iAssessment Introduces Teacher Technology Use Survey Module for Its Diagnostic Learning System

October 12, 2001

iAssessment, an application service provider for the education marketplace, Thursday introduced the Teacher Technology Use Survey Module (TechUse), which will be first implemented as part of the California Technology Assistance Project’s (CTAP) online interactive teacher-assessment portal, CTAP2.

The first public demonstration of TechUse will be conducted by CTAP and the California Department of Education at the National Fall CUE Conference in Sacramento, Oct. 11-13.

The purpose of the TechUse module is to provide an easy-to-use online tool to gather data on how teachers use technology for instruction, for classroom management, the technical support they receive, and on other areas determined by CTAP2 administrators.

Only credentialed California educators will be permitted to access and complete surveys built with the TechUse module. As a result, TechUse will provide districts, schools and staff development providers with information to support and improve their professional development programs, and will provide the state of California with data to support future educational technology funding.

“TechUse is an anxiously anticipated module that will help us to continue to identify our teachers’ professional development needs and measure the results of our efforts to train them,” said Gary Quiring, consultant, California Department of Education. “The results of the TechUse survey module will help guide future staff development planning and support grant applications.

“TechUse will also allow us to specifically answer the questions of whether technology training and teacher attendance at workshops and conferences is making a difference in the use of technology in the classroom by teachers and their students. And finally, we will be able to use such survey results to provide data that supports additional technology training and funding.”

Survey results will be displayed in two formats — in a chart format and with a data table for each question — while results for a school, district, county, region and the state will include the same clarification text as the proficiency charts.

As a result, administrators will be able to track how many staff members have completed a survey, even though individual results will be kept strictly confidential. At the same time, the results summary of such surveys will also be accessible to the public from the main CTAP2 site.

“At iAssessment, we provide an innovative approach to traditional educator assessment methods, which helps organizations and programs, like CTAP, to leverage existing technology to focus on their core competency of directly serving educators and improving results in the classroom,” said Dan Cookson, co-founder of iAssessment.

“This new TechUse module will help schools, districts, regions and states better understand the technology needs of their teachers, while providing a flexible, online tool for measuring a variety of tech-based results, including the effects of planned technology training sessions and as an indicator to determine how technology is currently being used by educators.

“TechUse is complementary to our proficiency module, which is currently being used by educators in California, Indiana and Arizona. The combination of these two modules provides clear results and data, which can drive and validate planning and budgeting efforts for ongoing teacher development and technology in the classroom.”

Currently, more than 190,000 educators in California have access to CTAP2, which is based on iAssessment’s Diagnostic Learning System (DLS). The assessment tool is based upon the rubrics (criteria) outlined in the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, “Factors to Consider.” These factors serve as California’s K-12 Technology Standard for a preliminary teaching credential.

“We are excited to introduce this new module in the state of California, whose educators have been using our services since we launched our DLS in 1999,” Cookson said.

“We anticipate that as other states see how TechUse gives them the ability to immediately produce real-time reports on information and analysis that has been previously impossible to collect, they will want to adopt TechUse into their online educator assessment programs as well.”

California educators using iAssessment’s DLS simply log onto the CTAP2 Web site (http://ctap2.iassessment.org) using individualized passwords and answer a series of questions divided into categories, such as e-mail, spreadsheets, presentations and instructional technology.

As each category is completed, users instantly receive results in a chart format ranking their skills as introductory, intermediate or proficient.

Once an educator takes the online assessment test and learns his or her proficiency level, the DLS recommends a personalized development plan featuring resources designed to help the educator bridge competency gaps and increase skill levels.

These resources draw from a database of hundreds of targeted professional development offerings, from classroom-based instruction to e-learning opportunities, through a variety of California K-20 educator institutions and by affordable third-party providers.

This process allows for better utilization and marketing of the continuing education currently offered by districts, regions and state education boards, as well as reporting capabilities that have not existed previously.

About iAssessment

iAssessment (www.iassessment.com) helps educational institutions identify educators’ challenges with technology and other subjects through customizable Web-based, self-assessment tools. iAssessment’s online systems also provide educators with access to online or classroom-based resources and can deliver personalized lesson plans to help improve individual skills and meet professional development standards.

Institutions use the real-time results iAssessment delivers to qualify for funding, support project continuation and re-scoping, quantify participation, secure fiscal appropriations, meet professional development standards, and help educators to effectively apply technological resources to their curriculum-development and lesson plans.