Helping schools with technology readiness
One simple guide to what’s required for online assessments
In preparation for online testing, school districts need to discern what aspects of their technology they might need to bring up-to-speed to be able to conduct Common Core-aligned assessments. With these online assessments developed by six different state-led consortia, the amount of technical requirements to sort through is large and varied and none of it was collected into a single location for review. The State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA) recognized a need for this resource and asked Blue Marble to help with the task of collecting, aggregating and housing the technical requirements from all six consortia. The lists of technical requirements from each consortia are long and change periodically. In addition, school districts do not belong to all six consortia, nor do all of the decision makers have the technical expertise needed to understand what the requirements mean for their schools.
The purpose of The Guide to Technology Requirements website is to provide technical assistance to states and districts on issues related to school technology readiness for implementation of next-generation Common Core-aligned assessments, especially the technology requirements of the tests offered by the six assessment consortia.
With consideration of varied, detailed and evolving technical requirements, we determined that an interactive online chart would give users the ability to filter and interpret the information based on their specific needs. While consulting Blue Marble to define how the information would be presented, SETDA also convened consortia leaders to organize the requirements in clear categories that allows for an apples-to-apples comparison. A special editing module in the website’s content management system allows SETDA staff to manage all the information in the chart so that it can be kept up-to-date and accurate. Although the technical requirements chart is the primary focal point, the site also includes detailed information about each of the six consortia and guidance about broader issues as they relate to school technology readiness. Finally, as a project of SETDA, it was important for us to design the site’s interface and user experience to tightly align to that of SETDA’s organizational website.
Bringing clarity to a single location
- The guidance SETDA provides alongside the technology requirements helps districts evaluate their overall technology environment and how it supports their teaching, learning, and day-to-day school operations.
- The ability to customize the chart allows users to access only the requirements and related information that pertains to their situation. Unique URLs, an email function, and specially formatted print capabilities allow users to share their specific version of the chart and for non-technical staff at the school to easily see what is needed to get their building ready for testing
- Private sector/edtech vendors are able to review the complete listing of technical requirements for all six consortia to see how their product matches up overall.
State Education Technology Directors Association
Website design and development
“Many schools and districts already are thinking about how to meet the technology requirements for the new tests, and this site will prove invaluable for their planning needs today and into the future as technology requirements for testing evolve.”
– Douglas Levin, Executive Director for SETDA