Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

January 13, 2010

How should standardized testing evolve to reflect digital elements & 21st Century skills?

1-12-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Yesterday’s topic certainly hit a spot with many ideas, aspirations, gripes and visions being shared! There was  consensus on the need for any testing to be valid and in the interests of the student. Beyond this ideas ranged from scrapping tests altogether to putting up and shutting up!

Here are some of the main themes which came through.

  • Should standardised testing continue at all?
  • Testing needs to be more diverse and dynamic to reflect our students.
  • Testing should be computer-based, online and use more tech tools making sure students are actually able to use these effectively.
  • Do we need to be involved in the testing question at all? Is it a national/regional issue?
  • Testing must reflect life in the 21st century. It needs to take into account the tech-driven society we are.
  • The need to collect data mitigates against any real change.
  • Cost implications and public accountability dictate the form of testing.
  • Continuous and classroom-based testing seem more valid.
  • Maybe we need to re-evaluate what we evaluate – this spills over into a larger questions about re-defining what we teach and how we educate.
  • The focus must be on learning not testing and grades.

Here are some of the comments:

MissCheska  21st century skills = collaboration, interpersonal and communication skills, ability to do basic skills dealing with technology #edchat 

andycinek standardized testing should become as diverse and dynamic as our learners. Most tests are still created with a myopic vision #edchat 

cybraryman1  It goes without saying that we have to prepare our students for life in the 21st Century so tests should reflect that. #edchat 

akamrt  I hope this doesn’t come off as snarky, but why should we involve ourselves in maintaining the testing culture? 

raffelsol    If we have to teach via multiple disciplines, why aren’t tests given in the same fashion? #edchat 

jgmac1106  One of the major reasons tech is described as fad is because no gain scores on stand tests. Tests not sensitive to 21st skills #edchat 

bedellj  @akamrt I don’t think most want to maintain testing, but gov. force us, so how can we improve what we’re stuck with? #edchat 

ctuckness  media literacy would be measurable in stand. tests #edchat 

Parentella   How can we expect out children to use tech IRL but refuse to educate them or test their knowledge? #edchat –AH 

andycinek  21st cntry tests need to move beyond the shaded circle and offer variety, however we are stuck in a system that loves bubbled data #edchat 

PearsonLongman And the public will always need over-simplified metrics to understand how its $$ is being spent @haretek #edchat 

elanaleoni  I’m wondering how many out there have seen classroom-based assessment programs work? #edchat Washington recently had some wins with it. 

weemooseus Interesting that most quality focused businesses have done away w/testing, creates more defects than it solves #edchat 

twoodwar  worries me that people seem to think the focus of our ed system should be on creating “workers” #edchat 

ShellTerrell  RT @franze98: to play devils advocate here, most kids know more about cell phones than the teachers i work with #edchat 

raffelsol: One problem with using tech to test is that things move so fast when something is developed, it is outdated.  

rachelala   Is standardised testing reductive ? Is security against ‘cheating’ the priority , whereas ‘cheats’ are a knowledge-share in C21? 

akamrt  @cybraryman1 #edchat We can’t keep saying we are preparing stus for a future we can’t know & then > 

mattguthrie  accountability should not be regurgitation of factoids (current system) #edchat 

olafelch   @twoodwar Education still has to serve future employers. It doesn’t help an educated kid if he can’t get a job. #edchat 

elanaleoni   Standard. testing doesn’t even come close to measuring collaborative skills <– a necc. 21st cent skill.  

juleach  RT @jgmac1106: I also fear state assessments moving online and states saying we measure 21st c. skills. they take test on computers #edchat 

@irasocol: @DrGarcia Why (example) must I write a thesis? Don’t I prove my research and knowledge base daily on line? #edchat

DrGarcia  Iron Educator lighting it up! RT @irasocol: “required knowledge” is a real thing. “Standardized testing” is fraternity hazing #edchat 

