California is rolling out a new online testing system in K–12 schools this year in conjunction with the new Common Core curriculum standards. Are schools prepared?
At a recent briefing in Sacramento, PPIC researcher Niu Gao answered the question with findings from her new study. She found that there is a wide variation in readiness across the state. Many district technology officers express confidence in the quantity and quality of their hardware and network capabilities. But they are much less confident of their ability to handle software issues, such as the installation of secure browsers, distribution of IDs, and quick log-ins for students. Most districts also report that they do not have enough staff to provide technical support or do not provide sufficient training for teachers and IT staff.
Gao concludes that in the longer term, virtually all schools will need to upgrade their technology to adopt and fully benefit from digital learning—video conferencing, virtual field trips, and personalized audio-visual instruction.
Gao’s report is titled Are California’s Schools Ready for Online Testing and Learning?