THE NEW JERSEY TECHNOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR PROFICIENCY AND INTEGRATION (NJTAP-IN)
EIGHTH GRADE ASSESSMENT
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – FALL 2007
WHY ASSESS TECHNOLOGICAL PROFICIENCY…
- Are there Standards that we have to follow, and does it have to be approved by someone?
- The standard to follow is the New Jersey 8.1 Computer and Information Literacy Standard. Follow those cumulative progress indicators (CPIs) and the resources on the Office of Academic Standards site. http://www.nj.gov/njded/aps/cccs/tech/. NJDOE approval is not necessary. The district/Charter School approvals may be built into the process. Also, don’t reinvent the wheel. There are many district-developed assessments on the web and within the State. Please be aware that NJDOE 8.1 cumulative progress indicators are different than the NETS Standards. New Jersey Schools must implement the NJDOE 8.1 Standard and Cumulative Progress Indicators (CPIs).
- I am not clear about the legislation authorizing the educational technology data collection. Is it Title II-D, the federal NCLB program, or the state of New Jersey?
- The Enhancing Education Through Technology (Ed Tech) Program, or Title II-D program comes directly from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110). The Technological Literacy Standards are defined in New Jersey’s Administrative Code (N.J.A.C. 6A:8) and according to New Jersey’s Statewide Plan for Title II-D, the requirement is that students meet NJCCCS.
- Does NCLB require all schools to evaluate student technology literacy proficiency?
- NCLB requires all schools to have technologically literate students before the end of grade eight. NCLB requires the NJDOE to report the number of technologically literate students on a yearly basis. NCLB requires LEAs to have a technology plan that is aligned to the state technology plan in order to apply for NCLB funding and the technology plan must address how federal funding will be used for technological literacy (NCLB section 2414.b.1). In order for an LEA to receive any NCLB funding, it is committing itself to technological literacy and since the LEA must align its technological literacy to NJCCCS 8.1, it must also assess and report on it in order to comply with NJAC 6A:8-3.1(a)3.
- What if the district does not receive Title II-D funds?
- All students are expected to meet NJ Technological Literacy Standard (8.1 Computer & Information Literacy) by the end of 8th grade. In addition, the NJ State Administrative Code 6A:8-3.1(a)3 states, "District boards of education shall be responsible for assessing and publicly reporting on the progress of all students in developing the knowledge and skills specified by the Core Curriculum Content Standards, including content areas not currently included in the Statewide assessment program." All LEAs must assess and report on NJCCCS 8.1.
- What is educational technology?
- Educational technology is using technology within an instructional setting to support students and teachers in the learning process. It enables students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be productive, informed citizens, and self-directed lifelong learners. Its infusion across all curriculum areas in a learner centered environment supports higher-order thinking skills such as information-gathering, information-organizing, evaluating, problem solving and decision making, while working as a team member and developing communication skills. Effective implementation of educational technology includes content area teachers utilizing teaching strategies that lead to academic success for each student. Effective implementation of educational technology requires administrative support for professional development and onsite guidance. Title II-D supports the expansion of educational technology throughout NJ.
- Are there standards for teachers or students in Educational Technology?
- No. NJ does not have separate standards for educational technology. Educational technology is embedded within all Core Curriculum Content Standards. The NJDOE also supports the International Society for Technology Education’s (ISTE) educational technology standards for students, teachers and administrators.
WHAT TO DO…
- What is NJTAP-IN?
- School districts/Charter Schools are required to assess students’ technological literacy from state (8.1 Computer and Information Standard) and federal (NCLB, Title II-D) mandates. New Jersey Technology Assessment of Proficiency and Integration (NJTAP-IN) is a combination of strategies, tools and resources so that teachers can assess technological literacy (while doing what they already do) in the classroom using technology. The information sessions that were conducted in early October 2006 provided detail on what that would look like. However, the NJDOE does not dictate when or how assessments are to be done. There are several options, such as purchasing an assessment tool, developing a district-made tool or adopting NJTAP-IN recommendations. NJTAP-IN is the recommended option. Please note – during December 2006 and May 2007, the NJDOE facilitated the NJTAP Pilot Program of 27 school districts to use the NJTAP-IN resources, modify as necessary and comment on its usefulness.
