by guest blogger Mike Bock
Thanks to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, the United States could be approaching a "classroom cliff" characterized by declining test scores, but new technology can help education leaders push forward, said Adam Frankel, executive director of Digital Promise, a Congressionally authorized nonprofit that advocates for the use of digital technology in education.
In a blog posted on CNN's website, Frankel said the education system could face a crisis in the next few years, as today's lesson plans are not designed to prepare students for the Common Core standards. And since the first Common Core-aligned exams won't be administered until 2014-2015, it will take years for schools to get an accurate picture of where their students stand, which Frankel thinks "will be a wake-up call for the country."
But it's not all doom and gloom. Schools could harness educational technology to exchange ideas and coordinate what needs to be fixed, Frankel said:
"One place to start is a national public-private Common Core Readiness Initiative to not only help schools and states identify what they need to do, but help them do it. Digital Promise's League of Innovative Schools, a partnership of 26 school districts in 18 states that collectively serve roughly 2.5 million students, stands ready to lead the way with willing partners."
There are plenty of ways districts are already using technology to assist with the Common Core transition. Some schools are using a 'readiness tool' to map out their ed-tech inventory and figure out what needs to be up to speed by 2014-2015. Others have looked into 'digital badges' to track individual student achievement. Private companies, too, are beginning to adjust their content in the hopes that schools will use software to help with common standards and assessments.