Technology Assessment Update

Back in September, I wrote a post about a tool I was working on to collaboratively assess technology standards. Originally, this stemmed from a desire to quantify how well our graduating 8th graders are meeting the state technology standards (which are surprisingly good in NJ).

In the months that followed, I received requests from technology directors and teachers in several states. The feedback was very positive, and there were things that needed to be addressed. That is expected in an early beta. Some of the issues that I am addressing are:

  • Expanding from 8th grade standards to cover the other grades as well.  In NJ, the technology standards are assessed by the end of preschool, grade 2, grade 4, grade 8, and grade 12.
  • Expanding beyond technology to other courses that are standards assessed.
  • The ability to add or remove standards. While the Common Core brings much similarity, each state may have specific things that need to be assessed.
  • The ability to add users, courses, and mass enroll students in courses.
  • The ability to run specific reports.

Thanks to the feedback from teachers using the tool, the next version is shaping up to be a major upgrade that will massively increase the tools’ value to teachers and students alike. My hope is that eventually this can be an alternative or counterbalance to standardized assessments. It provides the context, evidence, and voice from teachers and students that standardized tests do not.

I would love to take more pilot schools on at the moment, but my focus has to be on making these improvements at the moment. I plan to unveil the new version at the TechSpo conference in Atlantic City on January 31. I will have a followup post the same day and hopefully be ready for more schools who are interested in trying it with their own students.