The shift from traditional paper and pencil to next generation digital assessment

Assessment is a general term for a broad range of processes for testing, measuring, and evaluating performance. Standardized, alternative, and self-assessment methods are used for the purposes of replacement, diagnosis of performance, and provision of formative and summative evaluation.

The National Educational Technology Plan (2017) states: “As technology gives us the capability to improve on long-standing assessment approaches, our public education system has a responsibility to use the information we collect during assessment in ways that can have the greatest impact on learning. This means using assessments that ask students to demonstrate what they have learned in meaningful ways. And students and parents know there is more to a sound education than picking the right answer on a multiple-choice question or answering an extended-response question outside of the context of students’ daily lives. All learners deserve assessments that better reflect what they know and are able to do with that knowledge.” Continue reading “The shift from traditional paper and pencil to next generation digital assessment”

4 Considerations When Planning for New Technology

When planning a technology project or initiative in a K-12 school environment, there are four pieces that need consideration for a successful outcome. Every project does not necessarily involve all four pieces, but certainly some of them. Those four pieces are the school network, educational software or web resources, hardware or equipment, and professional development or training.

1. The School Network. The school network supports an enormous number of applications and services such as access to the Internet, video, audio, shared use of files and documents and storage servers, printers, and fax machines, and use of email and VOIP phones. This formidable collection of technology requires skilled network management personnel to keep it all running reliably. Being a school network administrator is literally the saying, Jack of All Trades, Master of None. A good network admin needs to know a little about a lot of things. Continue reading “4 Considerations When Planning for New Technology”

Selected to Present at the NSPRA 2017 National Seminar – Communicate, Collaborate, Connect!

Superintendent Frank Tiano and Anne-Marie Fiore

I am thrilled to be selected to present at the NSPRA 2017 National Seminar – Communicate, Collaborate, Connect!

My presentation is “Working with the Local Cable Television Station – A School District’s Perspective”. Below is a brief description

Working with the local cable channels, school districts are reaching out not only to students and parents, but to staff and community members as well. The local education channel is keeping citizens tuned-in and informed about schools and their programs. Included: TV programs produced by districts in Massachusetts.

The annual National School Public Relations Association seminar will be in San Antonio, Texas from July 9-12, 2017

Future Ready: Accelerating the Adaptation of Technology for K-12 Education

Less than 30% of US schools have the bandwidth they need to teach using today’s technology, including interactive access to the Internet. Federal and state programs are helping to expand this capacity so that at least 99% of the nation’s students have high-speed Internet access in their schools within five years. Future Ready is one such program, working with school districts to provide resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans:

  • Align with instructional best practices
  • Are implemented by highly trained teachers
  • Lead to personalized learning experiences for all students

The US Department of Education and the Alliance for Excellent Education are leading Future Ready with the support of the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission and a vast coalition of organizations. The program encourages and supports superintendents as they transition their districts to digital learning.

As part of the program, district superintendents take the Future Ready District Pledge. Developed by the U.S. Department of Education, the pledge is a commitment by district leaders to work with educators, families, and community members to make all schools in their districts Future Ready. Superintendents who sign the pledge are eligible to attend one of the free Future Ready Regional Summits. Almost 2,000 superintendents have taken the pledge.

To learn more about Future Ready and share your experiences, join the Future Ready twitter chat, May 27 at 3:00 ET. Leading the chat will be Dr. Frank Tiano, Superintendent of the Chelmsford Public Schools, Massachusetts, and Anne-Marie Fiore, executive director of technology and information services for the Chelmsford Public Schools. Frank is one of the 100 top school leaders who participated in the National Connected Superintendents Summit at the White House. In addition to having 20 years of K-12 technology experience, Anne-Marie is on the Huffington Post list of Top 100 Most Social K-12 Tech Leaders on Twitter 2015.

Here are some of the elements of the Future Ready program.

  • Future Ready districts make digital resources available that help access expanded college, career, and citizenship opportunities.
  • Future Ready districts promote ways to leverage technology to expand equity through digital activities such as completion of the FAFSA online, virtual counseling services, college scholarship search tools, and online advising access.
  • Future Ready districts conduct comprehensive diagnostic assessments of the district’s technology infrastructure and develop a sustainable plan to ensure broadband classroom connectivity and wireless access.
  • Future Ready districts strive to provide everyone with access to personalized learning opportunities and instructional experts that give teachers and leaders the individual support they need, when they need it.
  • Future Ready districts provide tools to help teachers effectively leverage learning data to make better instructional decisions.
  • The Future Ready Leadership Network offers: 1) a Future Ready assessment and report with specific pathways toward progress, 2) an interactive planning dashboard to help districts analyze and report their own team’s progress, 3) a community of mentoring districts, 4) ongoing webinars and expert advisory chats, and 5) exemplars and snap shots of success. These districts have taken the Future Ready pledge and are eligible to attend Future Ready regional summits.