Informed Choice and the Audrey Test
As I wrote a few days ago, I asked Audrey Watters to put together a "Joel test" to assess how much someone technical knew about education. She has now posted her response; if I were grading it, I'd say, "Exceeds expectations," because what she has done is explain why a simple 12-point yes-or-no test wouldn't be enough:
What you do with your code or your content or your users' data—while incredibly important—is only be part of what I "test." ... If I were to really formalize such [test], I think it would also have to involve what you know, what you think about education, about teaching, about learning, about politics and theory and practice—its history, its present, its future.
A few questions are US-centric, but I'm sure it would be easy to swap in Canadian (or British, or Estonian) acronyms for FERPA and the like. What they're all triangulating, I think, comes down to one crucial question:
Do you know what's been done before, or are you a (willing, and possibly even proud) victim of ed-tech amnesia?
I can answer about two thirds of Audrey's questions; I think that missing third is another reason why my P2PU course on teaching free-range learners fizzled. On the upside, her questions present me with a wonderful learning opportunity :-)
So how about you? How much do you know about where we are, how we got here, what's worked in the past, and what mistakes we don't need to make again?
Later: one of the first comments on Audrey's post said, "All the other questions are in my opinion irrelevant except the last two. No one but the 'experts' care about all that." (By "other", the poster meant everything except "what is the purpose of education?" and "what is the purpose of educational technology?".) When someone says that, what I hear is, "I'm going to choose various options without realizing (or without acknowledging) that there were alternatives." That's the best way I can think of to perpetuate the status quo.
Still later: Dan Hickey's post "Some Things About Assessment Badge Developers Might Find Helpful" (and the longer version here) are useful reading as well. I have a lot of catching up to do...