- Where should a district begin? Please describe for me the requirements for developing a local instrument. I would prefer to use such a device to report our technology literacy rate.
- Currently, there is information on the NJDOE website that will assist in the planning for and development of an assessment process.
- The assessment must also be designed to address equity of access and usage to ensure all students have the opportunity to have their individual skills assessed.
1st - The district/Charter School curriculum AND the newly developed or adopted technological literacy assessment instrument MUST be aligned to the NJ CCCS 8.1 Computer and Information Literacy Standard and cumulative progress indicators.
2nd - The district may decide to choose a specific grade level to begin the initiative to assess for technological literacy. If so, review the curricula and instruction for that grade level.
3rd - Look at the projects that are done at various grade levels related to the different academic areas and note how technology is used in relation to the projects.
4th - Look at the assessments that are already established for the identified projects noted above.
5th - Do a comparison of activities/projects and rubrics/assessments done in class with the cumulative progress indicators of the NJ 8.1 Standard. Identify gaps that exist between the CPIs and what is covered in a students classroom work. Make adjustments that are needed to make the assignments/projects cover the missing components.
6th - Answer the following questions:
- What rubrics are being used related to content and technology use of 8.1?
- How could these projects/assignments be modified to include more use of Computer and Information Literacy cumulative progress indicators?
- How does the use of Computer and Information Literacy change from grade level to grade level?
- After mapping out the usage, has staff determined when it is most appropriate to record progress of students?
- Do you record data from the 4th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade or 8th grade? Is it better to keep track of progress on a yearly basis?
- When is the optimum time so students have a chance to learn the skills necessary if they are not proficient at grade 7?
- What happens if a student is not proficient at the end of grade 8?
7th - School districts and Charter Schools are encouraged to focus on the internal process oftracking and reporting. Even if a tool was purchased or is available in the school district or Charter School, the following questions must still be addressed:
- What is the process to track and report the student technology proficiency data from grade to grade?
- Has the district/Charter School considered all aspects of the process ----assess for computer and information literacy across all grades?
- Has the district/Charter School ensured there is access across all content areas for all students?
- If data has to be reported to NJDOE in the fall of the year after the student completes 8th grade, when will the assessment for the 8th grader occur?
- What are the timelines for "remediation", if needed?
- How will the data for all 8th graders be aggregated to report to NJDOE?
8th - Review current curriculum and staffing (staff currently using computer and information technology with students) and analyze how to best utilize the existing resources to address and integrate the technological literacy assessment requirements.
9th - Identifying the relationship between technological literacy and the district’s/Charter School’s professional development plans.
- Technology is rapidly changing. Where we are now may be different from what might be taught in five years. Are the only technologies considered in the technological literacy competencies those that are mentioned on the rubric?
- Yes. The technologies mentioned are not the only items that may be used in the assessment of skills. The list is not exhaustive. The classroom should always include the tools necessary to accomplish the task at hand. Additionally, all resources that assist in the implementation of the Standard will be updated, as needed, to stay current with our changing technological world. Districts/Charter Schools will also need to consider the costs of upgrading the technologies.
- How does a district know when the student is technologically proficient?
- The NJTAP-IN General Rubric has a column called PROFICIENCY. It is this column that provides the skill level that a student must achieve to lead toward proficiency. The students’ total score based on the corresponding indicator on the rubric and matched with the rubric legend indicates student proficiency. If a district/Charter School has assessed a student for Computer and Information Literacy, then they must align their results with the NJTAP-IN General Rubric in order to determine proficiency. Once the score has been tallied, the student must fall within the proficiency range.
- What is the difference between technological literacy and technological proficiency?
- There are many tools that measure “technological literacy” or “the ability to independently and effectively maneuver through an application to achieve the desired results”. “Technological proficiency”, as it relates to the NJDOE’s 8.1 Computer and Information Literacy standard, means the attainment of a score above 31 on the NJTAP-IN General Rubric.
- What is a “Technology Literacy Integration System”?
- It is a computer application with instructional strategies that assists teachers in planning and implementing technology-infused indicators. The system helps align instruction and provides tools to assist in evaluating the Computer and Information Literacy of the user.
