Sunday, November 6, 2011

Blooming Google!

Blooming Google

We can thank Google for many things, including helping with Bloom's taxonomy. The introduction of "Free" web based tools (web 2.0), allows teachers and students to spend less time on the bottom level of Bloom's revised taxonomy focusing on remembering, and more time at the higher end of the taxonomy focusing on creating.

One need only search for Bloom's revised taxonomy and rather than finding scholarly articles you will likely be inundated with new web 2.0 tools linked to each area of Bloom's taxonomy. (see Kathy Schrock's Google Apps to Support Bloom's Revised Taxonomy).

1950s Framework at work in 2011?
Bloom's taxonomy was introduced in the mid 1950's in a pre-Google, pre-search, pre-digital age.  Remembering has replaced knowledge at the base of the taxonomy.  Andy McPhee has done a good job of comparing the two versions and providing resources for the use of the revised taxonomy. (more details)

How many of us really need to remember basic facts like the years of World War 1, or the names of Presidents and Prime Ministers, Capital cities, and so on?  Most pre-teens can quickly find this information on their Internet connected iPods, SmartPhones, or other mobile devices.

Assessment must Change
If we believe in Bloom's revised taxonomy, and we believe that remembering is now the lowest skill area, why are so many assessments based on fill-in the blank, or multiple choice fact based assessments?  Has the outdated activity of cutting pictures from a magazine and gluing them on bristol board been replaced by Cntrl-C copying in Google image search, and pasting the image into PowerPoint or Prezi?  Many students are now using Google to achieve the low-level performance and assessment tasks that are being asked of them.

What about Learning?
Search engines like Google have the potential to be used by teachers and students to assist students in focusing on skill development to "analyze - evaluate - create" as long as the right questions are being asked, and the assessment tools match the performance tools.  Web 2.0 tools can be used for either lower order thinking tasks or higher order thinking tasks.

So let's not blame Google or blame Bloom.  Blooming Google is being used around the nation, in the hands of talented teachers, to create problem based learning activities that help students to develop key 21st Century Learning Skills including:  Collaboration, Communication, Creative problem solving, and Critical Thinking.

Iowa State University has an excellent representation of Bloom's revised taxonomy that takes into account the cognitive dimension along with the knowledge dimension (click here to view)

Let's hope that most Google Searches for Bloom's Revised Taxonomy end up with search results similar to Iowa State University, and not just with web 2.0 tools that allow students to achieve the "remembering" skill set!

1 comment:

  1. There is another good example of Bloom's Taxonomy for the 21st Century on the iLearn Technology Blog - Bloom's Taxonomy: Bloomin' Peacock, August 30, 2010. In this version, the author links various thinking skills up to difference social media tools including Wordle, Glogster, Kidblog, Edublog, Twitter and Skype - very interesting!