17 September 2009

Kickin' It Old School

I've been on the hunt recently for high-quality examples of assessments and rubrics for educational technology. So far, these items appear to be as rare as "ghosts, goblins, virgins, and other mythical creatures." I've found several multiple-choice tests for tech literacy. Yawn. It's far more amusing to find examples of assessments past their expiration date.

Consider Exhibits A and B (shown below) from Standard 5 of the Math, Science, and Technology curriculum from New York. But before we get there, note the cautionary tale posted on the website:
Some of the learning experiences sections are very graphically intensive in order to show the detail of student work. As an example, the 28 Learning Standards file (1310K) took 10.5 minutes to download on a 486/66 PC using a 28.8 modem and Windows 3.11. It took 35 minutes to print on a Canon 600 InkJet printer. It took less than 5 minutes on a laser printer. Your experiences may vary. If you have lower end equipment, your experience will be considerably slower. Many older printers with limited graphics capabilities may not be able to print these sections. Other printers may run out of memory. You may be able to get around this by printing in smaller pieces.
Yes, friends...these tech lessons/targets/assessments are brought to you fresh from the year 1996. They are vintage tasks. Antiques, as it were.

So, assuming that you've dusted off your 2880 baud modem...here are a couple of things for your students to do.

I got the giggles with this one. A coworker was convinced the book title was "Moose Code," until I corrected her. Is that a walkie talkie I see in the top set of, um, art? And keyboard keys attempting to escape the tech ghetto they're in? Why is there a ballpoint pen in the same set as the bongos? Do you think the floppy disk bay in the computer is for a 3.5" disk...or is really old school and awaiting a 5.25" version? I love the lines around the clip art. Somebody really did physically cut and paste these pictures. (Wonder if the images are/were copyright-free?)

But the best was yet to come:

If you can't read the task (and don't want to "click to embiggen" the graphic), you're missing the following suggestion: "...design a plan for the construction of a homemade radio speaker for the eight ohm speaker jack on an inexpensive transistor radio or cassette recorder."

We have a veritable museum of technology options.

Hey, I understand that websites have a tendency to grow beyond their original borders. It's easy to forget what pages are live and the paths they take. There's probably a lot of information from 1996 still floating around on state department of education websites.

But do you see what I see in the bottom right corner of the page? It says "Last Updated: May 27, 2009." Someone looked at this a few months ago and considered it current enough to keep. Does this mean these standards and assessments are still in use? Please, NY, please tell me you have something less than 13 years old for 13-year olds to work with...something a bit less old school.

1 comment:

Clix said...

I wonder if a tabletop stereo uses an 8-ohm speaker jack...

*nudge* Will you submit this for next week's carnival? The images are just PRICELESS. I love the cut-and-paste lines!