HOW ARE STUDENTS INVOLVED…
- Must a district assess more students than just those in the eighth grade?
- It is up to the district/Charter School to determine the population to assess. A district/Charter School MAY choose one grade level and one content area. There are no stipulations on the population of students to be assessed. However, reporting on technological literacy must be on all 8th graders.
- If we use the scope and sequence, how many items must the students know to be considered proficient?
- The scope and sequence is not the tool that defines proficiency. The NJTAP-IN General Rubric defines proficiency. However, the scope and sequence provides detailed examples of the skills that make up proficiency.
- Do students who meet technological literacy requirements in the seventh grade fulfill the eighth grade requirements?
- Yes, but school districts/Charter Schools are encouraged to continue moving toward the grade 12 Computer and Information Literacy standard. Technology changes rapidly and NJ students deserve the opportunity to increase their technological literacy. Students need to keep using the skills so that they do not forget them.
- What happens if the student comes from out of district?
- Students are expected to be evaluated for their Computer and Information Skills as all other students in the school. If the student’s records are not available in a timely fashion, a new rubric will be started with the student by his or her primary teacher. Students may need special assistance, extra help, or different forms of instruction to meet the 8.1 Standard. The district must develop a timely process to assist and support students that need to “catch up” to their same-age peers in terms of their computer and information literacy skills.
- What is done for students with special needs that are unable to use the technology specified in the 8.1 standard?
- It is important that the students are assessed first to determine if there are technologies that can be used to meet some or all of the indicators in the 8.1 Standard. One of the NJTAP-IN tools available on the NJTAP-IN webpage is the STUDENT READINESS RUBRIC. This rubric may be used with severely disabled students and any student that has questionable skills to manipulate the available technology in the district/Charter School. Many devices exist that are alternatives to common technology tools such as keyboards that are modified slightly and touch screens that are functional for students who would not otherwise be able to use a keyboard as an input device. Alternative devices may be used with all students and therefore increase efficiency.
- Are students with special needs supposed to be given extra time, adaptations or any kind of alternative assessment?
- Some students, including those with special needs, may need additional time to become proficient in a skill. This issue must be considered during the design of the lesson plans. Students with special needs must be assisted as necessary. Adaptations may be in many forms including more time, modified assignments, supplementary services or assistive technology tools.
HOW TO ASSESS…
- How can we assess student technological literacy without additional money or resources?
- NJTAP-IN was designed to provide a solution that is as minimally burdensome for the school district/Charter School in terms of staff and costs. The NJTAP pilot provided us with evidence that minimal dollars were expended in the project. In some cases, no additional dollars were expended. Our premise is to begin with what is already happening in the school district/Charter School and then implement the steps outlined in the plan. Districts have recently completed their three-year technology plans that would provide a method for moving forward with the initiative to have all students technologically literate by the end of grade eight. Each district is encouraged to move forward with their plan. If the issue of concern is that more computers are needed to increase access for students, please see the question below related to access to computers.
- What is an alternative assessment to the NJTAP-IN General Rubric that may be used with the middle school level students who will not have a chance to meet all of the rubric competencies by the end of 8th grade?
- There are many available tools that will assist the district/Charter School in the assessment of Computer and Information Literacy skills (see question 49). However, it is important that the tool chosen by the school district/Charter School is directly aligned with the NJDOE 8.1 Computer and Information Literacy Standard. Students will still advance in grade if they have not become technologically proficient by the end of grade eight.
- How may access to equipment be ensured for all students?
- Access to equipment can be available for all students by revising the scheduling for available resources such as computer labs, developing classroom technology centers, utilizing library and media computers, utilizing community access computers such as local libraries and community centers, adopting strategies for the one-computer classroom, combining classes for specific times of the day to utilize the available technology to its fullest, and more. If additional computer needs are already identified in the district’s NCLB plan or Technology Plan, mobile carts may be a viable option for replacements and purchase. It is feasible that school districts/Charter Schools can form consortiums to strengthen their purchasing power for capital expenditures and peripherals. Those schools that have no technology devices within the classroom or in a computer lab setting may have to develop an implementation plan based on timelines that correspond to realistic purchasing opportunities.
