Online Testing: Another Sunny Delight.
First…a statement, or series of statements, about Monday.
With the seventh grade teachers suffering roughly fifty percent absences, things went…poorly. The morning wasn’t too bad, but as the student population realized that a significant portion of teachers were not present…rapid degeneration occurred. Some high points: I met a probation officer, who services a few of our students, I went downstairs to lose my temper at an entire row of classes who were so loud that they could be heard in another building, truancy jumped to almost one third of one of my classes, and a teacher left early with an “emergency”…which was being fed up with the madness. A student who has been underserved finally got the ball rolling, and there was an apology note in my box from an out of classroom person who has yet to learn how to use a computer, much less our cumbersome MISIS system.
At the end of the day, administration, who hadn’t been seen by me all day, said, “Quiet day, huh?” Completely missing the roving bands of Haters, and other madness. I left school as soon as I was able.
Now…testing is officially upon us. Teachers were supposed to give a preparatory lesson beforehand, at least in English class. I have no idea how many of the other teachers made that happen…I know that my neighboring teacher did so, and I did so. i do not see what impact the lesson will have on the students’ ability to excel…but I did my part.
The actual testing will be done using the iPads, which are not all that efficient a method of doing so. There was an issue with the version number of the OS last week, and the version number of the Secure Testing App. These seem to be resolved, but it remains to be seen whether teachers can successfully open individual testing sessions, or whether the students can successfully log on. I logged onto the system Monday, to see how it would react, and had two FAIL responses before it let me in. I have no idea how substitute teachers are supposed to deal with this, lacking the necessary accounts.
There is, of course, always the ever present spectre of bandwidth as well.
In short…my expectation is a technological rampage like the one displayed above. A computerized backlash, an uprising that will hold my students, and their ability to test, hostage like the angry Decepticons depicted. It seemed like I would certainly need the GI Joes to be depicted as well…being from the 80’s…and also government employees like teachers. In an event of technological terror like that in the illustration, they WOULD be called out…they did open every episode describing the GI Joe team as a crack organization…”its purpose: to defend human freedom against COBRA, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world!” I’m thinking they could be reassigned to fight insane robots.
If you haven’t read Tom Scioli’s “Transformers vs. GI Joe”…a big part of the visual inspiration here…you should. It is MENTAL. They let the creative team do what they wanted with both licenses, to create an amazingly creative, offbeat, and different story. That was a side note.
You see how Pony and the protagonist are walking off, not looking back, even though General Flagg is whining? That’s because cool people don’t look at explosions, they just turn their backs, and they walk away. There’s the implication here that this train wreck of an event was somehow caused by Flagg and his team, and the Rascals want no part of it.
Just like I want no part of online testing.
Today is Day One…the week will be dominated by testing, and an absurd, hard to understand schedule that promotes truancy and other issues. Should be exciting and frustrating at the same time, True Believers.