...

Standardized Testing | News

Smarter Balanced Releases Technology Planning Framework for Common Core Assessments

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has released its technology planning framework, which details hardware and bandwidth requirements for school districts that plan to implement the consortium's assessment system in the 2014-2015 school year.

Navigation North developed the framework on behalf of the consortium, with input from Smarter Balanced member states and work groups, along with data from the Technology Readiness Tool, an online inventory of technology resources that the consortium launched earlier this year.

The framework provides both minimum requirements for existing technology and recommended minimum requirements for new technology purchases. According to the Consortium, students using technology that meets only the minimum requirements may experience sluggish computer behavior when completing assessments, whereas students using technology that meets the recommended requirements should experience more responsive computer behavior.

Based on its research, the consortium reported most schools in member states already have adequate technology infrastructure to administer the assessments successfully.

Smarter Balanced minimum requirements for current technology include:

  • For Windows computers: Windows XP with Service Pack 3, Pentium 233 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM, and 52 MB of free hard disk space;
  • For Mac computers: Mac OS X 10.4.4, Intel x86 or PowerPC G3 (300 MHz) processor, 256 MB RAM, and 200 MB of free hard disk space;
  • For Linux computers: Ubuntu 9-10 or Fedora 6, Pentium II or AMD K6-III 233 MHz processor, 64 MB RAM, and 52 MB of free hard disk space;
  • For iOS devices: iPad 2 or 3 running iOS 6;
  • For Android devices: Android-based tablets running Android 4.0+; and
  • For Chrome devices: Chromebooks running Chrome OS 19+.

Smarter Balanced recommended minimum requirements for new purchases include:

  • For Windows computers: Windows 7+, 1 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, and 80 GB hard disk drive;
  • For Mac computers: Mac OS X 10.7+, 1 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, and 80 hard disk drive;
  • For Linux computers: Ubuntu 11.10 or Fedora 16, 1 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, and 80 hard disk drive;
  • For iOS devices: iPads running iOS6;
  • For Android devices: Android-based tablets running Android 4.0+; and
  • For Chrome devices: Chromebooks running Chrome OS 19+.

Devices should also have at least a 10-inch screen, a mechanical keyboard, headphones, and wired or wireless Internet access. IT administrators should also have tools to temporarily disable any features, functionalities, and applications that could present a security risk during test administration.

Smarter Balanced noted that while these minimum requirements for technology are adequate to support student assessments, they may not meet minimum requirements to support student instruction.

The full Smarter Balanced Technology Strategy Framework and Systems Requirement Specifications are available on the Smarter Balanced site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

comments powered by Disqus

Whitepapers