[NHDOE-ETNews] ETNews: Guidance for Tech Purchases and Blended Learning Resources

Freeda, Stanley Stanley.Freeda at doe.nh.gov
Wed Apr 25 13:18:28 EDT 2012


Today on the ETNews Listserv

ITEM:  Smarter Balanced and PARCC Issue Guidance for New Instructional
Technology Purchases

Contact:  Eddie T. Arnold, APR

(202) 330-6232   Eddie.Arnold at SmarterBalanced.org
<mailto:Eddie.Arnold at SmarterBalanced.org>             

Chad Colby
(202) 419-1570   CColby at Achieve.org <mailto:CColby at Achieve.org> 


Smarter Balanced and PARCC Issue Guidance for New Instructional
Technology Purchases
Specifications Provide Assurance that New Devices will be Compatible
with Next-Generation Assessments

April 25, 2012- The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
<http://www.smarterbalanced.org/>  (Smarter Balanced) and the 
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers
<http://www.parcconline.org/>  (PARCC) today issued guidance designed to
inform schools and districts as they make annual instructional
technology purchases. The guidelines include hardware and operating
system specifications covering the vast majority of commercially
available computers and tablets.

Specifications common to both consortia are described below. The full
guidelines are available online:

*	Smarter Balanced New Hardware Purchasing Guidelines: 
*	Technology Guidance for PARCC Assessments: 


Operating System


Device Type

*	1 GHz or faster processor
*	1 GB RAM or greater memory
*	9.5 inch (10 inch class) or larger screen size
*	1024 x 768 or better screen resolution

*	Windows 7
*	Mac 10.7
*	Linux (Ubuntu 11.10, Fedora 16)
*	Chrome OS
*	Apple iOS
*	Android 4.0

*	Wired or wireless Internet connection

*	Desktops, laptops, netbooks, thin client, and tablets that meet
the hardware, operating system, and networking specifications


"Schools and districts make decisions each year about what types of
hardware and software to purchase for instructional use, and they want
to know that any devices acquired over the next two years will be
compatible with the new assessments," said Tony Alpert, chief operating
officer of Smarter Balanced. "We are confident that new computers and
tablets meeting these specifications will be Smarter Balanced-ready in

The specifications issued today are meant to inform current and future
purchasing decisions. As part of their plans to support instruction,
districts and schools may select computer systems that meet or exceed
these guidelines and be confident that those systems will work with the
assessments in the 2014-15 school year. Support for operating systems
not specified, predating those specified, or with processor capacities
lower than recommended, will be described in future updates to these

The specifications do not constitute the full list of technical
requirements that will be necessary to administer Smarter Balanced and
PARCC assessments 2014-2015. The member states in both consortia will
collaborate to use the technology readiness surveys and assessment
design processes currently underway to shape the full and final list of
requirements including guidance on bandwidth, test system security, and
alternate input devices.

"Technology is key to PARCC states' ability to develop and administer
K-12, computer-based assessments that will deliver useful information
quickly to determine whether students are on a pathway to college and
career readiness," said Wes Bruce, Indiana's Chief Assessment Officer
and Chair of the PARCC Technology Operational Working Group. "The
specifications released today will help all states match their
technology purchases with their needs for instructional use as well as
support the types of innovative tasks and items that will be used to
make up the PARCC assessment."

Smarter Balanced and PARCC are developing next-generation assessments
aligned to the Common Core State Standards
<http://www.corestandards.org/> . With assistance from the State
Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the consortia have
developed a Technology Readiness Tool to support states as they
transition to next-generation assessments. Baseline data is currently
being collected and will be updated twice annually through 2014 to
provide detailed information on technology and infrastructure readiness.

About Smarter Balanced
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium brings together states to
create a common, innovative assessment system for mathematics and
English language arts that is aligned with the Common Core State
Standards and helps prepare students for college and careers. The
Consortium involves educators, researchers, policymakers and community
groups in a transparent and consensus-driven process to help all
students thrive in a knowledge-driven global economy. The Consortium's
projects are funded through a four-year, $175 million grant from the
U.S. Department of Education, comprising 99 percent of activity
resources, with the remaining support provided through generous
contributions of charitable foundations. Membership is open to any
interested U.S. state. For more information, please visit 
www.smarterbalanced.org <http://www.smarterbalanced.org/> .

PARCC is an alliance of states working together to develop common
assessments serving nearly 25 million students. PARCC's work is funded
through a four-year, $185 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department
of Education. Partners include about 750 higher education institutions
and systems representing hundreds of campuses across the country that
will help develop the high school component of the new assessment and
then put it to good use as an indicator of student readiness. PARCC is
led by its member states and managed by Achieve, a nonprofit group with
a 15-year track record of working with states to improve student
achievement by aligning K-12 education policies with the expectations of
employers and the postsecondary community. PARCC's ultimate goal is to
make sure all students graduate from high school college- and
career-ready. For more information, visit www.parcconline.org
<http://www.parcconline.org/> .

New Hampshire is a member of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.


ITEM:  Northeast iNACOL Meeting Features our own SAU 53


Last week's iNACOL webinar on Blended Learning which featured our own
SAU 53 in the Panel, was recorded. To view the recording of the webinar,
please go to:  



Here are a list of Resources from the Panel Discussion:

Competency Works /Competency Based Learning and Launch from April 5
Archived here:  http://www.inacol.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=10040


Competency Based Wiki/Documents: 


Free Webinar: Pain-Free Blogging for Competency Education Innovators: 

Friday, May 4, 3-4 pm ET - 


The KinderKids WikiSpaces - Kindergarten - Maria Knee (SAU 53): 


The Kinderkids blog - Kindergarten - Maria Knee (SAU 53): 


Extranormal - 6th Grade - Edith Tatulis:   


ExploreLearning.com offers the world's largest library of interactive
online simulations for math and science education in grades 3-12:  


2011 Sakai Summer Institute: Creating the 21st Century classroom - The
Sakai Collaborative (SAU 53 lead) with funding from Title II-D funds
granted by NH DOE 







New Hampshire e-Learning for Educators supports our NH membership in


ETNews is a service of the Office of Educational Technology  

NH Department of Education    101 Pleasant Street    Concord, NH

For more information, contact 

Stan Freeda

603.271.5132       Stanley.Freeda at doe.nh.gov
<mailto:sfreeda at ed.state.nh.us>      
www.opennh.org <http://www.opennh.org/>         www.nheon.org


"The need to know the capital of Florida died when my phone learned the
answer." ~ Anthony Chivetta, high school student in Missouri

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