Thursday, March 16, 2017

Opt Out 2.0: Adding Tech Concerns to the Conversation – Wrench in the Gears

Opt Out 2.0: Adding Tech Concerns to the Conversation – Wrench in the Gears:

Opt Out 2.0: Adding Tech Concerns to the Conversation

Earlier today I posted the following comment on Diane Ravitch’s March 12 post “Send a Message to Betsy DeVos: Opt Out of Federally Mandated Testing.”
I second Former Teacher’s comments regarding the damage interim assessments are doing to the educational process. Opt Out can no longer simply be focused on end of year testing. It MUST expand to address student data-mining that takes place throughout the school year via interim assessments as well as use of adaptive learning management systems that “learn” our children. These programs disempower both students AND teachers, putting the educational process in the hands of AI algorithms.
Resist data collection at all levels, including (especially) surveys and games that gather non-academic, social-emotional competencies. End of year opt out is a valuable access point for parents, but it is up to teachers and long-term activists to begin to expand the conversation. The time to do this is now! The Learning Accelerator and Education elements just released an updated communications plan with step-by-step instructions on how to sell “personalized” (digital) learning to community members.
We must not waste this opportunity to begin introducing the dangers of blended learning into the opt out conversation.
I shared it a few places online and received feedback that it is becoming increasingly difficult to opt out of the many online curriculum and 1:1 programs being imposed. My response was that while it may not be realistic to opt out without leaving public education entirely (which is not something I advocate), we must resist. We need to begin to have conversations about the role of technology in our schools, and we need to do it sooner rather than later. Each person who shares this concern should be actively seeking out opportunities to spark conversations about technology, educational surveillance, and what it means to prioritize devices and data over human interaction. To that end, I am heading out in a few hours to share the testimony below with the Philadelphia School Reform Commission. We don’t have an elected school board, being under Opt Out 2.0: Adding Tech Concerns to the Conversation – Wrench in the Gears:

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