ITLynda emphasis shouldn’t be on the paper test; should be about finding out where the students are so we can meet them there #edchat 

Boundstaffpres The fractured curriculum we have plays well w/ stand testing. Put it   back together & u end the need for stand tst 

angelbrady  Is the standardized testing itself boring? Will tech solve it? Don’t we need standards to see where students are in learning? #edchat 

@scottac87 A hindrance to addressing ISTE-S comes from above. It’s hard to deal with digital citizenship when much is blocked. #edchat 

passandr  @karimderrick One of the huge problems is cost. Testing must be cost efficient or it becomes impossible. Unfortunately. #edchat 

@bedellj  I used online portfolios in college. Perhaps it is time that states begin using a similar system? #edchat

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here

Some useful links were shared – here they are!

1 hashtag helps #educators change their schools: http://bit.ly/8Lrb1D

@rliberni Maybe not too narrow, but different in focus. See the Denmark experiment http://bit.ly/79xwCD

everything needs to change – change instruction so they have to change testing http://bit.ly/7LYhEo 

Parthcawl Primary School’s taken non C21 assesssment http://bit.ly/879Ulu 

An interesting article on grading in the digital age http://bit.ly/1LoKW2 

Here’s a graphic I’ve found helpful when talking about 21st century skills. http://bit.ly/59lBuw

prob is partially non-educators making policy http://bit.ly/4Qfsej | yes, we need 360 input but we have none #edchat

See UK project e-scape where structured portfolio. assess. measures creativity & innovation #edchat http://bit.ly/749SOt

this is our shot http://bit.ly/i9pvc

@bedellj #edchat My response to ur stud convo process http://tweetphoto.com/8581686

RT @ShellTerrell Some skills lacking in schools, make sure your students connected http://bit.ly/3qaLgl

Some assessment thoughts (not specific to stand testing, but may be relevant to discussion) http://is.gd/5OnPp   http://is.gd/5z9lA

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

What do you think about standardised testing? Leave a comment!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom Whitby, etalbert, Shelly S Terrell, Berni Wall, Carol Tonhauser and others. Carol Tonhauser said: RT @rliberni Summary: How should standardized testing evolve to reflect digital elements & 21st c skills?: http://wp.me/ptGdh-gU #edchat […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention How should standardized testing evolve to reflect digital elements & 21st Century skills? « Rliberni’s Blog -- Topsy.com — January 14, 2010 @ 3:53 am | Reply

  2. Nice to see your summary – thanks! I’ve only attended edchat a few times but found the tweet discussion a bit too disjointed and drawn out for my liking. Thinking about individual nuggets thrown out there is good. I’m convinced that there is a place for standardized testing, but it’s good that (for example) the SAT in the US now has competition in the ACT, which measures very different cognitive skills. Still, the SAT seems to be considered the more “serious” variety, as it measures the skills more traditionally considered essential. Can’t you just see new tasks out there to measure the success of online collaboration? 😉

    Comment by Anne Hodgson — January 19, 2010 @ 10:48 am | Reply

    • Thank you for your comment Anne. As more people participate in edchat it can become somewhat disjointed with several small discussions going on at once – hence the idea of a blog summary. I hope I manage to capture the salient points!
      I think standardised tests won’t go away for many reasons; especially accountabilty and the need to create entry criteria for each stage of the educational process. I do feel, certainly here in the UK, that the shift away from student achievement to organisational/school achievement has in many ways made them irrelevant as an educational tool. We certainly need to re-think this.

      Comment by rliberni — January 19, 2010 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

  3. This was a great #Edchat. I learnt a lot about some of the challenges teachers face and I really am grateful that we have begun a conversation.

    Comment by Aparna Vashisht — February 10, 2010 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Aparna for your comment. It was indeed a very sparky discusson and the beginnings of a conversation that will take us who knows where?

      Comment by rliberni — February 10, 2010 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: