My STEM Units

Monday, November 11, 2013

Digital Testing Requires Digital Learning

Whether your state is in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium or the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, your students will more than likely be taking their assessments online in 2014-2015.

Digital testing requires digital learning.

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) released a report last December.  The report urges districts to look into digital learning for all students.
"Students using technology to take high stakes tests must have significant opportunities to develop and demonstrate mastery of tested knowledge, skills and abilities via substantially similar technology prior to being tested.  Teachers must be prepared to support this shift in instruction." (p.1)
Whiteriver USD is taking a unique approach to preparing students for the PARCC assessment.  To give purpose and direction to the introduction of mobile technology, STEM units and Project-Based Learning are now driving training and instruction so that students are PARCC ready.

It seems pretty obvious that reading will be digital on the English/Language Arts portion of the digital tests.  Yet, take a minute to think of that.  How much of your ELA curriculum is digital?  What proportion of reading do students do on digital devices versus traditional print?  When one considers basal readers, classroom libraries, and school libraries, the proportion is possibly high.

How do your students cite evidence with print resources?  They probably use a combination of sticky-notes, writing in the margin, and highlighters; all great strategies that go hand-in-hand with Close Reading.  However, how do we expect these students to engage with digital text?  It appears that the digital assessments will have a tool for highlighting text.  Do you know how to do that?  Do your students?

"The Common Core will require many teachers to change their approach to teaching related subject areas, including the integration of new instructional materials and teaching tools" (p.3).

What are these approaches?

Which will better serve our students?

What is your district doing to prepare students for digital testing?

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