November 24, 2006

Meet the New Calculator


According to this article, educators have started using i-pods to read text to "leaning disabled" kids.

You won't believe the caption of this photo. No, really you won't:

Tiler Jones, 12, listens to an iPod while taking a reading skills test at Louisa-Muscatine Elementary School near Letts.

A reading skills test.

A reading skills test.

Tiler is listening to his reading test on the i-pod so his reading skills can be accessed. Shouldn't they call it a listening skills test?

Now that calculators are being relied upon by educators to obviate the need for teaching math calculation, how much longer will it be until we hear the same excuse for allowing the i-pod to be used to eliminate the need to teach reading.

Unbelievable.

4 comments:

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

I see this as another example of the redefinition of words in edland. In edland, words don't mean the same thing they mean to everybody else. Educationese is mainly parasitic.

In the case of "reading" what matters is what educationists mean by comprehension. Comprehension, of course, is the object of reading. But for educationists, comprehension is constrained by a set of "strategies". Someone could be a fluent reader, have an idea of what he is reading and still fail the battery of strategies. Reading then becomes this all-consuming Moloch, the black hole of education.

[Lets see if this gets through this time after many attempts. The new blogger suffers from amnesia. One moment it remembers you, the next moment it is making a new friend]

allen said...

If it doesn't matter whether the kids learn, why should it matter how they're taught?

Catherine Johnson said...

The reading skills tests all include "listening comprehension" subscales now.

At least, the tests here do.

I've been trying to find out whether Christopher's lower score on last year's ELA was on the listening test, in which case I'm not concerned.

He did badly on "listening" in 5th grade, too.

According to his teachers he listens well in class, which is all I care about.