- Sometimes teachers find it difficult to get into computer labs to work with all students for a number of reasons such as when the computer labs are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis and they are filled each class period; or because students are cycled through the computer lab within a school year and there is no additional time available for the students that are not scheduled to use the computer lab. In these cases, it is important to review resources, computer lab personnel, computer lab schedule, grade level schedules and more to determine if changes can occur to ensure access. A few examples are: have available mobile computer labs in the schools, schedule the computer teacher into the classroom (or media center) to facilitate instruction, and change class schedules to accommodate the most students in the school gaining access to the school computer lab. (Contact schools with the same demographics that are already scheduling in this way.)
- A memo from the NJDOE dated September 21, 2006 indicates that a list of state approved assessments would be posted on the DOE website. I continue to check, but do not seem to find them. I am not sure if I am searching the correct site or if they are not posted. Where can I find a list of state approved assessments on the NJDOE website? Without this information, districts/Charter Schools are faced with trying to get students assessed prior to the NJASK and GEPA assessments, and if they have limited equipment, without the information being shared, it places the districts/Charter Schools in a difficult position to complete the requirement.
- Please note that the Office of Educational and Information Technology does not approve assessments. Only products that meet specific criteria for determining Computer and Information Literacy of students will be posted. Vendors convey the details on how their product meets specific criteria - such as being aligned to NJ standards and supports technology integration within the classroom across all content areas. Those vendors that meet all of the criteria will be posted. Postings are only for informational purposes not as an endorsement of the product.
- I work in a large middle school. We offer computer classes in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Students do not necessarily take a computer class in every grade. They may elect to take band for example. All students do however take at least one computer class while at our school. I am trying to determine the most efficient and beneficial method of assessment. I am also trying to develop something that is cost effective. Below are several questions that I need to be addressed.
1st - What type of data will we be expected to provide?
2nd - Are there any online assessments available?
3rd - Portfolios seem like a very time consuming and subjective method. What class would do the portfolio?
4th - How are other schools implementing portfolios? Not all classrooms have computers to support technology literacy portfolios. We have four computer labs. Three are used for a good portion of the day in order to teach grade 6, 7, and 8 computer courses. The other lab is in our media center.
- Specific answers to the questions noted above are found elsewhere in this FAQ document. Before finding the answers to the specific questions above, it is important that other questions and considerations have been discussed first within the district.
To begin the discussion, please understand the Department's direction for using educational technology. It is for the technology to be used in learning content, across all curriculum areas. Therefore, districts’/Charter Schools have to look outside the box, or in this case, outside the computer labs. Although in this scenario students have at least one computer class, it is expected that they are meeting the 8.1 Standard by using the technology in their content area classes. This is the first discussion within each district/Charter School.
The discussion continues in asking where, across all content areas and all grade levels, are the 8.1 indicators already met? Once this is determined, the next conversation is how to record the fact that students are meeting some of the indicators, and then how to track those students. (Note: There are many professional development opportunities that may provide other strategies for developing and implementing electronic portfolios.) Next, where are the gaps and where in the curriculum can the remaining indicators be addressed? There are several models in place and the best option is to network with other school districts/Charter Schools to see what they are doing. Also, review the NTJAP-IN resources on this webpage for other options.
- Is it required to keep the technology projects in a student's record folder or is it something that is just reported yearly on the annual Report Card data collection?
- A student will be randomly chosen (for example during monitoring) and the district/Charter School must show how technological proficiency is determined for that student. It is therefore necessary to maintain and keep the artifacts of student work, or if an assessment tool was purchased then the assessment results for each student must be retained.
- What types of projects are acceptable to assess the 8.1 Standard?
- The key component for districts or Charter Schools to consider is the alignment of the project/activities to the 8.1 Computer and Information Literacy Standard and the Cumulative Progress Indicators (CPIs). To use one project, that project would have to be aligned to all of the indicators noted on the NJTAP-IN General Rubric. The projects can be anything the district/Charter School feels is acceptably aligned to the cumulative indicators of the 8.1 Standard. Project ideas are available on the NJDOE, Office of Academic Standards, Technological Literacy website.
- What is the requirement (criteria) for student work that should be retained at the district level?
