Maryland Adopts TechLiteracy for Statewide Assessments

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Maryland is implementing Learning.com's TechLiteracy Assessment to gauge its seventh-grade students' knowledge of 21st century technology skills. The assessments are being funded under the Measuring Student Technology Literacy grant program and will measure the skills of about 62,000 students during the 2008-2009 school year.

The aim of the assessments is to determine how well Maryland's students are grasping technology skills and to help educators determine what sorts of training they need to support technology literacy development among their students. The program is being run as a cooperative effort between the Maryland State Department of Education and the Student Technology Literacy Consortium, which comprises all 24 local school systems in Maryland.

"These data will give us a statewide picture of how well students are progressing on the technology skills necessary to be successful in high school and as adults, to help us make smart decisions about our curriculum, and improve how we teach and integrate technology skills into our schools," said Kalani Smith, project manager for the Student Technology Literacy Consortium, in a statement released earlier this month.

The Web-based TechLiteracy Assessment combines multiple choice questions with "interactive, performance-based items to authentically assess students' technology knowledge and skills," according to Learning.com. "The assessment measures how well students understand and demonstrate technology concepts, skills and strategies. It can be given in just one class period to make it easier for teachers to administer and to limit the impact on instructional time for students."

Learning.com will also provide professional development to teachers administering the assessments. The TechLiteracy Assessment is also currently in use statewide in Arizona and has been piloted in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas.

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About the author:David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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