Tuesday , May 28 2024

Education Matters: Taking the State Assessment Online

This was the classroom of not so long ago, a teacher lecturing her class, using such tools as chalk and a chalk board.

Fast forward to the classroom of today, the chalkboard has been replaced with a Promethean or smart board; it’s the teachers computer. Students have all but replaced the #2 pencil with a mouse. Teacher Sarah Samuelian says the use of technology in the classroom is an everyday thing.

"They can take notes off of what I’m typing, I have an I-Pad that they can write on that is actually connected wirelessly to the Promethean board. If I’m in the middle of teaching a math concept and it just seems like they are struggling with it, I can pull up a resources from our math book online," said Samueliean.

Samuelian teaches 6th grade at Cedarwood Elementary in Clovis and says she is very comfortable using the computer in her classroom and so are her students.

"They want it as much as they can, they want to be on the computers."

Nearly all these students have smart phones and access to a computer at home. It is hoped their love of technology will ease the transition to taking the new statewide assessment tests using computers. Here at Cedarwood they have been preparing the students for months.

"Our teacher gave us practice test and went on like typing websites to help us with our typing and we went on reading websites where we read articles and then we answered questions to prepare for the reading test," Ariel Alvarado explained. 

Students weren’t the only ones preparing for the tests. The entire district had to gear up, making sure its system could handle thousands of students going online at the same time.

Guidance Instructional Specialist Kate Manjarrez said, "They’ve been making sure that our hardware and computers are ready to go and that we have access to that technology, as well as making sure that our wireless connections are strong."

These students have already taken the smarter balanced assessment consortium tests, that’s the official name for it. They told us practicing helped them understand the technology better and how to use the tools provided by the computer.

Hands down, these kids preferred taking the tests using a computer compared to pencil and paper. 

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