I am fully committed to continued growth in the area of “edtech”. Here are a few thoughts on my learning from this week.
I worked very hard this week on revising a major project that I use in my class to be a high rated project when scored using the 21CLD rubrics. This experience reminded me how focused and flexible you have to be to get what you think will be a high score using these rubrics.
I say focused because there are many elements of the project that you can miss the mark on if you are not careful. For example, if you describe the roles team members will fill in a project and then let them choose the roles it would seem like you were providing an opportunity for the team to make a substantive decision. After all, they got to pick who would fill each role, right? Nope. According to the 21CLD descriptors, teams must create the roles themselves and then decide who is going to fill them.
Flexibility plays a role when you try and faithfully implement a 21CLD project because you must give up control, at times significant amounts of control, on how teams will approach and complete a project. This opens a teacher up to all kinds of issues; low functioning teams that can’t get much done without more structure, a higher grading load due to a lack of uniformity in the products being evaluated, and more questions from teams who feel a need for more clarity.
For me, the experience of going through the lesson had me thinking about all of these issues. I realize that not every activity or project I do in my class can (or should!) score high on the 21CLD rubrics. The main reason for this is I would literally have to redesign the entire year in all subjects (way to0 time consuming). Other considerations are students actually appreciate completing straightforward, simple assignments at times. I hear about this from my own son, a sophomore in high school, who generally would much rather just prove he knows the content or skill by taking a test than by completing a large, open-ended project. Still, a steady mix of projects that are real-world and purposeful are great motivators for the students and help prepare them for life after school better than 100 worksheets could ever do. So, in the end, I am fully committed to continued improvement and revision of projects I provide my class so that they score better on the 21CLD rubrics.