Tech Skills for PARCC Online State Testing

ImageThe PARCC website has several Math and English/Language Arts question prototypes for the new online testing. The PARCC website states that these prototypes have been designed to “. . . shine a light on important elements of the CCSS and to show how critical content in the standards may be manifested on PARCC’s next-generation, technology-based assessments.”  Note that in addition to students having content skill and knowledge, they must also use a variety of technology to complete the questions successfully. Technology skills include keyboarding, cut and paste, drag and drop, highlighting, on-screen calculators, manipulating graphs, running simulations, changing font size and background color, knowing when to select multiple answers (square boxes) and when to select only one (circles), and a variety of other technology skills. Some of the sample questions are listed below.

 
English/Language Arts – Sample Assessment Items – Grades 3, 6, 7 10

Math  – Sample Assessment Items – Grades 3, 4, 6, 7, High School

MOOCs!

platform_ecosystem_people_pc_400_clr_3928Tomorrow I start my first MOOC and I am pretty excited. If this acronym is new to you, it stands for Massive Open Online Course. MOOCs are free courses offered through higher education institutions that anyone in the world can join. If you complete the course you will receive a certificate, but there is no college credit. The course I am taking is called E-Learning and Digital Cultures and it appears to have tens of thousands of people across the world enrolled. With so many students in one course, I am very curious to see how online discussions will work. But regardless of that, I am most excited to hear perspectives on this topic from individuals living in so many different areas of the world.

I’m going to blog throughout the five-week MOOC. I will start by throwing out a discussion of MOOCs from an educator’s perspective. Are MOOCs going to be considered sufficient learning experiences for local education agencies to allow MOOCs for in-service or professional development credit? Additionally, will the time come when teachers can use MOOCs as a basis for licensure renewal? This consideration is NOT for receiving an advanced degree, but for renewal of a teaching license. Will MOOCs become game changers for professional development experience for educators?