Tag Archives: value

NAPLAN — and why parents should LOVE it!

Yes, the controversy rages on!

But, the TRUE (but often-hidden) values of NAPLAN are often ignored.

Value 1: NAPLAN gives at least SOME structure to a curriculum that, at the very least, leaves much to be desired. It actually suggests standards at which students at Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 should, or could, or maybe are within arms reach of, attaining in the areas of Maths, English, spelling, grammar and written expression. Yes, admittedly it’s only a “suggestion”, a “hint” if you like. But at least it’s SOMETHING!

Value 2: NAPLAN gives a simple, straight-forward, one-page report. Big on graphics, small on text. Not that 15-page mumbo-jumbo, copy and pasted school report that numbs the imagination and provides little in the way of factual reporting on student progress. Now, no-one should be mislead into believing everything showing on the NAPLAN student report sheet. But, by golly, it’s a good start for parents to check it out, and then ask some truly meaningful questions of teachers and school.

Value 3: School comparisons. Some of us are not too sure of the value of the ranking of schools in accordance with NAPLAN results. So many variables, so many value-related implications!

So, there it is. A defence, sort of, of the TRUE VALUE of NAPLAN testing, from one who sits on the edge of the world of schools and observes parents, teachers and students as they prepare for the 2015 week of NAPLAN.

Have a good one!

New Technology — What Parents and Teachers Should Be Buying

What’s a parent, or a professional person, to do in an age of ever-changing technology?

We have MP3 players, mobile phones, laptops, big tablets, small tablets and 2 in 1 computers. How can a parent decide wisely on the technology in which to invest?

Well, the good news is that parents don’t have to decide that alone.

Recent advice via the electronic media suggests that maybe, just maybe, it won’t be quite as difficult as it seems.

A major “silicone valley” manufacturer, and a major software developer, have together recently (December, 2014) suggested the following as guidelines:

1. For the early learners in our primary schools (and maybe even pre-schoolers!), the advice is that a tablet, or a 2 in 1 computer, could be the go. This allows for a large screen size in both cases, but the 2 in 1 offers the increased flexibility for a family of a laptop at no extra cost.

2. For the creative users — publishing, videoing, music, creative arts — the more expensive, but highly powerful ultrabook is the professional suggestion. In wide use in the advertising and publishing and media industries, the software available for these machines is second to none.

3. More technical (and in a sense more basic) users would be best served by a powerful laptop computer. those involved in software development, IT, business studies or science/mathematical areas of the curriculum would do well to follow this recommendation (especially as prices for laptops have come down amazingly in the past few years).

4. And for those academics, teachers, researchers, ambitious senior students and anyone else who hasn’t quite decided which form of technology to invest in for the next few years, the advice is to “go with the 2 in 1”. The flexibility of tablet and laptop combined into one unit has so much to offer the thinking person.

So, there it is. That’s the recommendation from the experts.

But, what would they know? Do you agree with them?

The new school year is just around the corner here in Australia, so school stationery and equipment purchases are imminent. Good luck with that!

Let’s know what you think of their recommendations. Helpful, misleading or just plain crap?