Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Season's Greetings

Monday, December 15, 2008


Have you ever wanted to talk with Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, or Marilyn Monroe?

Virsonas are “Virtual Personas,” created to Reason, Remember and React in the same way that a living, fictional or historical person would. These "Virsonas" can be also be trained and educated by you. In other words, their conversations are driven by user input and knowledge.

Virsonas don't know the answers to everything, but they are capable and willing to learn. As part of the Virsona Community, you can participate in “educating” them using the “Teach” button. So, if you chat with a Virsona and it doesn't know the answer, simply create your free account, and you can begin to “teach” it by simply inputting the correct answers! That's the beauty of a Community; participation, sharing and learning. (Have a chat with President Lincoln.)

Please remember this is a BETA Site, but there are interesting possibilities for Virsona. I can think of several classroom possibilities and also several ways of incorportaing this into your marketing plans. Let us know what you think! J.T.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Understanding the Numbers - III

I wanted to continue our discussion on statistics and interpreting test scores. Again, most of the information that you will read on this topic are from Jerome Sattler's "Measurement of Children."

If you will remember (or review previous posts found in the archives under "Statistics" heading), "derived scores vary in their usefulness." "The major types of derived scores used in norm-referenced testing are age and grade equivalent scores, ratio IQs, percentile ranks, standard scores, and stanines." We have already discussed age and grade equivalent scores and percentile ranks and I would like to begin this post by discussing ratio intelligent quotients, standard scores, stanines, and finally the relationship among derived scores.

Ratio Intelligence Quotients
"In order to interpret age-equivalent or grade-equivalent scores, we must know the student's chronological age (CA). Knowing the student's MA (Mental Age) and CA allows us to make a judgment about the child's relative performance. For example, a student with a CA of 16-0 and an MA of 18-0 has performed at an above average level, whereas a child with a CA of 16-0 and an MA of 14-0 has performed at a below average level.

When IQs were first introduced, they were defined as ratios of mental age to chronological age, multiplied by 100 to eliminate the decimal: IQ = MA/CA X 100. Substituting an MA of 12 and a CA of 10 into the formula yields a ratio IQ of l20 (IQ = 12/10 X 100 = 120). Unfortunately, because the standard deviation of the ratio IQ distribution does not remain constant with age, IQs for different ages are not comparable: The same IQ has different meanings at different ages. The use of the Deviation IQ, which is a standard score, effectively avoids this problem."

Standard Scores
"Standard scores are raw scores that have been transformed to have a given mean and standard deviation. They express how far an examinee's score lies from the mean of the distribution in terms of the standard deviation.

A z score is one type of standard score, with a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1. On many standardized tests z scores range from -3.0 to +3.0. Frequently, z scores are transformed into other standard scores in order to eliminate the + and — signs. For example, a T score is a standard score based on a distribution with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10. The Deviation IQ is another standard score; it has a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 or 16, depending on the test used."

"Stanines (a contraction of standard nine) provide a single-digit scoring system with a mean of 5 and a standard deviation of 2. The scores are expressed as whole numbers from 1 to 9. When scores are converted to stanines, the shape of the original distribution is changed into a normal curve. The percentages of scores at each stanine are 4, 7, 12, 17, 20, 17, 12, 7, and 4, respectively."

Relationship Among Derived Scores
"It should be evident from the preceding discussion that the various types of derived scores are all derived from raw scores. The different derived scores are merely different expressions of a student's performance. One type of derived score can be converted to another type. The most frequently used conversion in the area of intelligence testing is from standard scores (for example, scaled scores or Deviation IQs) to percentile ranks. Although standard scores are the preferred derived scores, percentile ranks — and, on occasion, age equivalents—are also useful. The latter two scores may be helpful in describing the student's performance to parents or teachers.

A Normal Curve shows the relationships among various derived scores. If a test has a Deviation IQ of 100, a standard deviation of 15, and scores that are normally distributed, the percentile ranks associated with each IQ can be determined precisely. As an example, let us see how percentile ranks associated with IQs at various standard deviation points are computed.

