The next assessment your school gives just might leak out of the school’s digital infrastructure if you’re not careful. Microsoft and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) are joining forces to create a secure online test-taking environment, from marking to distribution. Based on Windows 8 and 8.1, it will unfortunately ignore the many schools that still use XP. It should be ready this spring’s test-taking season.
The next-generation General Equivalency Diploma test is coming and Odsseyware has an online prep class to help students who missed out on a diploma the first time around pass it. It prepares them to take the GED, TASC and HiSet tests with modules for all the major test topics, assessments, study tips and test-taking strategies. Each program has four practice exams and Odysseyware’s text-to-speech generator that lets it speak to students as well as translate items into several languages.
The latest version of the Ready Writing family from Curriculum Associates is aimed at pushing the language arts abilities of second through fifth graders by raising the bar on their work. Based on Common Core standards, Ready Writing divides the curriculum into easily digestible chunks that build on each other and are based on showing what good writing is all about. It emphasizes gathering and organizing information, planning, drafting, revising, and editing the final work. The program costs $275 for a classroom of 25 students.
Need some help drilling kids in Common Core math and language arts subjects? OpenEd’s free Common Core Quest app can help them show what they know and – more importantly – what they don’t. Available for iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets, Common Core Quest lets kids accumulate badges and ribbons for mastering each category.
The latest version of Performance Matters’ Unify takes measuring student growth and achievement to new levels by enabling collaboratively created, developed and administered assessments that can be shared within a district. It allows educators to pool their knowledge, experience and resources to create the best tests for the subject.
If expensive assessments leave a big hole in your budget, Naiku’s Benchmark Now not only can assess and track the progress of every student and class, but also allows the use of in class instant quizzes. Naiku for Teachers costs $159 and adds the ability for teachers to create, share, and import their own assessments. The company’s District product add things like importing existing tests as well as integrating with a student information system and creating school-based reports. There are free trials available.
With probably the most test-heavy school year about to start, what’s a poor teacher to do? Snapwiz’s Edulastic has a new tool to create, administer and grade digital tests, and it’s all free. The tests are given in a secure browser widow, so all members of a class don’t need to all have the same hardware and software. Teachers can get instant feedback on their student’s work.