Mutton Dressed as Lamb: Why Writing Exams on iPads is a Mistake

18 Jun

Ideas Out There

In a recent post on Facebook, a well-known girls’ school in Johannesburg pronounced that, for the first time in the school’s 127 year history, the girls were writing exams on their iPads.

While this certainly speaks to a big upswing in the integration of technology in South Africa, and I would be the first to congratulate St Mary’s on experimenting so bravely, I do wonder if there is not something deeply wrong with writing exams on iPads. Specifically, if we acknowledge the potential that using personal tablets has for changing the very nature of assessments themselves (into more personalized, student-centered and diversified artifacts of learning and understanding), then we must also acknowledge that using iPads to write standardized examinations is a mistake.

Unfortunately, I have no information on what this exam was like. It may well have been a deeply individualized assessment wherein the young ladies were allowed to use…

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Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Uncategorized


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