An IQ of 100 represents the 50th percentile rank, because an IQ of 100 has been set as the mean of the distribution. In this example an IQ of 115 represents the point that is +1 SD away from the mean. The percentile rank associated with this IQ—the 84th percentile rank— is obtained by adding 50 to 34 percent. The 50 percent represents the proportion of the population below the mean of 100, and the 34 percent represents the proportion of the population between the mean and +1 SD away from the mean. The key here is to recognize that an IQ of 115 is +1 SD above the mean because 15 is the standard deviation of the distribution.

Using the same rationale, we can readily compute the percentile rank associated with an IQ of 130. An IQ of 130 is +2 SD away from the mean. We know that the area below the mean represents 50 percent of the population, the area from the mean to +1 SD represents approximately 34 percent of the population, and the area from +1 SD to +2SD represents approximately 14 percent of the population. To arrive at the percentile rank for an IQ of 130, we add the following percentages: 50 + 34 + 14 = 98th percentile rank.

What is the percentile rank associated with an IQ of 85? The answer you should obtain is the 16th percentile rank. You subtract 34 from 50, because an IQ of 85 corresponds to the point that is -1 SD away from the mean. The percentile rank associated with an IQ of 70 is the 2nd percentile rank (50 - 34 - 14 = 2).

The above examples hold only for tests that have a Deviation IQ with a mean of 100 and an SD of 15. For tests that have a mean of 100 and an SD of 16 the percentile ranks associated with the various IQs are slightly different except at the mean. The IQ of 100 is still at the 50th percentile rank, but an IQ of 116 (not 115) is at the 84th percentile rank because the 5D is 16."

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cheating on the Rise Among High School Students

A new survey of American teenagers finds that academic dishonesty is rampant and getting worse at high schools. A whopping 64 percent of high school students surveyed by the Center for Youth Ethics at the Josephson Institute in Los Angeles said they had cheated on a test at least once in the past year, up from 60 percent in 2004. Thirty-eight percent said they had cheated two or more times, while another 36 percent said they had used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment, up from 33 percent two years ago. Cheating on homework is also widespread; 82 percent said they had copied another student's work at least once in the past year.

The survey results underscore the pervasiveness of academic dishonesty even as schools employ more sophisticated means to catch cheaters and take a tougher stance to discourage unethical behavior. (U.S. News recently explored the efforts to stop cheating in higher education.) The students' responses raise questions about why cheating is on the rise and whether high schools should emphasize character education. Nearly 30,000 students at 100 randomly selected high schools participated in the survey; all respondents were guaranteed anonymity.

Besides cheating, 30 percent of students said they have stolen from stores. More than 8 in 10 students said they have lied to a parent about something significant. The survey finds that unethical behavior is prevalent at both public and private schools, but in some instances it happens less frequently at private schools and among honor students. Boys are more likely than girls to behave dishonestly, although there is virtually no difference when it comes to cheating.

Among the most troubling findings is that students who engage in dishonest acts still hold a positive view of themselves. For example, 93 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character, and 77 percent said that "when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know." It's not clear how the behavior of public figures, including company executives involved in the financial crisis, has shaped students' cavalier attitudes. Asked if they agreed with the statement that "In the real world, successful people do what they have to do to win, even if others consider it cheating," 59 percent answered in the affirmative.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Addition to the CTTC Blog

We have added Twitter to the blog!

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

You can always check the left-hand column of the blog to find out what is happening at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Thanks to Jeremy Zweiacker in Tech Prep, I just learned about VoiceThread (click on "What's a VoiceThread anyway?"). It's a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or phone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too.

Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded on web sites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs as archival movies.

With VoiceThread, group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world. All with no software to install.

VoiceThread offers a number of different account types. Free accounts can create presentations, add audio and text commentary, and can use most of the service's features. Pro users, in exchange for a $59.95 annual fee, get more storage space for documents, files, and video, 30 free archival exports, and some unlocked features not available in the free accounts. The free account will likely be enough for most casual users, but serious slideshow creators may use up the free account's 75MB storage limit quickly and opt for the 10GB the Pro account offers.

VoiceThread also partners with educational institutions (at little or no cost) and businesses to bring the service into the classroom or the boardroom. The service is remarkably sharp and richly featured, and it offers a truly unique and interesting way to assemble and provide feedback on multimedia of all types. The service's presentation creator is remarkably easy to use, and the sheer number of ways you can share your presentation make the service compelling.

