January 23, 2014

Getting Ready For Common Core Online Assessments

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Steps Your District Should Be Taking To Prepare Your Technology and Infrastructure For Common Core State Standards Online Assessments

Common Core State Standards
It’s time for the
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to be in the news again. Any subject that touches so many people is bound to get emotions flowing, but a topic that also affects how we educate our children…. you know that’s going to be hot! I’ll leave a discussion of the pros and cons of the standards themselves for another blog, but let’s look at how school districts can prepare for the on-line assessments that accompany the standards.

Practice CCSS assessments are now available from both PARCC and Smarter Balanced

Practice CCSS assessments are now available from both PARCC and Smarter Balanced

The transition to CCSS on-line assessments will start during the 2014-2015 school year, so now is the time to get ready. For many districts, this represents the first major step into the world of large-scale online testing, where hundreds or even thousands of students will simultaneously use PCs and tablets to access tests served across the Internet. Will the school network and pipe to the Internet support this? Our survey shows that 73% of school districts are not yet very confident that their network infrastructure can support the capacity needs of the CCSS online assessments, and 67% are not confident that their infrastructure can support the security needs of the assessments.

Luckily, there are a number of easy-to-use tools that can help prepare for the transition to large-scale on-line testing. One new tool determines if your Internet connection has sufficient capacity for the number of students that will need simultaneous access to the tests. Simply visit this url from a PC in your school to analyze your network bandwidth and also check if your system is using an approved browser and operating system. The URL triggers a Java-based program that will give you a quick report on your school’s upload speed, download speed, and your network testing capacity in terms of how many students can be tested simultaneously.

If you’d like a thorough walk through of the technology requirements for Common Core online assessment, take a look at our free webinar with Susan Van Gundy, the associate director for assessment technology at Achieve / PARCC. The content is equally applicable to PARCC, Smarter Balanced, and independent states. During the webinar, Pierre Dehombreux, the director of ITS at Whiteriver USD, explains how his school district has been preparing.

Extreme Networks offers extensive help for your district to prepare for CCSS online assessments.

Extreme Networks offers extensive help for your district to prepare for CCSS online assessments.

Extreme Networks can help to make sure your infrastructure is ready for online assessment. We are offering free services to assist you

through the technology readiness checklists. We can also connect you with districts like Chelmsford Public Schools, who are already well into the readiness process.  Please visit our Common Core State Standards assessment resource page to learn more about our tools and services.

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About The Contributor:
Bob NilssonDirector of Vertical Solutions Marketing

Bob Nilsson is the director of vertical solutions marketing at Extreme Networks. In this role, Mr. Nilsson leads the Extreme Networks strategy and programs for vertical markets including Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education, Federal Government, and Hospitality. He has over 30 years of experience in marketing IT systems to Global 1000 companies worldwide. Before joining Extreme Networks Bob was VP Marketing at Clear Methods. Prior to that Bob held senior marketing positions at Digital Equipment and HP. Bob holds an SB degree in EE from MIT and MBA from Columbia Business School.

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