Bloom's New Digital Taxonomy: A Framework for Educational Administrator Preparation Programs

Originally invented in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom, the original Bloom's Taxonomy provides a framework for instructors for setting educational goals in their classrooms. Often portrayed as a pyramid, the original Bloom's framework scaffolds students' skills, beginning with Knowledge, and progressing up the "levels" of the pyramid to Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and finally Evaluation. In the early 2000s, Bloom's original taxonomy was revised to move from static notions of educational objectives to action verbs, to better describe student cognitive processes. For example, Remembering became Remember, Comprehension became Understanding, Application became Applying, Analysis became Analyzing, Synthesis became Evaluating, and - perhaps most importantly - Evaluation became Creating.

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Bloom's New Digital Taxonomy is a further (but very important) revision made by Andrew Churches that incorporates technologies that are more aligned with the 21st century learner. This new taxonomy includes certain verbs the describe more accurately, how today's students might learn. For example, to Remember (lowest level cognition), students may highlight, duplicate, or visualize. To Create (highest level cognition), students may film, direct, or publish an original piece of research. The diagram below illustrates how students can Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, and Create using digital tools:

Figure 1. Bloom's Taxonomy for the digital world. By Fractus Learning, 2014, via Creative Commons. Used under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 International License. 

Figure 1. Bloom's Taxonomy for the digital world. By Fractus Learning, 2014, via Creative Commons. Used under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 International License. 

This revision of Bloom's Taxonomy suggests that it's never too late to revise old systems to make them work for 21st century learners. We should have the same view when examining whether the current structures of our administrator preparation programs properly equip today's administrators to work in the modern university. We put future educational leaders at a disadvantage by not emphasizing technology as a means through which to learn and to create. Bloom's New Digital Taxonomy would be a helpful framework to consider when thinking about what kind of work we are asking students studying educational administration to produce and whether or not we are sufficiently incorporating technology as a means of producing that work.

Ideas for student projects that incorporate technology

  • Recording a podcast on administrative and/or higher education issues
  • Publishing a blog to reflect on their experience as a graduate student
  • Crafting an autoethnographic project that explores the student's personal motivation for studying educational administration and leadership
  • Designing a multi-media presentation on the effects of organizational alienation
  • Writing an original essay, study, or literature review on a topic of the student's choosing

Do you think Bloom's New Digital Taxonomy is a useful framework for educational administrator preparation programs? What are some ways to encourage students to create original pieces of research using technology?

Resources

Bloom's Taxonomy for the digital world - printable table. Retrieved from https://www.fractuslearning.com/2014/08/18/blooms-taxonomy-digital-print-table/ 

The Padagogy Wheel V5.0. Retrieved from https://designingoutcomes.com/assets/PadWheelV5/PW_ENG_V5.0_Apple_iOS_PRINT.pdf 

C. Valentine