Preparing A School District For Standardized Testing On Macs

Speaker: Salvador Zapien

Level: Intermediate, Lecture

Excerpt: Tools and strategies used for preparing OS X machines for the PARCC exams.

Description: As one of the states taking the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Carreers (PARCC) exams, our district had to prepare 1200+ machines with the following goals in mind:

  • Configurations had to work across three operating systems (10.7.5, 10.8.5, 10.9.5)
  • Software installs across machines had to be identical (e.g. no mixture of Java installs, all running same versions of plugins)
  • Updates to core components had to be automated
  • User experience had to be identical across machines
  • Staff had to be trained so that any staff member could step in at any site and help out
  • 0% of problems with testing would be because of machine configuration

In this talk, I will go over the Apple tools, 3rd party tools, and decisions used to prepare our machines for PARCC testing as well as what obstacles we encountered, how we overcame them and what changes we will make for the future.

About the speaker

Salvador Zapien – Los Alamos Public Schools

12 years administering Macs in Higher Ed, 3 years administering Macs in K-12.

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