Can my student take the PARCC online assessment on this computer/tablet?
If your state adopted the PARCC online assessments as its Common Core-aligned testing means, there is a good chance you'll run into the above question. And let's be honest, ensuring that each student has access to an electronic device that can support the PARCC testing technology is no small task.
Read below the break to learn more about the specific PARCC technology requirements for testing devices and how can you ensure that your students’ devices (either school-owned or brought from home) meet these requirements.
The must-have attributes of a PARCC testing device
In general terms, varying desktop computers, laptop computers, netbooks, and tablets are all compatible with the PARCC testing software. However, as you know, not all electronic devices were created equal.
Below are the basic requirements your student’s testing device must meet to be PARCC-compatible (whether it be a computer or tablet):
- The ability to connect to the internet via a wired or wireless network
- The administrative tools/capabilities to “lock down” testing security risks (such as cameras, screen capture, Bluetooth, printing, etc.)
- An up-to-date version of a PARCC-approved web browser (view this page for more info regarding approved web browsers)
- A screen size that is 9.5 inches or larger
- A screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels or greater
- Access to a working physical keyboard (wired or wireless/Bluetooth)
- The ability to listen to audio via headphones and record via a microphone
For more general info on device guidelines, check out this official Technology Guidelines for PARCC Assessments (Version 4.0) PDF from the folks at PARCC.
Device-specific technology requirements
Next, let's take a look at the specifications/qualifications that are device specific.
If your students intend to test via a laptop computer, desktop computer, or a netbook (i.e. a Chromebook), this section is for you.
According to PARCC, its online testing platform is supported on four different operating systems (OS):
- Apple iOS
- Chrome OS
Be aware, PARCC recommends that the testing computer have a minimum memory of 512 MB RAM. However, 1 GB RAM or greater is recommended.
Tablets, like the Apple iPad, Google Nexus 10, or Samsung Galaxy Tab, are becoming increasingly popular within schools across the country. But, not all tablets can be used to administer the PARCC online math assessments.
Per PARCC, the online testing platform is supported by three different mobile operating systems:
- Apple iOS
- Windows 8
Be aware, tablets with a screen size less than 9.5 inches, e-readers, and smartphones are not PARCC-approved.