- The student work that is used as evidence of proficiency of the 8.1 cumulative progress indicators must depict clear completion of the required indicators in their work. In addition to the students’ final work, a description of the task, the completed rubric and the grade provided to the work must also be available for review.
- How long should student work be retained?
- The evidence must be available at the district/Charter School level for a minimum of three years after the student has completed 8th grade.
- How can we determine if our school developed assessment meets the Standard and indicators?
- The assessment must be developed in concert with a team from various disciplines within the district/Charter School. Discuss the alignment of the assessment to the standard with all those that have an interest in this initiative within the district/Charter School. The tool may also be reviewed by the Office of Educational and Information staff.
- Does the assessment have to be a skills assessment given as one continuous test or can it be assessments embedded throughout our eighth grade technology cycle course?
- It is up to the district/Charter School to determine the type of assessment to use. You MAY also choose any time frame to assess. However, reporting on the technological proficiency of the 8th graders will not occur until the following October (in the school year after they complete the 8th grade). For example, the technological proficiency for all students in the 8th grade in June will be reported on the NJDOE Report Card data collection in October of the same year.
- Must all districts use the NJTAP-IN tools to assess 8th grade students' technology proficiency?
- No. The use of the NJTAP-IN tools to assess students’ technological literacy is not required. However, using the NJTAP-IN definition of proficiency, as determined by using the NJTAP-IN General Rubric, is required (see question 11). The NJDOE only recommends the tools provided. The final decision is up to the school district or Charter School keeping in mind that the assessment tool may measure interdisciplinary work using academic content with technology skill development.
- How do districts respond to assessing 8th grade students when some of their students are in a cycle course? In other words, some students have technology the first marking period and will not return to the technology class during the year. Who will assess these students?
- Has the district/Charter School developed a plan to ensure eighth grade students are technologically literate? If so, then the district is assessing students before they get into the eighth grade. Assessment and reporting are two different things. The district may assess the students at any time, and multiple times, throughout the time that the student is enrolled in school. Students may be assessed in any class where technology is integrated. When the student is found proficient in a particular indicator, the data is recorded and reported on the NJDOE after the students complete the eighth grade. For example, districts may want their students to be technologically literate by the end of the seventh grade, and therefore, they will assess them at the end of the seventh grade (or maybe the first marking period of the eighth grade). The district then reports the data of those students on the Report Card data collection in the fall after they complete the eighth grade.
- Who will do the assessment in this last case scenario? The district/Charter School decides how the students will be assessed. It will be up to the team to determine based on where the technology is being used. One teacher or a team of reviewers may look at the student work (additional assistance is available for this approach). The options are endless.
- If our children have actual computer literacy classes in 2nd through 8th grade with a computer teacher, can the child’s final computer grade in 8th grade be counted as the proficiency level of the student/s or does the district/Charter School actually have to give a separate assessment (or test if you will) to do our reporting?
- The final computer grade may be used ONLY if the following criteria are met:
- the computer literacy classes are aligned to the 8.1 Computer and Information Literacy Standard and indicators,
- whatever criteria used to determine the final computer grade is linked to the NJTAP-IN General Rubric to determine proficiency, and
- students can demonstrate technological literacy skills in relationship to a content area.
Please note that the intent is for the student to use the technology as an integral part of instruction. Therefore, the school district/Charter School must maintain evidence, ensure it meets the criteria (noted above), and provide it upon request to the NJDOE.
- If we have our own curriculum and a way of assessing, does the district/Charter School need to refer to the NJTAP-IN General Rubric?
- Yes. The NJTAP-IN General Rubric provides the definition of technological proficiency (see the answer to the above question and question 11).
- I would like your assistance in clarifying an area of the rubric. ….in the NJTAP-IN General Rubric….8.1.8.A.2 and 8.1.8.A.12 are grouped together appearing as one; and 8.1.8.B., 8.1.8.B.4, and 8.1.8.B.5 are grouped together appearing as one. Are we to count 17 indicators to be assessed or 20 indicators to be assessed?
- There are 16 indicators that are required to be addressed on the NJTAP-IN General Rubric. Some of the indicators from the 8.1 Standard were combined due to similarity for assessment purposes. Vocabulary is not one of the areas to be assessed although it must be addressed in the curriculum.
