Sunday, September 21, 2014

Common Core Assessments Using Headphones

I have posted a couple of times about things that relate to Common Core.  This post is about assessing students using Common Core standards using headphones.  Why?  It is simple.  Many Common Core assessments will be done on a computer.  And as such, any sound or speaking parts will need to be delivered to students in a manner that only they can hear it -- via headphones.  Headphones are something most schools do not think about until the last minute.

You might be thinking, "Headphones?  What's the difference?  We'll just buy a bunch at Wal-Mart."  It might not be that simple for your school.  Whether you have joined with the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium or the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers you need to be aware of how different types of headphones can be used and can impact the quality of assessments that your students are taking.  

And now you might be thinking, "Really?  What's the difference?"

The differences between cheaper "disposable" or "bulk" style headphones, and a more durable set of classroom headphones can be striking in the areas of quality, durability and usability.  Did you know that some tests will exit or become disabled if the student attempts to adjust the volume within the computer operating system?  If you are giving a test like this, you may need a classroom set of headphones that features external volume control.  Are you giving foreign language assessments?  Many foreign language Common Core assessments require the students to speak -- your headphones might need microphones built-in!  What kind of connection do you need?  Single plug (like one for a Macintosh) or a dual plug connection with separate headphone and microphone connections (more traditional).

These are just some of the things to consider when you are preparing for your Common Core assessments.  A great resource for Common Core Headphones is a company called Encore Data Products.  They have created this fantastic video below to help you with your Common Core Headphone selection process!

Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and 
The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

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