Putting online testing to the test

The Scantron bubble has burst, as standardized testing goes online.

Forget paper and pencils, and filling in all those little dots.  

Kids are increasingly being asked to take standardized tests on computers .

And those who aren’t, soon will be.

There’s a big push to  get kids online at school, so they will be ready when testing begins on the Common Core standards, which will be implemented in many states over the coming months.

Not all schools are prepared. In some districts, there is a computer for every child - and the bandwidth needed for the tests. 

Other places aren’t close.

A recent survey of K-12 educators, found that 60 percent don’t feel well prepared to administer online tests.

When things are in order, however, kids will probably be fine.

There’s a general sense among educators that kids are way more comfortable online than most of us grownups will ever be… so they have that going for them.

There is one small thing to be concerned about: making sure kids can use a keyboard.  Keyboarding classes are becoming routine in elementary schools.

Schools that don’t get up to speed in time to offer tests online, will still be able to use papers and pencils for the next few years.  

For more about online testing, listen to my conversation with Ben  Johnson, host of Marketplace Tech, by clicking on the audio above. 

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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