- Can a district/Charter School develop their own rubric to assess the 8.1 Standard and cumulative progress indicators?
- Yes. However, all school districts must use the same definition of proficiency and therefore any district-developed tool (such as a rubric) MUST be aligned to the NJTAP-IN General Rubric in order to determine student technological proficiency. The curriculum is aligned to the 8.1 standard and cumulative progress indicators, and therefore aligning the district-made rubric to the general rubric should not be difficult.
Also, please note that school districts are encouraged to assess a student’s Computer and Information Literacy as a normal part of the assessment process that occurs in the classroom. A district/Charter School may develop their own rubric as it relates to their assessment methods, but the key starting point is to begin by aligning the classroom projects to the NJCCCS 8.1 Computer and Information Literacy Standard and cumulative progress indicators. If the classroom activities do not assess all of the indicators in the 8.1 Standard, then the school will need one or more additional assessment items to use with those same students to cover the remaining cumulative progress indicators. The district/Charter School needs to develop a process for multiple review of student work in order to fine-tune the district-made rubric.
- Can we average the numbers obtained from the rubric and round up to give the corresponding proficiency – for instance if the student’s average is 2.7 they would be considered advanced but if their average is 2.4, they would be considered proficient?
- No, do not average numbers. The scores are added and compared to the scale at the bottom of the rubric. Again, the key is at the end of the rubric that designates the range for proficiency.
- Our district is developing a course that will be directly aligned with the Technology Literacy Standard 8.1. We are considering offering this course to all seventh grade students. Those who do not meet the proficiency Standard and receive a failing grade would be required to retake it at the beginning of the eighth grade. The process would give individuals an additional chance to become proficient. If students are proficient in seventh grade rather than eight, do we meet the NCLB requirements? Should our course include standard 8.2 as well? Will this be a future requirement?
- Yes. It does meet the requirement. If students are technologically literate in the 7th grade, then that score can be used when they are in the 8th grade.
- According the N.J.A.C., all students are to be assessed in all content areas of the CCCS. This means local assessment is necessary for 8.2 and information provided to the local board of education. It is the district’s/Charter School’s choice whether to include meeting the 8.2 indicators as part of the course.
HOW TO REPORT…
- When is the data due to NJDOE?
- As of October 2007, the data must be reported for the 8th grade students that completed 8th grade in the previous school year on the NJ School Report Card data collection. For example, the technological proficiency for all students in the 8th grade in June (end of the school year) will be reported on the NJDOE Report Card data collection in October of the same year.
- In what format is the data to be submitted?
- The questions asked on the NJ School Report Card are:
Does this school have any 8th grade students? (Y or N) If yes, answer questions below. If No then continue past this section).
Total number of 8th grade enrollment
Total number of students assessed
Total number of students not assessed - Explain why students were not assessed
Total number of students in 8th grade that are technologically literate
What assessment tool was used?
4th grade technological Literacy
1. District/teacher developed authentic assessment*
2. District standardized non-authentic assessment*
3. Standalone Computer-based assessment software
4. Online/web-based assessment
Does this school have any 4th grade students? (Y or N) If yes, answer questions below. If No then continue pass this section).
How are students assessed for the 4th grade Cumulative Progress Indicators for Computer and Information Literacy (CCCS 8.1)?
1. District/Teacher developed authentic assessment*
2. District standardized non-authentic assessment*
3. Computer-based assessment software
4. Online/web-based assessment
* Authentic assessment = to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills -- Jon Mueller
- Is there a specific “time” when the assessment on the 8.1 Standard must be complete?
- There is a “time” for reporting, which is October of each year, but no required time for assessing students. Schools are encouraged to assess continuously throughout every grade level. The district/Charter School has to determine the point in time that data will be captured and aggregated to report out by school. Also, those receiving Title II-D formula funds will report data in the EWEG Performance Report due each year at the school district/Charter School level.
- Our school has opened for grades K-5. We will have an eighth grade by the 09-10 school year. As per your letter regarding Title II-D, we do not have to report the technology assessment of our students until then?
