October Starts Test Anxiety Season

Categories: Blog  K-12 Education  Best Practices 
It felt like just yesterday I was sitting poolside soaking up the rays with an iced cold lemonade in hand. That was Labor Day and here we are about to turn the calendar over to October.  Where did the year go?  The month is symbolized with the changing of leaves, football and everything pumpkin. Putting those things aside, October is an important one for high school juniors and seniors across the country.  That’s because many will be taking the ACT and/or SAT tests in hopes of earning an acceptable score that will land them in the college of their dreams.  It’s no easy task and there’s a lot of pressure that comes with taking the test.

I remember having to be at the school at 7:00 on a Saturday morning for my ACT.  The only thing keeping me calm was the fact I was still half asleep as I stumbled my way into the classroom.  Anxiety rushed through my body as the test got underway.  #1 because I needed a specific score in order to earn a college scholarship and #2, I should have gone to the restroom before getting started.  Once the test was over, we were able to leave and I will never forget the look peoples’ faces.  I can only describe it as complete exhaustion.  You know what helped me relax?  Knowing that no matter what happened, I put my best foot forward and that’s all I could really do.

Test anxiety is a serious problem affecting students today.  According to research, test anxiety appears in children as early as elementary school, becoming more prevalent in high school and college years.  Just because you have test anxiety, does not mean there’s no cure.  Interesting to note an article I came across in the Charlotte Observer that offers steps educators, parents and students can take to try and alleviate test anxiety.  Check out the story and let us know your tips to combating test anxiety.

Article Link: Test Anxiety 

TurningPoint for Events

Categories: Blog  Corporate / Government 
Keeping every participants’ attention during large events can be difficult. Then collecting evaluations after the even can eat up a lot of time. 

We recently had the opportunity to speak with members of SimGHOSTS, a global non-profit organization dedicated to helping professionals use technology in the medical industry, to discover how they made their events painless.

With TurningPoint, SimGHOSTS can use our hardware to collect answers to questions during presentations or at the end for evaluations. Since the responses are collected in real-time, the presenter and the rest of the organization don’t have to worry about combining each response or losing responses. 

Take a look at our case study with SimGHOSTS to see how TurningPoint can help every size of an event.

The Edtech Difference

Feedback is key to our development of new and existing solutions.  We speak with customers each and every day to assess their thoughts and views of what they like as well as hearing the concerns they may have about our products.  Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to talk with Bryan Lawson, a middle school language arts teacher from Kennewick, Washington.  We discussed the implementation of our Insight 360 Cloud assessment platform throughout his classes.  As soon as Bryan answered, I knew this was going to be a special phone call.
He spoke with enthusiasm describing how Insight 360 Cloud revolutionized daily instructional practices, but most importantly, the impact it’s made on his students.  “It gives students a voice,” stated Bryan.  The difference in his students is noticeable as he went on to say they look forward to coming to class and are eager to learn.  Bryan is passionate about education and I could immediately tell in his tone that our solution is really making an impact on him and his students.  Educational technology seems to have that effect on learners. 
We recognize and solve classroom needs with personalized solutions that raise achievement for learners and teachers.  And that’s why we’re once again accepting submissions for our Classroom Improvement Technology Grant.  Ten lucky recipients in the U.S. will have the chance to be awarded a complete edtech package featuring ExamView Assessment Suite and Learning Series, Insight 360 Cloud, Mobi mobile interactive whiteboard and a 32 Seat ResponseCard NXT kit.  Learn more by clicking here.  It’s our promise to provide the tools to inspire today’s learners to become tomorrow’s leaders.

High-Stakes Testing Alternative

Categories: Blog  K-12 Education 
We were very excited to attend the Indiana Interim Study Committee on Education and Career Development on Tuesday, September 8th. Our Senior Vice President & Chief Instructional Officer, Dr. Tina Rooks, discussed an alternate solution to how students take high-stakes assessments instead of using pencil and paper or computer-based testing. 

During this meeting, Dr. Rooks demonstrated the use of our most recent response keypad, the QT Device. With the full QWERTY keypad of the QT, students can respond to every type of question from multiple choice to essays. The QTs are a secure way for students to respond to questions and each response is graded for the presenter to view and collect after the assessment is finished. The attendees at the meeting experienced how to use the QT to respond to a short quiz. 

Turning is always researching and developing ways to further the learning environment for the participants and presenters. It was an honor for us to present how we can make the testing experience better for everyone.

Read more about the meeting in this news article.

Testing Concerns Dominate New School Year

Categories: Blog  K-12 Education  Company 
The days of summer are quickly fading and there’s a brisk chill in the air as Labor Day weekend approaches.  A majority of students have settled in the classroom filled with new aspirations and exciting challenges.
As we move forward, we can’t help but reflect on the previous school year.  That’s because we’re getting our first look at the results of the much anticipated Common Core-aligned testing across several U.S. states.

Scores were released earlier this week for Connecticut, Idaho, Missouri, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.  Overall, test results were higher than expected, but unfortunately it will not be possible to compare student performance to others nationwide as states continue to withdraw from the Common Core testing consortium in favor of creating their own standards.

Concerns with student assessments are ongoing as parents, educators and lawmakers try and resolve the issue.  Security violations, server irregularities, scanning errors, delayed results and diminishing school budgets are all factors that have compounded to create a difficult testing environment.  One state in particular, Indiana revised an act over the summer to provide students with the opportunity to use digital response technology as an alternative means to participate in high-stakes testing.  Turning Technologies worked alongside state lawmakers to showcase options in developing a secure and reliable testing experience.  We’re thrilled to be taking part in a special announcement on Tuesday, September 8th with Indiana leaders as additional information will be released regarding the act.  Make sure to follow us on social media for complete cover!