NAPLAN Online trials plagued with technical problems and poor keyboard skills

Timna Jacks, Education Reporter for The Age, writing on October 2nd 2016 said that the new Online NAPLAN tests have been seriously disrupted by power failures, freezing, browser issues and interrupted internet connections as well as other issues.

The following excerpt from her article is instructive

“They (NAPLAN trial schools) are still grappling with basic challenges such as maintaining power and an internet connection, with a survey of nearly 200 principals finding an alarming 84 per cent faced problems with technology during initial trials of the test…

Principals (also) said they would need to improve students’ keyboard and desktop navigational skills before the test, while students who had less access to computers at home found the online format more difficult…”

Comment

Keyboarding skills, like handwriting, has to be taught and not just left to develop on its own. As an employer of a large number of staff over many years it is apparent that neither our schools or universities are equipping our students with adequate keyboard skills. In this digital age competency with the keyboard would seem to be a core skill, just as handwriting was to the previous generation. Alarmingly little attention is currently paid to the teaching of keyboarding in Australian schools. The content descriptors contained in the Australian Curriculum that cover keyboarding are somewhat vague but imply that adequate keyboarding skills should be developed. The same is true for the outcomes in the NSW Syllabus. Consequently Australian educators have tended to under focus on this key skill. It is no surprise that principals and teachers are now reporting that candidates for NAPLAN Online will need to upgrade their skills in preparation for the coming online reality.

Thousands of schools around Australia and from around the world are now using Typing Tournament to teach a generation to type. Its mastery learning approach and fun focus make it easy for children to progress and for teachers to manage classes and access the student’s results.

The original story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/online-naplan-plagued-with-technical-problems-20160930-grsdf8.html

 

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