Bài trắc nghiệm tiếng anh 10, unit 4: special education

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At an event last year in Uruguay for policymakers from around the world, a few experts who have worked in the field of technology use in education for a long time commented that there was, in their opinion và in contrast to their experiences even a few years ago, a surprising amount of consensus among the people gathered together on what was really important, what wasn"t, and on ways lớn proceed (and not to proceed). Over the past two years, I have increasingly made the same bình luận to myself when involved in similar discussions in other parts of the world. At one level, this has been a welcome development. People who work with the use of ICTs in education tend khổng lồ be a highly connected bunch, và the diffusion of better (cheaper, faster) connectivity has helped to lớn ensure that "good practices và ideas" are shared with greater velocity than perhaps ever before. Even some groups & people associated with the "give kids computers, expect magic khổng lồ happen" philosophy appear to have had some of their more extreme views tempered in recent years by the reality of actually trying khổng lồ put this philosophy into practice.

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That said, the fact that "everyone agrees about most everything" isn"t always such a good thing. Divergent opinions và voices are important, if only to lớn help us reconsider why we believe what we believe. (They are also important because they might actually be right, of course, và all of the rest of us wrong, but that"s another matter!) Even where there is an emerging consensus among leading thinkers và practitioners about what is critically important, this doesn"t mean that what is actually being done reflects this consensus -- or indeed, that this consensus "expert" opinion is relevant in all contexts.

An EduTech blog post from last year, for example, identified a dilemma faced by many Caribbean countries: They are putting lots of computers into schools. Consistent with what is considered "best practice" from around the world, policymakers in the region recognize that providing more training and tư vấn for teachers is crucial if the investments in technology are to lớn have real impact. But if teachers are better trained, many may emigrate in tìm kiếm of better paying teaching jobs in other countries. If this is the case, what is a policymaker lớn do?Examples lượt thích this vì tend lớn complicate some of the "expert" opinion that is congealing into conventional wisdom. ("When my information changes, I change my opinion. What vày you do, Sir?" famously asked economist John Meynard Keynes.)

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The comments below are adapted from a presentation I put together for senior policymakers in a developing country who have high level oversight of the use of giải pháp công nghệ in thousands of schools. Complemented by a separate discussion about "worst practices" in ICT use in education, there were meant to be provocative, và to serve as a springboard for subsequent discussion & debate. They may or may not be useful or relevant lớn the people who read this blog (especially those with a lot of experience using ICTs in schools over many years), but I thought they potentially were relevant to the group with which I was speaking. Lớn the extent that they might be of any interest to others, here are:

Ten things about computer use in schoolsthat you don"t want to hear(but I"ll say them anyway)

1. Computer labs are a bad idea

In most places I visit, putting all (or most) of a school"s computers into a special "computer lab" is seen as the obvious thing to bởi when a school is being "computerized". This may seem obvious ... But is it really a good idea?

The trend in industrialized countries has largely been away from computer lab-centric models for educational technologies. One reason for this is quite practical -- the computer labs are already full of computers, and if you want to buy more of them, you need khổng lồ put them in other places. Fair enough. There is also a recognition, however, that if you want computers & other ICTs to contribute directly to impacting the learning process in bộ vi xử lý core subjects, you need lớn put them where core subjects are being taught -- lượt thích in the classroom. The move toward 1-to-1 computing, where each student (and/or teacher) has her own dedicated laptop, can be seen in some ways as a further extension of this belief.

This is not khổng lồ say that school computer labs are a bad idea. Or, for that matter, that they are a good idea. Rather, it is khổng lồ argue that, where the decision is made lớn invest in them, it should be for the right reasons -- và not just because "that"s what everyone else seems khổng lồ be doing (or did in the past), so we should bởi it too".

2. ICT literacy classes are a bad idea

Why bởi you need to put computers in schools? So that kids can "learn how to use computers". How vị kids best learn how to lớn use computers? By deliberately being taught their basic functions as part of a special "computer class". Right?

