Better than Expected (SOL#15)

Yesterday, I felt like I couldn’t move on. I was stuck in a rut with a couple of my classes who didn’t seem to know how to function in a normal classroom setting after testing. I get it. I was once a student, and even now, if someone told me I needed to take a reading and writing test on the computer for two hours, I would balk at the idea. I was also upset yesterday because I had another issue come up, but I was able to resolve it by speaking up for myself.

When we started testing yesterday, I was nervous because we were trying the online testing system for the first time. What if I screwed something up? What if the kids can’t get on the test? What if the wifi network crashes?

After a quick test session time-out snafu in the beginning, my students were off and rolling. The testing ended up going pretty well, with the exception of squirrelly kids who finished really early (in 25 minutes). Today, I have hope that things went just as smoothly.

The online testing has actually been a bit easier for teachers to administer. Of course we had to go through multiple training sessions, but now we write the test session on the board, help them if there are technical issues, and the system takes care of the rest. We still have to mark down every little thing that happens, and when students leave the room, but there are no longer secure test materials to hold on to. We don’t have to worry about guarding state tests with our lives. That part is kind of nice.

I think the students like being able to type their written responses too, but I know they don’t like reading on the computers very much, especially when there is a lot of scrolling. Even though testing usually feels like a burden, my students handled it maturely today, and I was proud of them. That’s not always easy for 8th graders!


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