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Dell Software Tool To Help Districts Prepare for Online Assessments

Dell Software has gone public with the news that its Dell KACE family of systems management appliances includes tools to help school districts ensure their technology is ready for online assessment testing programs, such as Smarter Balanced, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College Careers (PARCC), Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC), and Assessment Services Supporting ELLs through Technology Systems (ASSETS).

In preparation for online assessments, districts will have to ensure that schools have the necessary computer hardware, browsers, operating system, and other equipment, and that it's configured correctly to interact with the assessment system, including configuration with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and role-based permissions for administrators.

While programs such as Smarter Balanced and PARCC include technology readiness tools to help schools identify their current technology infrastructure, the Dell KACE tool can then help determine whether districts need to upgrade their technology to support the testing system.

"In the near future, thousands of school districts will be tasked with launching these assessment testing programs and it's critical that IT teams ensure their systems are up to the task," said Steve Plume, vice president of marketing for Dell KACE, in a prepared statement. "As IT teams evaluate technology purchases, we're excited to be able to provide educational institutions the ability to meet these requirements while streamlining their systems management tasks."

According to the company, Dell KACE can also help schools after the testing program has been implemented by locking down systems so the operating system and applications can't be tampered with, ensuring the systems have the required browsers and standard applications, and producing audit reports for IT administrators.

Further information about the Dell KACE family of systems management appliances is available on the Dell KACE site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].