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Are we testing "technology use" and applying various research skills? If not...then the answer is "NO!" Might it be worthwhile to test those skills? In the beginning of the 21st Century, "YES!" The basic skills we are generally testing are generally basic skills. We need to assess those as real skills, still necessary in the 21st Century. We don't need to know if a student's sister knows the end of the story and that his friend knows the quadratic equation. Is access to various forms of technology an issue? "MAYBE...!" That will probably be the topic of another survey....
It seems to me that technology is more useful for the teacher and not allowable for the student on the lower levels of learning in Blooms taxonomy, and technology is more useful for the student and not as useful for the teacher in the higher levels of learning in Blooms taxonomy. I think that students use of technology during tests depends on the level of learning to be assessed.
First , we must define "technology". Are we talking informational technology; i.e. computers,IPods, cells,etc? Technology started way before any of these and is far broader. If a student is performing a skills test on a CNC mill, for example, obviously the "technology" (CNC mill and operating software) is necessary.Or if a student has to demonstrate the power multiplication of simple machines, that, too, is a use of "technology". To many people(educators included) believe that technology was invented by IBM, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs,etal!
Another thing to consider is that students with limited financial resources might be disadvantaged (even further) because they lack experience and/or familiarity with the technology. On the other hand, that might push schools to make technology education a bigger priority.
The questions really do not define the type of testing that is being done. If it is to see what students have learned in language arts for example, using technology is inappropiate. If the test is "open book" technology is certainly part of the deal. If you are trying to determine your students' technology skills then technology access is needed, It really depends on what you are testing for. It most certainly is not an either/or decision.
Shafeen, I think you're absolutely right. The choices are poorly phrased. The concept of using ALL the resources available to solve a problem is inherently a good one. Knowing HOW to find answers helps the group or individual spend more time on thinking through just what the problem is that they are trying to solve.
Now if they were on Jeopardy, perhaps not, but how often does that situation occur in our student's lives once they leave the classroom, or in their work lives once they leave the education system?
For what world are we preparing our students?
I think your choices are wrong. The choice I would have picked is: do we need to rethink the concept of learning (and testing) and bias towards deeper analytic skills, problem determination, analysis and solving skills, cause and effect, etc., etc., vs. rote memorization.
Having been a part of the post-school world for a few years now, I can tell you that in my experience, knowing memorized facts does little or nothing for me or my ability to more effectively to work/contribute to society/etc.
I think that students should be allowed to use technology to take test and exams. The future is technology and knowing how to access and use the information. When the students graduate from school and join the "real" world, they will no longer be asked to recall information or do math calculations in their heads. Look around, everywhere we go from the gas stations to the fast food restaurants, its technology driven.