GED Testing Centers: “Almost a Prison-Like Atmosphere”

From an article in StateImpact Ohio published last week:

According to information from the state’s GED office, the center used to be one of more than 60 testing centers that offered the paper test.  But now, tests will only be offered at certified computer based testing centers. [Seeds of Literacy’s Education Consultant Dan] McLaughlin said that these types of environments could be a little jarring for already nervous test takers. It’s vastly different from the old standard of a paper and pencil test.

It’s almost like a prison-like atmosphere in there,” he said. “You’re in a little tiny booth, and there’s a camera trained on you the whole time. So it’s a really different feeling than taking the test someplace that you’re comfortable and someplace that you know.” (my emphasis)

Putting aside all of the other concerns people have raised about the changes to the GED, is anyone worried that these tests are going to turn a lot of adult learners off on technology? Or, at the very least, is the (understandable) emphasis on getting people ready for the computer-based GED sucking up time and resources that might otherwise be used to help adult learners access and use digital technology in more creative and interesting ways?

A Tidal Wave for Paradigm Shifting

From Education Week:

“[It’s] the perfect storm for re-imagination of the K-12 textbook.”

— Doug Levin, the executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association, arguing that Common Core State Standards, budget pressures, student demographic changes, and other factors are changing how instructional materials are designed and delivered.

UPDATE 9/27/12: There may be some connection here to this rare weather phenomenon:

Textbook storm explodes near Alaska

(h/t Ryan Avent)