West Virginia schools use TechSteps to develop and assess student information and technology literacy. The skills are those identified by the National Education Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S) and West Virginia's 21st Century Learning Skills and Technology Tools CSOs.
TechSteps provides six learning scaffolds per grade level through grade 8. These activities promote active learning and higher-order thinking, and are flexible so that they can be incorporated into the core subjects of any county's standards-based curriculum. Students generate their own information products using real-world software applications, making authentic assessment possible. The proficiencies students demonstrate are recorded in personal technology literacy profiles – known as TechAttain profiles – so that individual, county, and statewide progress can be reported.
In grade 3, students use PowerPoint to create a ‘Who Am I?’ puzzle. In the puzzle, they will uncover the photograph of a mystery person one shape at a time, and include written clues to help the viewer guess the identity of the person.
Counties are encouraged to use the customized projects because they are designed to address WV Content Standards and Objectives. For example, a county might address the Science CSO “compare physical characteristics and behaviors of living organisms and explain how they are adapted to a specific environment” by having students design a “What Animal Am I?” puzzle. Teachers must be trained in how to read the Objectives and to teach them to the Depth of Knowledge that is required. techSteps will support their instruction.
Each activity can be assessed from both core subject and technology literacy perspectives. TechSteps includes electronic rubrics teachers use for the technology literacy assessment. Click here to see a sample rubric.
Through repeated demonstration, proficiencies are recorded in individual, detailed technology literacy profiles. To see a sample profile summary for one student, click here.
For the 2009-2010 school year, TechSteps has been extended for grades 9-12 with one project for each core course and several optional Enrichment projects. The purpose of these projects is to develop technology fluency in students and enhance course content. These TechSteps projects have been customized to address West Virginia content, learning skill and technology tool standards and objectives. Several teachers from across the state have received instruction in using TechSteps 9-12 and can deliver training.
All K-12 teachers in West Virginia have an account and can access TechSteps at www.techsteps.com. County technologists can provide information on usernames and passwords. Additional information and support materials for the statewide roll-out are available at www.techsteps.com/WV.