Some people don"t think so, and contend that using ICTs primarily to build "ICT literacy" tends to crowd out other educational uses of the technologies, and that desires to lớn develop skills that conform to lớn narrow definitions of "ICT literacy" (i.e. Basically the mechanical stuff -- opening a document, word processing, etc.) can often be met by utilizing ICTs in other ways. Might it be better, they ask, lớn help students develop their "computer skills" as a natural by-product of ICT use as part of other learning activities than khổng lồ "teach" them, for example, how an operating system works & how lớn use basic office productivity applications? Of course local context is important here: What works in one place (or time) in this regard may not work so well in another. This is not khổng lồ say that vocational computer-related instruction is a waste of time. Certainly not! (Although it may be worth asking what extent basic "computer courses" are really appropriate in places where likely usage scenarios for ICTs going forward vày not involve someone sitting at a desk, but rather using a sản phẩm điện thoại phone or -- soon -- a tablet device.) Nor is it meant khổng lồ imply that children vày not need khổng lồ learn how lớn perform basic tasks with a computer. But there is more than one way to accomplish the task of making students "ICT literate".

3. Don"t expect kiểm tra scores lớn improve

Most "research" studies I receive from vendors tout a marked, immediate positive impact on test scores as a result of their hàng hóa or service. Precious few of these, at least in my experience, stand up khổng lồ much scrutiny.

(Quick side cảnh báo to vendors: I look at the methodologies used by your researchers before paying any attention lớn your conclusions. The more xuất hiện you are about how you have come to your conclusions, and what the limitations of your reasoning may be, the more interested I will become.)

While acknowledging that there are some good studies out there that bởi show a (modest) improvement in test scores as a result of computer use in schools, I don"t think much has changed since infoDev"s Knowledge bản đồ on ICT use in education contended that "impact of ICT use on student achievement remains ... Open to much reasonable debate".

My goal here isn"t to revisit or summarize the "reasonable debates" in this area. Instead, I would like to turn things around for a second. Where there has been compelling evidence of improvement in chạy thử scores, it may be worth asking: Are these bad tests? We have known for decades how useful "computer-aided instruction" can be in promoting the rote memorization of facts. "Drill & kill" is the derisive term some use lớn describe the use of computers as little more than digital flash cards. In some cases, the use of "drill và kill" educational software may indeed be the most "effective" use of ICTs in schools, especially where rote memorization and regurgitation of facts is what is currently tested in national assessments. Just because something is expedient doesn"t mean it is a good idea, however. 

Now, I am not against flash cards per se -- they certainly have their utility in some instances & contexts. (When I was learning Chinese I found them invaluable when trying to recognize common characters, for example, and three minutes using simple flash thẻ mathematics apps on my phone with my son can serve as a useful diagnostic, providing me with quick insight into what concepts he may be having trouble with.) That said, essentially building an entire (expensive) roll-out of educational technology around the use of high tech flash cards ... Well, that seems lớn me to lớn be missing most of the potential nguồn of what the công nghệ can do. I expect that few people will disagree with what I"ve said here at a conceptual level. That said, I challenge you to look at how computers are actually being used in your schools.

These days, the rhetoric around computer use in education is often that computers can be used lớn help develop sets of "21st century skills" (variously defined). Few examination systems, however, do a very good job in testing these sorts of skills. If your rationale for putting computers in schools is to develop these sorts of 21st century skills, but your examinations don"t kiểm tra for them, don"t expect kiểm tra scores lớn improve.

(I"ll also cảnh báo parenthetically that, if you are moving more và more of your instructional and learning activities into the "digital realm", but you are still testing your students using traditional pencil & paper exams ... Well, you may also want khổng lồ take a step back và reconsider some things.)