- Correct. If you do not have an eighth grader until 2009-2010 school year, you do not have to report until then. Please note that instituting vertical articulation meetings where elementary staff discuss the training they received prior to entering the middle school is a good practice.
HIGH SCHOOL CONSIDERATIONS…
- What happens if a district does not have 100% of their students technologically proficient by the end of grade eight?
- The NJDOE’s site visits and/or monitoring process and the district’s/Charter School technology plan will provide information on the process and plan used to move toward 100% proficiency. If the information is not complete, the NJDOE will provide the district/Charter School with guidance on assisting their students with becoming technologically literate. The district needs to discuss with high school curriculum teams whether the students who are not proficient will need to pass a high school level course to become proficient.
- Should we be concerned with the technological literacy of those ninth grade students that are not technologically proficient by the end of eighth grade?
- Absolutely! Those students who are not technologically proficient by the end of eighth grade are deficient in the skills needed in the future workplace. In addition, the Core Curriculum Content Standards requires high school students to meet the 8.1 content standard for the grade 12 level. With students that are proficient in grade eight, there many reasons to continue developing their technological literacy so they can continue to be competitive in this global economy. For example, the Department of Education is working on advanced placement alignment with the language arts literacy content standard. The department is beginning a discussion regarding high school students being asked to perform the writing part of the HSPA using a computer rather than paper.
All schools, regardless of grade level, are responsible for annually assessing and reporting to their Board of Education student achievement of the NJCCCS. Even though technology literacy is integrated, there is still an expectation that local districts/Charter Schools at all levels assess students' progress. The possible fallout from the middle/junior high assessment is what happens if students begin high school, and they are not technologically literate. Another issue for regional districts is that there are different assessment methods being implemented by different sending districts.
- What does the high school need to do to sustain the literacy of the students that have reached technological proficiency?
- High school teachers are encouraged to attend ongoing professional development through the Educational Technology Training Centers (ETTCs) on using technology in the content areas in secondary schools. Students need to use Computer and Information Literacy skills for all projects, essays etc. for retained skill development. Students will need the technological literacy skills for the 21st Century Skills used in post-secondary education and in employment. Technology keeps changing at such a rapid rate that students as well as teachers need to keep up on recent applications of technology tools.
- What do high schools need to do to ensure students use the skills and develop new skills as new technologies become available?
- School districts and Charter Schools need to begin vertical articulation on this subject; there needs to be some communications between sending and receiving districts. If students are proficient at the 8th grade level, high schools need to ensure students use the skills and develop new skills as new technologies become available. Technology instruction cannot start or stop at the 8th grade level.
- How will teachers get the instructional time to acquire the skills needed to teach Computer and Information Literacy in the classroom?
- The school district’s/Charter School’s Professional Development Plan must address the needs of each teacher for professional development to implement the technological literacy standard. The NJTAP-IN resources will assist school districts in planning a realistic professional development plan for all teachers and administrators.
- Why provide onsite support to teachers?
- Once a teacher has participated in professional development opportunities on ways to use Computer and Information Literacy as part of the curriculum, it is important that on-site support be provided to ensure usage of the technology. Many on-site technological coaching programs are available in NJ (i.e., through the ETTCs).
- Is training available on how to assess students for technological proficiency, and how to use the NJTAP-IN materials?
- Regional training sessions are being planned to introduce the NJTAP-IN tools and recommendations to school districts and Charter Schools. In addition, the NJDOE will provide training at local conferences and upon request. Fee-based professional development opportunities will be available at the Educational Technology Trainings Centers.
- What are some of the resources available to address the 8th grade assessment requirement?
- There are many available resources to address the 8th grade assessment requirement. Please review all of the information that is on NJDOE’s Office of Academic Standards – technological literacy web page, in addition to the Educational Technology unit’s – 8.1 assessing Computer and Information Literacy. For other options, please see the available products for technological literacy assessments. See http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=technological+literacy+assessment.
- What districts already have an assessment process in place?
- A list of the districts that were part of the NJTAP-IN Pilot Project will be on the NJDOE website on the Educational Technology web page and the Academic Standards Technological Literacy web page. Please note that there are many different ways teachers and educational technologists (computer teacher, technology coordinator) work together in a school. It is important when contacting a district to find out their model for integrating technology into the curriculum.