Common Core | News
Wireless Generation Offers Districts Free 'Gap Analysis' for CCSS Transition
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A company that specializes in helping teachers teach more effectively through the use of education technology has launched a series of services to help districts prepare for the adoption of the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Wireless Generation has introduced a brief but comprehensive survey that will generate a free gap analysis to help districts understand how ready they are to make the transition to the new standards.
Although the math and English/language arts standards are now available, starting in 2014, two consortia will have online summative assessments for schools to use in evaluating student learning outcomes against the standards. That's when a major instructional push is expected to teach to the new standards, which have been formally adopted by 45 states and three territories.
Wireless Generation's implementation gap analysis survey, the company said, takes about 30 to 45 minutes to fill out. Although it's relevant to individual schools, the company is requiring districts to submit the answers. The survey asks questions about planning for the transition, strategies for promoting the Common Core, use of tools or resources for supporting the implementation, and related topics. Within two days, a member of the company provides a "detailed report" that reviews eight areas of Common Core readiness and provides recommendations for the transition. The deadline for filling out the survey to obtain the free assessment is October 30, 2012.
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Within two days of submitting a free survey, a Wireless Generation employee will provide a "detailed report" with recommendations for a transistion to the Common Core State Standards.
The company offers a number of services and products to assist districts and schools in educating their teachers about the Common Core and helping instructors transition their instructional practices to accommodate the standards.
In 2011 Wireless Generation introduced mCLASS Beacon, an assessment suite that provides a visual "map" of individual and collective student assessment, pre-loaded with Common Core benchmarks. The map shows details about what a given student has mastered and needs to know in order to progress to next-level material. The application generates reports that analyze school benchmarks in order to help administrators uncover patterns and better determine how to improve student performance.
In September 2012 the company added Quick Check to mCLASS Beacon. This software allows teachers to use assessment data to generate lessons aligned to the Common Core. Features include scoring rubrics synched with Common Core benchmarks, a transition guide, a K-1-specific assessment, and project-based tasks for students.
The company also sells "Learning Trajectory" posters intended to help educators "unpack" the standards across grades and level of difficulty and to point out connections between concepts and skills. The posters, which are currently on back order, are priced at $20 each.
Wireless Generation has bundled its software with professional services into a "CCSS ImpleMentor Program," which adds training and professional development to the applications. Training sessions range from half-day seminars to shorter meetings and include access to a video library of best teaching practices for Common Core lessons.
"At a time when US education is seeing some of the most significant changes in decades, there's a clear need for effective tools to assist teachers in meeting the rigors and complexities of the new Common Core Standards," said CEO Josh Reibel. "Educators can find themselves overwhelmed by data related to what students know and don't know. For more than 10 years, Wireless Generation's technologies and services have been focused on helping teachers synthesize that data and use it to enhance student learning."
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.