The Universe 2″ Animation Made By 14-Year-Olds Is Mind Blowing
- Brittany Wenger, 17, Wins Google Science Fair Grand Prize For Breast Cancer Diagnosis App
- WWDC 2012: The World’s Youngest App Developers
- 16-year-old UK teen creates popular Summly app
- Blake Ross – developer of Firefox - Wikipedia and Time Magazine article and this one on The Firefox Kid
- Schoolgirls rumble Ribena vitamin claims - UK Guardian
- PodKids Australia - Interview the Prime Minister