The Leyden team welcomed us to the Leyden Symposium in the auditorium this morning and offered us an overview of their Digital Evolution. To find out a bit about ourselves we answered questions on Kahoot. The keynote speaker Dean Shareski, Community Manager for Discovery Education Canada, spoke on the topic of Is Joy Still a Thing? Do you use the term “rigor” when talking about education? Have you looked at the definition of rigor? Are we going through a time of “The Cult of Rigor and the Loss of Joy“, as suggested by Alfie Kohn? With so much food for thought in the morning session I decided to attend Dean’s afternoon session too.
Dean introduced us to his Assessment Heroes in his talk called Let’s Get Serious About Assessment. Tests are to Learning as Weight is to Health, i.e., testing is one method of measuring learning just as how much you weigh might be one indication as to the state of your health. Dean doesn’t care too much about his own children’s grades. What he asks them when they show him a grade is, “so what did you learn?” Assessment should not be a spreadsheet, but a conversation. He uses Evernote to record messages about the work his own adult students are sending him. They say they like it because he often records his messages right on his device while he is out walking. They enjoy hearing the surrounding sounds such as trains going by as it makes them feel a bit closer to him somehow.
Katie Aquino from Hinsdale South High School told us in her morning session, Google Super Tools, how she likes to make voice comments on Google Documents (and it also works with Google presentations) using Kaizena and what I like about it is that you can add more than one comment. For instance, you might highlight something in the first paragraph and make a Kaizena voice comment, and then add another comment further along in the document. Katie included lots of tools in her fast-paced and interesting session. Most of them were familiar to me, although I learned about new ones (to me) such as Show Me What’s Wrong from ScreencastoMatic. A super session.
I’m not sure I laughed 300 times (see slide 25) a day today, but I laughed more than usual and smiled a lot and you can bet that I am looking forward to day two at Leyden, and not just because the famed gelato truck is visiting. Thanks to the Leyden team for making the day possible.