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!

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.

Chelmsford Public Schools is Partnering with Code.org

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — Chelmsford Superintendent Dr. Frank Tiano announced that the Chelmsford Public Schools is teaming up with Code.org to launch a comprehensive expansion of coding in Grades K-5.

The partnership will provide teachers with professional development to help students in grades K-5 learn about computer science in a format that is fun and accessible. Hadi Partovi, the founder of Code.org personally reviewed every application and chose Chelmsford as one of the top 10% to participate in this program. In addition, Code.org is donating the teacher training and materials.

Dr. Marilyn Sweeney coordinates technology curriculum for the Chelmsford Public Schools and is working with Code.org to expand student-coding skills and elementary school computer science education.

“The purpose of technology is to provide a ‘digital window’ into our curriculum and to provide an easily accessible, more engaging way for students to learn. The purpose of coding and computer-science training is to help students not only use technology, but also to develop it”, said Anne-Marie Fiore, the Executive Director for Technology and Information in Chelmsford.

“Our focus is to inspire students to try computer science thereby providing students with increased opportunities for the future,” Fiore stated.

“Teaching students how to code augments their skill set, no matter if they are college or career bound,” Superintendent Frank Tiano said. “In an economy that is growing with digital computing technologies, coding is a crucial skill; one that all students should have an opportunity to learn”, stated Tiano.

The goal of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to support educational innovation and provide 21st century skills that empower students to become successful adults. Chelmsford offers computer programming instruction in Grades 1-12, with several courses in computer programming and computer science at the high school.

For more information on the Chelmsford Public Schools; please visit http://www.chelmsford.k12.ma.us