Mass.gov
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
 Massachusetts State Seal
 News  School/District Profiles  School/District Administration  Educator Services  Assessment/Accountability  Family & Community  
 Student Assessment  Accountability, Partnership, & Assistance  Compliance/Monitoring >  
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

Digital Learning and PARCC Preparedness

To:Administrators, Curriculum Coordinators, Principals, Teachers, and Technology Directors
From:Jonathan Landman, Assistant Commissioner for Teaching and Learning
Date:June 25, 2014

stopline

Many districts are considering how to proceed with digital learning efforts while the state weighs the choice between MCAS and PARCC. If your students will be taking the online PARCC assessment in 2015, it makes sense to ensure they have had experience with the technology skills they will need for success on PARCC test items. Attached to this memo are two documents for your reference on technology skills for PARCC and classroom instruction. Below, we offer recommendations and some additional information.

  1. The overarching goal is to prepare all of our students for careers and/or colleges where technology is used in myriad ways. With these ends in mind, the best way to ready students for future success is to develop curricula and assessments integrating varied, authentic opportunities to use technology in conjunction with rigorous standards-based learning activities.
  2. The first document, Technology Skills for Online Assessments Download MS EXCEL Document, lists the technology tools students will encounter in PARCC items and accommodations.
  3. We recommend educators become familiar with the content and format of the PARCC online assessments by taking the practice tests available at http://www.parcconline.org/practice-tests and using them with students.
  4. Developing keyboarding skills as part of regular instruction has potential benefits for students' writing, thinking and facility with technology. It is also important for both math and English language arts PARCC items. The second document, Keyboarding /Touch-Typing for Students Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document presents the Massachusetts technology and ELA/literacy standards that address keyboarding, as well as excerpts from a research study on keyboarding in elementary schools.
  5. In anticipation of PARCC online mathematics items, it is important for students to have practice with online tools and an HTML equation editor as part of their regular instruction.
  6. Over the coming year, PARCC and DESE will be conducting studies to ascertain whether there is a correlation between students' technology skills, their level of exposure to technology in school, and their ability to demonstrate their mastery of ELA and math standards in an online assessment environment. The data from these studies will be available to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education when they weigh whether to sunset MCAS in favor of PARCC or not.
  7. The Department is convening a Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards Panel. The charge of this panel is to develop an updated set of voluntary standards to guide Massachusetts districts in development of a comprehensive technology program for students.



Last Updated: June 25, 2014
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search · Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact ESE