Educational Technology Professionals Share Online Testing Tips (via T.H.E. Journal)

Posted by Zack Blois on Aug 23, 2013 12:25:00 PM
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Put yourselves in the shoes of a school or district technology director or specialist in a CCSS-adopting state. Not only are you responsible for optimizing your schools’ technology scope, infrastructure, and devices, but now you must also ensure each school, teacher, and student has the necessary technology means to test online by 2015 (via the PARCC or Smarter Balanced Common Core-aligned assessments). I bet you’re stressed already just from reading that!

common core technologyDian Schaffhauser of T.H.E. Journal recently spoke to education technology directors who have faced Common Core stress points and put together a great piece listing tips, recommendations, and things-to-look-for when beginning your online testing technology initiatives. Below are quick bullets of some of the helpful tips found in his article.

Online Testing Tips of the 'Educational Technology' Trade

  • Instead of preparing solely for the online Common Core tests, Laurence Cocco, Director of New Jersey’s Office of Educational Technology, says schools should focus on implementing technology soundly on a general scale. Doing so gives your teachers and students the ability to holistically prepare for the tests throughout the whole year.

  • Jon Cohen, executive vice president of American Institutes for Research (AIR), insists schools must stop “shutting down” to test. The online tests offer pause capabilities, so the idea of testing non-stop for a week or two should be thrown out. Instead, schools must take student testing fatigue and anxiety into account and space the testing out more evenly.

  • Hawaii made the big shift to online testing in 2011. David Wu, assistant superintendent for Hawaii's Office of IT services, suggests to make a "leap of faith" and make a quick change over from paper tests to online. Wu understands that not all schools are ready to go with premier tech resources. The key, he says, is to work with the technology and devices your school has on-hand and then constantly build and improve from there.

  • The article mentions knowing your school/district’s network compatibility and capabilities in-and-out when making software and hardware purchases. Its much more effective to make purchases that fit within your tech infrastructure than altering your infrastructure to support the technology.

  • Administer practice tests and mock testing periods to structure and refine your information technology strategies and operations. Additionally, keep an eye on the skills students need to complete the online tests (click, drag, enter numbers with keyboard, etc.) and help your teachers find methods and programs that replicate and model these digital skills. This is especially important for the younger grades.

For more on the Common Core technology challenges facing districts and schools, be sure to check out Dian’s full article at the link below.

Getting Your School Tech Ready for Common Core Assessments - T.H.E. Journal

Want more info about the Common Core online tests? Download our free eBooklet, "Mastering the Common Core Digital Math Assessments" today!

Also, be sure to attend our CCSS Math Online Assessment Prep Webinar:

More Common Core Assessment Articles:

Common Core Assessment Debuts Online Practice Tests

PBS NewsHour Examines Computer-based Common Core Assessments

Preparing for the Common Core Digital Assessments

Do PARCC and Smarter Balanced truly assess 'deeper understanding'?

Topics: Common Core Assessments

Wowzers is a comprehensive online math program covering all Common Core State Standards for grades K-8. The research-based program adapts to each learner and allows for an individualized path through the curriculum. Content is presented in multiple ways, and appeals to tactile, auditory, and visual learners. Assessments mirror those found on high-stakes achievement tests and provide teachers and administrators with the information that they need to personalize learning for each student.

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