Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Ticking GED Timebomb

I used one of those pre-fab widgets to create a countdown to the new GED test over on the sidebar (I know it doesn't quite fit right). Maybe I'm just so anxious that I have to spread that feeling to everyone else, but this new test is the elephant in the room for so many adult educators. We've been though so much with the old test. It's gonna be hard to say goodbye to those five tests (that were really just one big reading and critical thinking test). So, we need to talk about it, plan for it, workshop it, unpack it, and generally reorient our whole system of ABE/GED instruction because of it. That last bit is more than I want to talk about in this post, but let's see where the conversation goes (that means, I really want you to comment. But first please click play on this blog's soundtrack).

Recently, I was thinking about the nifty feature on a student's GED Academy "homeroom"  where they set their GED testing goal on a calendar, and it starts a countdown.  It serves as a gentle reminder. It helps them organize their short-term goals and prompts them to look for benchmarking opportunities. And, it adds a little pressure to do the work to be prepared when the time comes.  How does our system of adult education measure up in that regard? Are we making preparations for computer-based testing? What does that look like where you are?  How about the  digital literacy to actually be successful using computer-based instruction? (talking both learners AND teachers here) Where does distance education fit in? Still just for the select few, or will blended learning be the new managed enrollment? Aren't you going to miss those obligatory five-paragraph essays? (I'm not) And most urgent of all, how are we going to accelerate our learners' progress to pass the 2002 series GED test in the meantime?  We've got to do it in a way that simultaneously prepares our system for the 2014 test.

Readers, I look forward to your contributions and to responding with more of my own ideas.


  1. Oh, my, looks like the readers *are* out for summer.

    It got quiet enough here for me to cruise my bookmarks and drop in to blogs I hadn't seen in a while.

    Have you heard about the mtt2k khan-test, per ?

    Happily, it has evolved from "make a video laughing at the Khan Academy" to "critique the Khan Academy and come up with something better!"

    I'm working on my entry ... and can probably do more than one... would be interesting to compare a Khan topic to a GED Academy one with a rubric of "what we think is worth grading" (things like: make relevant connection, connect to prior knowledge, explain what the symbols and terms mean...)

  2. I've actually been thinking of a Celebrity Death Match (remember that clay-mation flash in the pan?) between Sal Khan and GED Academy's virtual teacher, Leonard Williams. Leonard is flash animated, so he'd have to be super-imposed into the clay-mation cage. Sal would probably win by swinging his light board and magic pen like nun-chucks, but Leonard would play it off, just like he does with his students' eccentric antics. Ya know, typical summer fare in the summer doldrums of adult ed.


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