4. What students bởi outside the classroom with technology is more important than what they bởi vì inside it

"Technology is revolutionizing education everywhere but in the classroom" -- so goes a saying quite popular in many education và ICT communities. Just because it may have past into cliche in some circles doesn"t mean that it isn"t true. While a reviews of research about the impact of ICT use in schools on educational outcomes around the world is decidedly mixed, results from the OECD research investigation of New Millennium Learners proposes (while controlling for things like income levels, etc.) interesting correlations between technology use outside of school và impact on learning. We shouldn"t confuse correlation with causation, of course. That said, to what extent are you aware of how students are using technology outside of school, và using this information as an input to your decisions about how it is meant to be used in tư vấn of the formal learning processes in which your schools are engaged? If you are not doing this now, your calibrations for how giải pháp công nghệ is "best" (and most cost effectively) used in schools may well be off the mark. 

5. Digital citizenship & child safety will become an important part of what schools teach

You may say that this something you agree with. Why don"t you want khổng lồ hear this, then? Because few of you are doing it now -- or preparing to vị it in any impactful way.  Yes, in many instances, filters have been installed on school servers khổng lồ keep kids "safe", và laws have been established khổng lồ help "protect kids from online predators", but "keeping kids safe online" is not just about insulating children from threats & vigorously prosecuting those who seek to vì chưng them harm. Schools are particularly well placed to lớn help teach children to better identify and evaluate the various types of risks they may face when going online, và how to giảm giá with them. This is especially true in communities where computers are not available in all homes, but are increasingly lớn be found in schools, connected lớn the Internet. At the same time, the proliferation of sản phẩm điện thoại phones và Internet cafes means that young people are increasingly operating in two separate digital worlds -- that of the controlled environment of (for example) a highly policed school computer lab, where "digital literacy" often means instruction in basic word processing applications, & the "anything goes" context of private mạng internet kiosks & personal di động phones, where the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to lớn navigate through one"s "digital life" are much more difficult khổng lồ acquire. Might education systems have a role to lớn play here beyond teaching basic "computer literacy" & filtering objectionable content?

6. Most kids aren"t "digital natives"

One of the arguments often connected to discussions about công nghệ use in schools is that "children today are digital natives, & schools need to lớn connect lớn them differently as a result".

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Proponents of this line of thinking contend that a new generation of young people have developed a mix of attitudes and skills as a result of their exposure to, & use of, ICTs. While we have all observed (certain groups of) young people as they (for example) quickly explore how a device"s menu"ing system works, how khổng lồ turn on unfamiliar gadget, or "intuitively" discover the rules of the way a particular piece of software or hardware "works" without being so "instructed", we may do well to resist the impulse khổng lồ extrapolate from such observations that all (or even most) children magically know how to lớn use giải pháp công nghệ successfully và ethically in support of their own learning.

While the digital natives hypothesis is compelling in its simplicity, academic research in this area is painting a picture that is much more differentiated và nuanced than popular opinions that, when it comes lớn technology, kids naturally "get it". Quickly learning và demonstrating a mastery of the mechanics of a particular process or use of a given công nghệ (posting to lớn Facebook, for example, or playing a video game one has never seen before) shouldn"t be confused with a mastery of how khổng lồ successfully use various giải pháp công nghệ tools with which young people come into contact in ways that are relevant lớn their own lives và communities.

It is one thing lớn be able lớn "find" a "fact" using a tìm kiếm engine. It is something else entirely khổng lồ find the most relevant facts, and then successfully analyze and evaluate these "facts" và their relevance lớn a particular task at hand, synthesizing this relevance và sharing the results of this processes with other to result in some sort of particular action or response. The first demonstrates familiarity with a particular process, the second forms a fundamental part of many people"s definition of "learning".

7. You will never "catch up" (technological innovations will always outpace your ability to innovate on the policy side)

Education systems are often one of the most conservative institutions in a society. One thing I often hear from policymakers is that they feel "far behind" when it comes to lớn considerations of giải pháp công nghệ use in education. My response lớn this may not be very comforting: You never will catch up, you will always be behind. 

Now, I must admit, this is said a little bit for effect (there are of course many educators who are at the cutting, if not the bleeding, edge of giải pháp công nghệ use), but at a certain point, it might be more useful lớn change your perspective than lớn look back fondly at the "good old days" when technology was not such a continually disruptive force.

