Educational Assessments: the Digital Gaming Hunters of Jurassic Park
Quoting, from Jurassic Park’s “Chaos Theory” mathematician, Dr. Ian Malcolm, could not be more appropriate as American Education continues on a course fraught with chaos, coercion, corruptions, and catastrophe to the minds, souls, senses, and future of our children and our nation.
“Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park
The word “assessment” means many things to many people. Recall that the first means to debase man begins with the debasement of our principal means of communication, the manipulation of language.
In the American Educational world of today, Assessments are given to evaluate attitudes, values, behaviors, dispositions, beliefs, emotions, affect, motivations, mental processing, and a host of other soft skills including social skills, tolerance, social justice empathy, and global awareness. (Knowledge, as we historians recall, is now considered a thing of the past. *)
Assessments are nothing new. In reality, good teachers and parents do them all the time, in face-to-face, eye-to-eye, and real-time as they teach and mentor their students or children.
When the federal government, began redistributing taxpayer funds under the guise of a host of educational interventions and title funding, grants, and training programs, the federal government would demand results; also known as: measureable student outcomes.
Thus, those in ivory towers or behind bureaucratic desks demanded data to verify their positions of redistribution and their own job security. Ie. Dependency, slavery and control.
Remember: the further removed one is from the thing being studied, the more data required to create a good pixel picture of this thing, student or individual.
But Assessments do much more than collect data.
Assessments do not only evaluate what “exists” in the psyche of the students being assessed. Assessments have now progressed to the use of artificial intelligence, computers, digital gaming programs, positive behavioral interventions (dog training of Pavlov and Skinner) to evaluate and shape the minds, reflexes, behaviors, attitudes, values, brains and futures of students playing the “learning games.” I.e.. Assessment also Design. In-breed “the love of servitude.”
This digital assessment game company, /glasslabgames.org/ , boasts on its title page of, “Transforming learning and formative assessment through digital games.”
These educational games are also known as “embedded formative assessments.”
Embedded Formative Assessment
“If we think of our children as plants… summative assessment of the plants is
the process of simply measuring them. The measurements might be
interesting to compare and analyze, but, in themselves, they do not affect
the growth of the plants.
On the other hand, formative assessment is the
garden equivalent of feeding and watering the plants – directly affecting
their growth.” Clarke (2001, p. 2).
Embedded: meaning part of the game, stealth, not recognized by the gamer, student.
“When embedded assessments are so seamlessly woven into the
fabric of the learning environment that they are virtually invisible, we call this
“stealth assessment.” Such stealth assessment can be accomplished via automated
scoring and machine-based reasoning techniques to infer things that would be too
hard for humans (e.g., estimating values of evidence-based competencies across a
network of skills). “
Formative: meaning the digital game is recognizing the student’s responses, methods, actions and the digital game is adaptively providing the programmed reward and next level of challenge to continue to form and monitor the students responses, seamlessly without the awareness of the student.
Assessments are ongoing; directed not by the living breathing “teacher” but defined by the software engineers and those paying the software engineers to design a “learning” assessment game based upon their criteria and worldview of “correctness of outcomes” and “correctness of procedures”.
Dr. Ian Malcolm: God help us, we’re in the hands of engineers.
“Too bad” if your child is an original thinker, whose novel actions are not yet recognized for authenticity; or your worldview is not deemed as tolerant or “acceptable” for workkeys, a digital badge certifying conformity, or those in charge of writing the digital assessment games.
But don’t worry; your child will be profiled either way.
Unless, you don’t play the game.
These “learning” assessment games are used throughout public education today. Many parents have yet to realize what Junior is doing with his IPAD, I phone, Lap Top, or in the Computer lab, in the virtual world of SimCity, Minecraft, ABC-Ya, Moby Max, Oblivion, Quandary, Papers Please, and a host of other digital games at home, in school, and in other social engineering settings.
Whether or not these games are played on the Internet is only part of the concern.
Education, under the direction of John Dewey, whose intent was to separate children from parents, and the values of parents, has long been under the umbrella of the psychology department infusing progressive content and certification.
