The Glendale Unified school board recently approved spending $750,000 in state funds to purchase 1,300
Chromebooks and other technological accessories to fill a computer gap before state standardized testing begins in the spring.
As the state continues to roll out the new Common Core State Standards, officials with local school districts say they must secure more technology in order to have students take the new computerized exams.
The new standards encourage critical thinking from students as they analyze non-literary texts and in-depth math problem-solving skills.
In Glendale, educators estimated the school district needed 1,300 more computer devices than they have.
The Chromebooks were sampled with two other computers earlier this year, and ultimately won out in a survey that looked at their usability and was taken by about 115 students and teachers at Crescenta Valley High School, Wilson Middle School and Glenoaks Elementary.
On a scale of one to five, with five as the highest score, the
averaged a score of 4.1 in the survey.
The Google Nexus earned a score of 3.2, while the Samsung Tab II received a 2.8.
Both of those tablet devices operate with an Android system, while the Chromebook laptop runs on a Chrome system.
According to a district report, students said the Chromebook was more often easier to use than the other two devices.
The $750,000 that will be used to purchase the technical equipment was given to Glendale Unified by the state to implement the new Common Core State Standards.
The district will also purchase 62 computer carts, where the devices will be stored, along with 1,300 headphones and 300 computer mouses.
With the approval of Assembly Bill 484 earlier this year, California schools were authorized to shift from the former state standardized testing system, known as STAR, to new computerized exams that better reflect the new curriculum.
Beginning in April, students in the third through eighth grades as well as juniors will be tested in either English or math on the new exam.
The test’s software will respond to a student’s correct answer with a more challenging question. A student’s wrong answer will result in an easier question, helping to determine an individual’s ability.
Some educators have said the new system is an improvement upon the pencil-and-paper, multiple-choice test for its ability to let teachers know each student’s strengths and weaknesses more precisely.