Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day 63 - BPS EdTech Prepares for PARCC - Dennis Villano, Director of Instructional Technology

The BPS EdTech Team has worked on many important technology initiatives over the past three years. We have faced tough challenges and found some great success along the way. Our incredible IT department, instructional technology, and library team members have worked to develop a great environment for digital learning in Burlington. Each initiative has brought many long days – and even long nights – forcing caffeine to often replace sleep.
Now we are preparing for a new challenge. We are starting to plan for the administration of PARCC exams on digital devices for grades 3-10. This is not a small isolated field test – we are rolling out the exam to nearly all of the students in these grades via a combination of devices and testing environments.
Here is a look at some of the initial topics we are working on: 
Testing devices include iPads, Chromebooks, PC and Mac computer labs
We will report on the use of keyboards with iPads – a requirement of PARCC – and discuss their level of need.
Peripheral options including iPad stands and headphones
Logistics of testing sites including labs, classrooms, and shared spaces such as libraries
Use of Apple Configurator and Mobile Device Management systems for iPads
Use of the Google Management Dashboard for Chromebooks
We will even be altering network conditions to look at what various districts may encounter in an effort to truly assess the needs of PARCC testing conditions.
The New England 1:1 Summit will include sessions with our team to continue the conversation about PARCC technology readiness and the results of our initial implementation of testing.
Stay tuned to this BPS EdTech site and other sites in Burlington from Superintendent Dr. Eric Conti and Assistant Superintendent Patrick Larkin for information and updates about this new journey. We will provide details about the entire process. Ultimately, we hope to accomplish what we love to do = provide our students with the best environment possible to succeed and help other schools and districts outside of Burlington do the same.
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