These digital assessments are living breathing tools of Pavlov, Skinner, Vygotsky, Bloom, Luria, Darwin, Hegel and Marx and corps; All beating the drum, and now the keys, to the progressive path to Skinner’s Walden Pond Two.
Via mirror neurons in the brain, whatever a person sees or hears, creates dendritic connections for that individual to speak, to think, to integrate, and to imitate those ideas and actions.
The more senses (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, vestibular, motion etc.), motor systems (physical movement ie. Keyboarding, speaking, eye movements, etc.), and emotionsengaged (sadness, anger, disgust, fear, joy, excitement, shame…) the more brain connections that are formed, shaped, and developed to recall and act upon this experience.
These effects are valid, whether or not this experience is in a real world or a virtual world situation.
The more these actions are practiced; reinforced, and repeated, the more these behaviors become reflexive.
This is not thinking, this is formatting reflexive conditioned behaviors and attitudes. This is social engineering of social emotional “learning” via the technology of digital formative assessments. This is “education” married to psychology and technology, but absent of wisdom and moral virtue.
This is also neuroscience and neurobiology. Digital gaming is engaging because it produces neurotransmitters epinephrine, dopamine, cortisol, glutamic acid etc. to crave this experience again. Thus, the teacher comments of “engaged”. “Just look how these games keep these students “engaged,” they never did this for me.” (So, just because a person is glued to a digital monitor, “engaged”, this equates with a beneficial learning experience?)
Which precipitates greater concern. Many students comment that they really feel as if they were living in this virtual world of the game. We know that whatever a person focuses on creates neuronal connections in their brain and has the potential of creating their reality.
Thus, the tremendous increases in young people today suffering from Episodic Grasp of Reality; The difficulty of distinguishing reality from a virtual reality. This EGR is a state all too common to folks who have come from hard places or individuals suffering from trauma memories. But now, every student can fall prey to episodic grasp of reality. Digital gaming has easily fulfilled the role of Huxley’s “soma” drug.
As we consider the glass lab of Jurassic Park and the “21st Century Competencies” propaganda of College, Career and Citizenship Readiness via educational gaming assessments we cannot help but to acknowledge the parallels: the research and hatchery lab scientists, the computer programmer and investors out for financial gain, the absence of parents, and the entertainment driven theme park mentality of our nation.
“Dr. Ian Malcolm: Gee, the lack of humility before nature that’s being displayed here, uh… staggers me.
Donald Gennaro: Well thank you, Dr. Malcolm, but I think things are a little bit different then you and I had feared…
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, I know. They’re a lot worse.
Donald Gennaro: Now, wait a second now, we haven’t even seen the park…
John Hammond: No, no, Donald, Donald, Donald… let him talk. There’s no reason… I want to hear every viewpoint, I really do.
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Don’t you see the danger, John, inherent in what you’re doing here? Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet’s ever seen, but you wield it like a kid that’s found his dad’s gun.
Donald Gennaro: It’s hardly appropriate to start hurling generalizations…
Dr. Ian Malcolm: If I may… Um, I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here, it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now
[bangs on the table]
Dr. Ian Malcolm: you’re selling it, you wanna sell it. Well…
John Hammond: I don’t think you’re giving us our due credit. Our scientists have done things which nobody’s ever done before…
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.
Dr. Ian Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.
Dr. Ellie Sattler: Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth.”**
(Today’s women would be in deep dino doo doo, without their engineers!)
If parents don’t get back on the Educational compounds
Inside the Educational Labs,
And in the drivers seat of the Educational learning rover,
It very well may take a child to unlock the doors, yet again, and set the gullible, aged and misdirected “adults” free.
Jurassic Park Quotes.
*The word “knowledge” has been debased of its original meaning as well. It is agreed by educational “experts” the globe over that content taught today in schools will be obsolete in less than 5 years. They can make this statement because, the absolutes of “knowledge” and foundational content have been obsolete for decades. That’s food for another blog.