Monday, November 17, 2008

2008‐2009 ODCTE Test Endorsements

Here is a quick test for you....What do all of the following have in common?

All of these organizations have endorsed our products!

Endorsements from industry organizations indicate that our skills standards and tests play an important role in preparing students for work. We are proud to have their endorsements!

Check out these and other endorsements on the CareerTech Testing Center's

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well-Rounded 2.0

Kaleidoscopic Learning:
An Overview of Integrated Studies Interdisciplinary Learning Develops Real-World, Multifaceted Knowledge.
by Douglas Cruickshank

Most twenty-first-century public schools in the United States are structured pretty much as schools have been since the nineteenth century. And yet real life in America has changed dramatically since that time: We've gone from an agricultural and industrial economy, with the majority of the population living in rural areas, to a hyperfast, dynamic global society centered on the development and exchange of knowledge and information in a multiplicity of forms.

Once, a person might master a certain trade or skill and stick with it for most of his or her life. Today, in the ever-changing world of our information economy, individuals prosper who are fluent in several disciplines and comfortable moving among them, capable of distilling meaning from complexity, and adept at seeing connections where they may not be immediately apparent. Creativity, adaptability, critical reasoning, and collaboration are highly valued, marketable skills. Read the entire article...

Click on the link to read the rest of the article and also learn more about High Tech High and A Field Guide to Success.

This article and video raise some interesting questions that we need to consider as we design curriculum and as we address the assessment of students. Technology is changing the workplace and our students at a faster rate than ever. But the question is how quickly are we changing the educational system for those students to meet the needs of employers? I think the article does a fair job of summarizing a major issue involving the assessment of those students when it states: "The types of tests or findings people use to research student performance tend to primarily be comparative studies that deal with criterion-referenced examinations or standardized examinations based on reading. Most evaluation tools are discipline based. One of the overarching goals of integrated studies is to teach students to be better thinkers. And that's a tough one to measure."

I hope you take a few minutes to read the article, watch the video, and, if you like, tell us what you think. I know there are CareerTech programs that have already incorporated more of an integrated approach and it would be interesting to read your thoughts on the subject!. J.T.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Internet Explorers: Virtual Field Trips Are More Than Just Money Savers

Leave it to George Lucas, of Star Wars fame, but he has created the George Lucas Educational Foundation whose vision is of a new world of learning. "A place where kids and parents, teachers and administrators, policy makers and the people they serve, all are empowered to change education for the better. A place where schools have access to the same invaluable technology as businesses and universities -- where innovation is the rule, not the exception. A place where children become lifelong learners and develop the technical, cultural, and interpersonal skills to succeed in the twenty-first century. A place of inspiration, aspiration, and an urgent belief that improving education improves the world we live in."

"We call this place Edutopia. And we provide not just the vision for this new world of learning but also the leading-edge interactive tools and resources to help make it a reality."

Edutopia has an article entitled: Internet Explorers: Virtual Field Trips Are More Than Just Money Savers. "Now, at last, technology is catching up to virtual field trips' possibilities. A new generation of trips is merging highly interactive Web sites with engaging storytelling, vibrant art, and curricula tied to national standards, creating a compelling way to explore the natural world without leaving campus."

Here are Edutopia's top four picks -- and you can't beat the admission price: free.
Blue Zones Quest
Windows into Wonderland
National Geographic: Lewis & Clark

Read the entire article, Internet Explorers: Virtual Field Trips Are More Than Just Money Savers, and find out Edutopia's reviews on each of these websites. They also have a follow-up article called, How To: Make the Most of Virtual Field Trips.

Check it out and may the force be with you.... ok, I couldn't resist. JT

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veterans Day

I just wanted to take this time to honor all of those who have served the United States of America. Every American should recognize the nation's 23.4 million living veterans and the generations before them who fought to protect freedom and democracy. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

Craig Maile, at the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech, created a tribute entitled, CareerTech Remembers its Veterans in 2006. It consists of two Powerpoint presentations and numerous links that consist of historical documents and other internet resources.

It's a great source to study the history of our great country and it's military.

Also, please visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for more information on this day.

Understanding the Numbers - II

I wanted to continue our discussion on statistics and interpreting test scores. Again, most of the information that you will read on this topic are from Jerome Sattler's "Measurement of Children."

Percentile ranks are the next norm-referenced measurement (an indication of average or typical performance of the specified group) that I want to discuss.

Percentile ranks are derived scores that permit us to determine an individual's position relative to the standardization sample (or any other specified sample). A percentile rank is a point in a distribution at or below which the scores of a given percentage of individuals fall. If 63 percent of the scores fall below a given score, then that score is at the 63rd percentile rank. Quartiles are percentile ranks that divide a distribution into four equal parts, with each part containing 25 percent of the norm group. Deciles, a less common percentile rank, contain 10 bands, with each band containing 10 percent of the norm group.

Interpretation of percentile ranks is simple and straightforward. For example, a person who obtains a percentile rank of 85 on an intelligence test has scored as well as or better than 85 percent of the people in the norm sample. However, the psychometric properties of percentile ranks limit their usefulness in data analysis. The primary difficulty is that all points along the percentile distribution do not represent equal units. Raw score differences between percentile ranks are smaller near the mean than at the extremes of the distribution. Thus percentile ranks must be normalized through conversion to another scale before they can be used in statistical tests.

[Remember: A norm group should be representative of the various demographic populations as a whole, the number of subjects in the the norm group (size) should also be large enough to ensure stability of the test scores, and it is always important to consider how relevant the norms are to the evaluation of the examinee.]

Remember to check out the "Labels" section of the blog where all posts are archived according to topics. This allows you to review previous posts and see what you might have missed! J.T.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I recently heard about a great website,, that allows you to create your own books.

It seems like a simple three-step process:
  1. Download Blurb BookSmart™, a free bookmaking software.
  2. Add photos, artwork, and text. You have creative control.

  3. Order one book or many (Prices start at just $12.95).

You can also select hardcover, softcover, paper quality, and quantity (discounts are available for certain quantities). This could be a great idea for presentations, projects, assignments, or as a gift (there are exactly how many shopping days until Christmas???).

I hope you enjoy the website and let us know if you create any books and what you think of the process! J.T.

New Endorsement

CareerTech Testing Center Receives Endorsement from
The Professional Photographers of Oklahoma

The Photographer skills standards and competency test that are offered by the CareerTech Testing Center have recently been endorsed by the Professional Photographers of Oklahoma. These standards are also aligned to the Professional Photographers of America, Incorporated standards.

If you have any questions about these standards or the competency test, please contact us at (405) 743-5413.

Don't forget to review all of our
endorsements. J.T.
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