Two School Systems Are The First in the U.S. to Pilot New Handheld Program Developed by eduTrax

Posted on December 10, 2009

eduTrax, a leader in K-12 assessment and testing, is working with two school systems to be the first in the United States to pilot a program using iResponse handheld devices on short-cycle and benchmark assessment tests for students.

Baltimore County Public Schools in Maryland and Cobb County School District in Georgia are using new technology to better manage and gauge the results of assessments, and to make it easier for teachers to focus on teaching their students. By eliminating bubble sheets, which need to be manually scored by teachers, and then sent to be scanned and analyzed by the school system, this new technology allows for an immediate response to improve student achievement.

“This is the next step for school systems in helping their teachers focus on teaching in the classroom,” said Steve Holmes, President of eduTrax. “We feel that this is really going to streamline the testing process.”

Each student is given an iReponse handheld device to take the assessment. The teacher uses PowerPoint slides to administer the test, and a variety of answers for the students to choose from are shown on the handhelds. After the test is complete, teachers are able to view the test results not only for the entire class, but for each individual student, as well. This gives teachers, principals, and school systems the ability to quickly put a plan of action into place in order to pinpoint which students need help and the kind of help that would be most beneficial.

Baltimore County Public Schools in Maryland launched the pilot in November 2009 with 11 elementary, middle, and high schools. Cobb County School District in Georgia has four elementary, one middle, and one high schools participating in the pilot. Each school in the pilot receives one set with 30 handheld units to be shared among its teachers and students.

Dr. Joe A. Hairston, Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools, said, “This is just the next step for us in using technology to more effectively manage and process assessments. We believe that assessments are an important tool to measure student performance in the classroom. This new technology will allow us to more efficiently manage the assessment process for our teachers, and give us the opportunity to quickly pinpoint students needing help and identifying areas for specific improvements.


Cheryl Knauer