NJ Department of Education’s (NJDOE) Office of Educational and Information Technology’s Educational Technology Unit and the Office of Academic Standards collaboratively provide school districts with ongoing assistance on integrating technology into the curriculum. The Office of Educational and Information Technology provides assistance to address the needs of NJ school districts through: offering discretionary grant programs; enabling delivery systems and resources throughout the state; assisting school districts with obtaining access to technology, and maintaining and developing partnerships to further the districts’ vision; facilitating compliance of Title II-D: Enhancing Education through Technology (E2T2) of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act; and offering professional development of the various models for teachers and administrators on effectively infusing technology into curriculum and instruction.
The Educational Technology Curriculum Committee (ETCC), facilitated by the NJDOE, developed an implementation plan, resources, and a chain of assistance that supports each school district with implementing the standards and meeting the E2T2 requirement that every student will be technologically literate by the end of grade eight. The committee targeted the implementation of the 8.1 standard as it relates to the K-8 population of students.
The NJDOE has a Technological Literacy Standard. The 8.1 Computer and Information Literacy Standard provide standardized indicators across the State that informs school districts on the criteria for technological literacy. Simultaneously, the 8.1 standard also support the NCLB Title II-D requirement.
The ETCC has developed a full package of recommendations for school districts in NJ that answers the “what” and “how” questions related to assessing student technological literacy. The ETCC recommendation package is called Technology Assessment for Proficiency and Integration (NJTAP-IN).
The following information is a general summary of NJTAP-IN plan.
The ETCC quickly realized that whatever assessment would be used must clearly assess computer and information literacy while simultaneously ensuring that integration of technology is occurring within each classroom. The committee recognizes the need for districts to ensure that teachers are using technology as an integral part of instruction. It is the committee’s recommendation that students obtain the computer and information literacy skills within the classroom WHILE students are already using technology in their lesson. Research shows that effective technology integration contributes to raising student academic achievement and test scores. The committee emphasizes the need for awareness by all stakeholders regarding the components for successful integration of technology into the curriculum.
Educational technology is the seamless and effective integration of 21st century technologies within an instructional setting to support students and teachers in the learning process with administrative support and evaluation.
** PLEASE NOTE: A district may choose any tool to report the number of students that are technologically proficient within the district. School districts may choose to use a number of different assessment methods such as the NJTAP-IN recommended tools, the prompts and associated rubrics (such as those designed by trained teachers for 7th grade social studies), or a third party vendor product (such as those that meet the criteria for being a Technology Integration System).
Numerous considerations for district implementation of the NJTAP-IN recommendations were discussed and an attempt was made to address each concern in the implementation plan.
NJTAP-IN Implementation Plan Overview
NJTAP-IN consists of two assessment tools. The first tool is a checklist of skills to be used in grades Kindergarten through fourth. This checklist requires a “yes” or “no” mark next to each skill. The checklist may be used at anytime during the year. The checklist is based on the fourth grade Computer and Information Literacy Standard.
The second tool is used in grades five through eight. It is the NJTAP-IN Rubric and provides four options for technological literacy. The assessment is designed for one student per NJTAP-IN rubric. As with the checklist, each student may be evaluated with the rubric at ANYTIME from fifth grade through eighth grade. However, if a school district is just starting to assess their students for technological proficiency, it is recommended that the school district choose one grade and one content area to start infusing the assessment of student technological literacy skills during the instructional process.
Please note: It is strongly recommended that the school district consider that student proficiency, related to all 8.1 cumulative progress indicators, may not be achieved in one year. The most realistic method for the acquisition of the computer and information literacy skills is to learn them over time by learning more and more skills throughout the year and building on skills in each consecutive grade level.
It is the NJTAP-IN Rubric that defines Technological Proficiency as it relates to the 8.1 Computer and Information Literacy standard. The rubric considers each of the cumulative progress indicators and sometimes combines the indicators that logically compliment each other into one indicator for the purposes of using the rubric. As a result, there are 16 indicators to be assessed on the rubric. Points on the rubric may range from a score of zero to a score of three. A proficient score for each indicator is two. If a student is proficient in all indicators, the score would be 32 points (2 times 16). However, the NJDOE allows for students to achieve a score of one (partially) in a maximum of one row or indicators while scoring a two (proficient) in every other row. Therefore, a total score of 31 and above will designate a student as technologically proficient. The number 31 is the goal for each student to be technologically proficient by the end of grade eight.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The NJTAP-IN General Rubric and the Fourth Grade Checklist of Skills will not be available on the NJTAP-IN web page. They are only available upon attending one of several regional technical assistance sessions offered by the NJDOE concerning the assessment of the 8.1 standard. It is critical that the Rubric is used in the intended way. To alleviate any misunderstanding, misinterpretation and miscommunication periodic regional technical assistance sessions will be held for school districts to understand how the rubric is intended to be administered and scored.
Every district is now required to report the number of students that are assessed against the fourth grade indicators for computer and information literacy. The checklists may be used as an assessment tool and those that are reported to the NJDOE would be those students that received a “yes” on all items of the checklist. The checklist is expected to be used prior to the fourth grade to benchmark where students are and then again in the fourth grade as guidance for the students as they move into the fifth grade and continue learning the technological skills required by the eighth grade 8.1 Computer and Information Literacy Standard. Therefore, districts will report the following each year:
The checklist and/or rubric should follow the student as part of his/her permanent record. The consecutive grade teacher would review the record and determine those indicators that still must be met by the student. The teacher would then collaboratively work with staff members to ensure that additional technology skills are acquired by the student.
The Office of Educational and Information Technology (OIET) will monitor the assessment of students for each school district in two ways. 1) Desk audit – review the results of the annual data collection where technological proficiency is reported. 2) Onsite visit – NJDOE representatives travel to school districts and review evidence. In addition, the representatives may randomly request student work from school districts throughout the year as evidence of the students’ technological proficiency acquisition.
Several resources are available to support school districts in the effective implementation of this plan, including the following documents:
Some school districts within the State have participated in pilot activities between 2004 and 2007 to develop core curriculum content area prompts. They are a great resource for other school districts.
The Technology Integration Pilot Program was facilitated by the NJPAA and focused on problem-based learning in a 7th grade Social Studies classroom. The initiative was designed to 1) build capacity for districts to create technology integrated activities that demonstrate students have the standards-based technology skills required to learn, communicate and solve problems within the context of Social Studies content; 2) develop a comprehensive book of prompts and generic rubric for NJ schools to build upon; and 3) demonstrate that NJ students are applying the NJ Standards for Computer and Information Literacy skills in their learning of the Social Studies Standard. Thirteen school districts developed lessons that required students to use technology in order to answer the question posed by the teachers. See the RESOURCES section on the NJTAP-IN webpage on the NJDOE website for these and other pilot project prompts.
In addition, another pilot project was conducted that evaluated the process of implementing the NJTAP-IN plan, including the rubric. School districts volunteered to “test” the recommendations offered in this document. As a result of the pilot project, some of the items used to support school districts in the original recommendation package were tweaked and some new items were developed.
One essential component of the recommended implementation plan is professional development and resources for classroom teachers. Whether or not school districts choose to use NJTAP-IN as their means to meet the requirement to determine if students are technologically literate, resources will be available to support school districts in implementing any technological literacy integration system.
Professional Development will occur throughout the State through various methods including fee-based professional development opportunities, State conferences and regional technical assistance sessions.