Reflect on the work you did to collect information for the SBAC testing requirements. What stood out to you as key discoveries?
Wow- yet another week in this course that stretches my perspective as an educator. It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn each week in this course. It really is because I am asked to read certain things and complete projects in this course. This is stuff that I am very interested in, but given my busy life, I would never normally make time to read through the entirety of my district's technology plan in search of specifics regarding Chromebook screen size or network speed. But WOW!
One thing that stood out to me in this process of looking at whether my district is really ready for online state testing is just how much advance planning must take place. The "Anticipated Smarter-Balanced End of Support Date" chart was eye-opening for me. IT departments and executive leadership must plan their refresh plans carefully so as to not end up at test time with devices and systems that aren't supported any longer. That requires much in the way of End-In-Mind backwards mapping.
While teachers are worried about whether devices will work properly and whether all students will be able to log in, IT people are carefully considering the size and type of internet connection cable, and whether internet speed for online testing will be ideal. District admin are concerned with whether goals can be met with assessment given budgetary constraints, but as SBAC reports, "States implementing online, computer-adaptive assessments similar to the proposed Smarter Balanced Assessment System have done so effectively while adhering to tight budgetary provisions and implementation timelines" (Smarterbalanced.org, 2015) Students and parents are worried about whether students are really ready for assessments that test "Big Ideas" rather then the old "When in doubt, choose C" tests of the past. It takes an entire school district, including students and parents, to create and execute a successful digital testing experience, and based on what I researched and read, I think VUSD will do just fine.
Smarterbalanced.org,. (2015). Retrieved 30 March 2015, from http://www.smarterbalanced.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Executive_Summary_Tech_Framework.pd