I don"t mean this khổng lồ imply that policies (nor the policymaking process, given that the process of consultation around policy formulation can perhaps be as important as the resulting policy that results) related to lớn the use of ICTs in education have no value. Of course they do. Articulating some sort of principle or rule lớn guide decisions (which is a basic definition of what a policy is) is quite important, I think, even in areas that are fast moving, like those related lớn technology. (Some may argue, in fact, that it is *especially* in areas that are fast moving where policy direction can be most helpful in many regards.) While it is important to acknowledge our limitations here, saying we will never catch up doesn"t mean we shouldn"t try -- and the way we frame our policies just might help us as we try to vị so.

(A parenthetical note of caution: In some cases, where education systems have made a bold move khổng lồ be "visionary" & anticipate future trends, they have found that the abilities of some of the most senior officials lớn serve in effect as giải pháp công nghệ prognosticators has, to be charitable, left a little to lớn be desired. Buying into technologies and/or philosophies at scale that are "experimental" -- especially those that are closely tied khổng lồ a proprietary standard and/or single organization or vendor -- can leave education systems quite exposed if things vị not work out exactly had been originally envisioned. One of the truisms of investments in công nghệ is that things rarely proceed as neatly as planned.)

8. "Cheating" may well increase

Wherever computers and the mạng internet are introduced into schools for the first time -- whether this in a suburban Canadian school in the 1990s or a rural school in South Asia in the 2010s -- run-of-the-mill "copy-paste plagiarism" invariably sky rockets, & other, more inventive ways khổng lồ cheat are subsequently discovered and put khổng lồ use by students (a process enabled by the willingness of some to freely giới thiệu their related "expertise" via the Internet.) This is an issue that, in my experience working with education officials in high, middle & low income countries alike -- và almost without exception -- grows in importance over time as a preoccupation of policymakers charged with oversight of ICT/education issues within education systems.

9. Like it or not, di động phones (and other thiết bị di động devices lượt thích tablets) are coming (fast)

Yes, "mobile phones" (or whatever you choose to gọi the little handheld devices that have more computing power nguồn than what sat on the desktops in computer labs a generation ago) may not be able to bởi what it is possible to bởi with a PC connected lớn keyboard và large monitor. But they are the technologies that are increaslingy lớn be found in the pockets và pocketbooks of people around the world.

This is not khổng lồ say that students should not have laptops. Nor that they should not have interactive whiteboards, or _____ . The giải pháp công nghệ choice should flow from a consideration of a lot of things (what"s available, what"s affordable, what"s usable, what"s appropriate, và most importantly: what"s relevant for a particular learning or developmental objective). Yes, di động phones may well be "digital distraction devices" today in most classrooms. (Talk khổng lồ a teacher in a room with 30 students with laptops -- she might well say the same thing about those devices, with kids instant messaging each other & sneaking in quick trips to lớn Facebook and kiểm tra sports scores.) That said, educational policymakers who vì not include the use of sản phẩm điện thoại phones and other di động devices lượt thích tablets as part of their future considerations of công nghệ use in education are, in many ways, driving forward by looking in the rear view mirror.

10. _____

I have deliberately left #10 blank as an acknowledgement that there is much more "conventional wisdom" related lớn the use of ICTs in education that could perhaps be challenged. I also do it as an acknowledgement that my knowledge of the specific contexts of technology use in education, and among young people, pales in comparison khổng lồ your knowledge of how ICTs are used in your own country or community. There are a lot more things I could giới thiệu on this topic, but I expect that, given your experience & expertise in this regard, you may wish to nội dung some of them based on your own experience. Please feel không lấy phí to bởi vì so .

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OK, so that"s my list. You may not agree with all of my points. (To be honest, I may not agree with all of them, at least not 100%.) The purpose in presenting them is lớn provoke some different thinking around and approaches to lớn some of these issues discussed. 

Note: The public tên miền image of one of the three monkeys at the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, nhật bản used above ("I don"t want to lớn hear this") was adapted from a picture on Wikimedia Commons taken by Frank "Fg2" Gualtieri.