Don't look now, but we're almost exactly one year away from the 2014-2015 Common Core deadline. That means these next twelve to thirteen months may be a bit of a mad dash as schools finish their CCSS curriculum integration and online assessment preparations.
Catching Digital Assessment Preparation up with Standards Integration
In conversations with school staffers throughout this last year, we've noticed that there seems to be a good understanding of how to integrate the standards into current and/or new curriculum. Many schools are already beginning the process during the 2013-2014 school year, and some are already fully integrated (which is awesome, in our opinion).
However, the process of getting the school, staff, and students ready for the digital Common Core assessments (PARCC and Smarter Balanced) seems to be lagging behind. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that theres still not a ton of information out there about the digital assessments. Sample problems and blueprints are trickling in, but not at an ideal rate, seeing as these digital assessments are only a few short months from being implemented across the board.
That's why we wanted to put this quick checklist together to help those who are trying to catch their digital assessment preparations up with their standards integration efforts. Each checklist item offers a simple explanation of what your school should strive for to be ready for the PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments, come 2014-2015.
Common Core Digital Assessments Checklist:
- An electronic device is available to each individual student
- This is the first item because without the electronic devices, you simply can't test. It's a stark change, but a necessary one in today's digital world. Schools don't necessarily need a 1:1 student to device ratio to check this box, but there needs to be time allotted for each student to test on a device at a given testing period.
- Each electronic device meets the minimum requirements
- So you've figured out how many devices you'll need to provide each student an opportunity to test. Now you need to make sure the devices you acquire meet the requirements. Below are a couple great links to get you started:
- Schools tech infrastructure can support tests and technology
- Much like the device requirements, your school's technology department must ensure that the educational technology is on par with the consortium's recommended levels. This includes using the right web browser, providing the correct bandwidth levels, and ensuring students have easy, safe, and secure internet access. Refer to the two links above to learn more.
- Efforts were made to foster student and staff digital literacy
- Okay, you've got your technology and devices up to snuff. Now, let's start getting those kids and staff ready to use all of it properly. Ensure the students and staff know exactly what to expect from a functionality and content standpoint before they embark on the assessment (Wowzers can help with that too). Read more about how your school can achieve this by clicking here.
- Educators and staff know scope of learning accommodations
- As we all know, students with special needs will require additional accommodations. Make sure you are at a high level of understanding when it comes to accommodations for ELA students, ELL students, special needs students, and students with disabilities. Check out this blog post to learn more about PARCCs accommodations.
Of course, we also recommend checking out PARCC and Smarter Balanceds main websites to learn more about any general questions or FAQs you may have. You can access the sites via the links below.