SETDA launches site to help schools prepare for assessments

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The State Education Technology Directors Association launched a new website Monday to help school district leaders understand requirements for online assessments.

The site, The Guide to Technology Requirements, is the result of months of work with six different state-led assessment consortia that will provide guidance to help districts consider these requirements in the overall context of school technology needs.

“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,” said Douglas Levin, executive director for SETDA.

“In preparing for online testing, school districts should take the opportunity to evaluate their overall technology needs, including for teaching, learning and the day-to-day operations of their schools,” he continued. “The guidance we provide along side of the technology requirements for all consortia’s assessments will help districts do just that.”

The six consortia that took part include the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the WIDA Consortium, the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century consortium, DLM Alternate Assessment System and the National Center and State Collaborative.

“This site will be an invaluable resource, particularly for educators who support English language learners and students with significant cognitive disabilities,” said Phil Olsen of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the project lead for the WIDA Consortium. “It’s heartening to see representatives of the assessment consortia, state education agencies and SETDA working together to provide this kind of resource to educators.”

The Guide to Technology Requirements provides an interactive chart that allows users to view assessment consortia to which their state belongs, along with the technology requirements for the assessments from those consortia. Users can customize the chart based on the technology appropriate for their district and access resources related to the effective implementation of technology for learning as well as assessment.

“In developing The Guide to Technology Requirements, SETDA reinforces a message Smarter Balanced and all consortia have emphasized from the beginning: technology is for learning and assessments,” said Brandt Redd, chief technology officer for Smarter Balanced. “We are excited to let districts know about it.”

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