Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Professional Discourtesy

As I mentioned yesterday, our district is adopting a new grade book application. This one is designed to be seamlessly integrated with our student information system, which on the surface seems to be handy and, with any luck, labor-saving for those of us working directly with students. In order to prepare for the big roll out, teachers were required to enroll either in a face to face training or an online course to introduce us to our new tool.

Technically, people can get the training next week when we're contractually back to work, but that pre-service week is pretty busy, and so we were encouraged to do this over the summer, strongly encouraged, because they couldn't require us since they weren't paying us. Having a plan to meet this requirement was one of the things we had to do before we could "check out" at the end of the year in June. My plan was to take the online course, and I put my plan off until today.

To be honest? It's miraculous that I did it this far (4 days) in advance of the deadline, but I was putting something else off, and this seemed like a good way to do it.

Unfortunately, the class was excruciating. There were 13 modules, each with step-by-step directions and a video which was actually a narration of those same directions. There were four 2-question quizzes and a 7-question final test at the end. There was no hands on practice or other practical application and my brain was numb 30 seconds into it.

Perhaps if I could have accessed my new grade book, or a new grade book and played around with it a bit, these lessons would have seemed more meaningful. It was yet another example of adult learners being bludgeoned by some of the worst practices in education. Why do we do that to ourselves? It seems comparable to doctors treating each other with leeches. Oh wait, they don't do that. They use their best technology and efforts on their colleagues.

Don't worry. I aced the class, probably because mind-numbing and rigor rarely go hand in hand.

AND, I'll be sure to make that comment available in the public portal. (If not, you can always just FOIA it.)

No comments:

Post a Comment