Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Frolyc Recognition and "Testing the Test"

Sometimes life gets in the way, so it's been awhile since I've been able to post.  Since the last post there are two topics I feel compelled to write about! 

First, Frolyc, the iPad app that I use to create personalized lessons for a student I tutor has created some buzz lately by being nominated for an edtech digest award (http://edtechdigest.wordpress.com/) and featured in a education article for the Mercury News!  I still love using this app and the creator is constantly tweaking and updating features making it a dynamic and relevant tool for delivering content to students.




Next, the reality of computerized testing at the elementary level has arrived.  Last week 3rd through 5th grade classes rotated through the computer lab at our school, getting their first independent exposure to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Test (http://www.smarterbalanced.org/).  Students used a secure browser to take a short training test in ELA and Math to help them prepare for the official California state-wide field testing that begins today through June.  Within that time frame districts can determine when school sites will take the test.  http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-standardized-test-20140325,0,7010054.story#axzz2wzUuRz8i

As a Technology Resource Teacher I facilitated the 3rd - 5th grade SBAC training tests and was intrigued watching students take the test.  There seemed to be certain degree of excitement toward the new format and it was a better experience, from my perspective, than looking over rows of daunted students with their test booklets and bubble answer sheets.  Still, it was easy to see who was putting effort into the test and who was going through the motions.  Yesterday during our computer skills classes I used Google Forms to get feedback from the students on their feelings towards the new computerized test format.  Overall students seemed to prefer the new format, but some would prefer to go back to the old bubble test! 

Some initial student reactions are below.  We'll see if their feelings change after they take the longer field test and performance task!  http://www.smarterbalanced.org/

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