Education Week - November 9, 2016 - 16
What the Common Core Says
Five of the 32 common-core "anchor standards," the overarching goals that students are expected
to accomplish by the time they exit high school, refer to technology and the use of digital materials.
They're listed below, along with an example grade-specific standard for each one.
Speaking and Listening
Anchor Standard #7
Integrate and evaluate content presented in
diverse media and formats, including visually
and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Grade 2 Standard: Use information gained
from the illustrations and words in a print or
digital text to demonstrate understanding of its
characters, setting, or plot.
Anchor Standard #2
Integrate and evaluate information presented in
diverse media and formats, including visually,
quantitatively, and orally.
Grade 6 Standard: Interpret information
presented in diverse media and formats (e.g.,
visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it
contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
Anchor Standard #5
Make strategic use of digital media and visual
displays of data to express information and
enhance understanding of presentations.
Grades 9-10 Standard: Make
strategic use of digital media (e.g.,
textual, graphical, audio, visual,
and interactive elements) to
enhance understanding of
findings and to add interest.
Anchor Standard #6
Use technology, including the internet, to
produce and publish writing and to interact and
collaborate with others
Grade 5 Standard: With some guidance and
support from adults, use technology, including
the internet, to produce and publish writing
as well as to interact and collaborate with
others; demonstrate sufficient command of
keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two
pages in a single sitting.
Anchor Standard #8
Gather relevant information from multiple print
and digital sources, assess the credibility and
accuracy of each source, and integrate the
information while avoiding plagiarism.
Grade 4 Standard: Recall relevant
information from experiences or gather
relevant information from print and
digital sources; take notes and categorize
information; and provide a list of sources.
or use search engines to find information.
Jeffrey Nellhaus, the chief of assessment for the Partnership for Assessment
of Readiness for College and Careers, a federally
funded common-core testing consortium, said
in an email that's because "it's difficult to limit
internet access to just a few websites or search
engines," and because unrestricted access to the
internet can make it easier to cheat. Issues could
| Education Week * November 9, 2016
also arise with safety, privacy, Wi-Fi bandwidth, and
local internet filters that make using an authentic
online environment very tough.
"We do not measure the ability for students to go
out to the internet without any constraints and seek
out appropriate information," said Tony Alpert, the
executive director of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the other federally funded group
that created common-core tests. "But what we do is
we measure foundational skills that help students
engage in that activity."
Still, some educators and digital-literacy experts
say that because the testing platform looks so different from the web, teachers may spend class time
having students practice for the test rather than
using the internet authentically.
The platform "doesn't look like an online web
page and it doesn't look like a book," said Leu. "It's
Many teachers are using print texts during instruction, and then having students practice
answering questions that look like those on
the test-missing out on authentic digital
reading altogether, according to Bass, the
innovation coordinator in Missouri.
"It's not an authentic learning experience. As teachers go through their
day-to-day work, they're still very much
using a traditional format to teach and
practice, until they're doing test prep,"
he said. "The [digital] skills of test prep
don't translate into the [digital] skills of
Alpert says Smarter Balanced has incorporated online skills into some of its formativetesting tools, which teachers use throughout the year
in the classroom to gauge their students' progress.
And the common-core-aligned state tests may
change down the road. Nellhaus of PARCC said the
group is planning to devise tasks that simulate the
use of hyperlinks and search engines.
"I think we're going to get better and better on
that," said Pimentel. "I think we're going to get more
authentic as we move along. And I challenge the digital-literacy folks to step up and [offer solutions for]
how we can do this well and safely."
Coverage of the implementation of college- and career-ready
standards and the use of personalized learning is supported
in part by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
at www.gatesfoundation.org. Education Week retains sole
editorial control over the content of this coverage.