I think there are many applications for VoiceThread. Anything from classroom assignments, projects, presentations or even a holiday greeting. Check out the Thanksgiving examples.

Monday, November 17, 2008

2008‐2009 ODCTE Test Endorsements

Here is a quick test for you....What do all of the following have in common?

All of these organizations have endorsed our products!

Endorsements from industry organizations indicate that our skills standards and tests play an important role in preparing students for work. We are proud to have their endorsements!

Check out these and other endorsements on the CareerTech Testing Center's

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well-Rounded 2.0

Kaleidoscopic Learning:
An Overview of Integrated Studies Interdisciplinary Learning Develops Real-World, Multifaceted Knowledge.
by Douglas Cruickshank

Most twenty-first-century public schools in the United States are structured pretty much as schools have been since the nineteenth century. And yet real life in America has changed dramatically since that time: We've gone from an agricultural and industrial economy, with the majority of the population living in rural areas, to a hyperfast, dynamic global society centered on the development and exchange of knowledge and information in a multiplicity of forms.

Once, a person might master a certain trade or skill and stick with it for most of his or her life. Today, in the ever-changing world of our information economy, individuals prosper who are fluent in several disciplines and comfortable moving among them, capable of distilling meaning from complexity, and adept at seeing connections where they may not be immediately apparent. Creativity, adaptability, critical reasoning, and collaboration are highly valued, marketable skills. Read the entire article...

Click on the link to read the rest of the article and also learn more about High Tech High and A Field Guide to Success.

This article and video raise some interesting questions that we need to consider as we design curriculum and as we address the assessment of students. Technology is changing the workplace and our students at a faster rate than ever. But the question is how quickly are we changing the educational system for those students to meet the needs of employers? I think the article does a fair job of summarizing a major issue involving the assessment of those students when it states: "The types of tests or findings people use to research student performance tend to primarily be comparative studies that deal with criterion-referenced examinations or standardized examinations based on reading. Most evaluation tools are discipline based. One of the overarching goals of integrated studies is to teach students to be better thinkers. And that's a tough one to measure."

I hope you take a few minutes to read the article, watch the video, and, if you like, tell us what you think. I know there are CareerTech programs that have already incorporated more of an integrated approach and it would be interesting to read your thoughts on the subject!. J.T.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Internet Explorers: Virtual Field Trips Are More Than Just Money Savers

Leave it to George Lucas, of Star Wars fame, but he has created the George Lucas Educational Foundation whose vision is of a new world of learning. "A place where kids and parents, teachers and administrators, policy makers and the people they serve, all are empowered to change education for the better. A place where schools have access to the same invaluable technology as businesses and universities -- where innovation is the rule, not the exception. A place where children become lifelong learners and develop the technical, cultural, and interpersonal skills to succeed in the twenty-first century. A place of inspiration, aspiration, and an urgent belief that improving education improves the world we live in."

"We call this place Edutopia. And we provide not just the vision for this new world of learning but also the leading-edge interactive tools and resources to help make it a reality."

Edutopia has an article entitled: Internet Explorers: Virtual Field Trips Are More Than Just Money Savers. "Now, at last, technology is catching up to virtual field trips' possibilities. A new generation of trips is merging highly interactive Web sites with engaging storytelling, vibrant art, and curricula tied to national standards, creating a compelling way to explore the natural world without leaving campus."

Here are Edutopia's top four picks -- and you can't beat the admission price: free.
Blue Zones Quest
Windows into Wonderland
National Geographic: Lewis & Clark

Read the entire article, Internet Explorers: Virtual Field Trips Are More Than Just Money Savers, and find out Edutopia's reviews on each of these websites. They also have a follow-up article called, How To: Make the Most of Virtual Field Trips.

Check it out and may the force be with you.... ok, I couldn't resist. JT

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veterans Day

I just wanted to take this time to honor all of those who have served the United States of America. Every American should recognize the nation's 23.4 million living veterans and the generations before them who fought to protect freedom and democracy. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

Craig Maile, at the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech, created a tribute entitled, CareerTech Remembers its Veterans in 2006. It consists of two Powerpoint presentations and numerous links that consist of historical documents and other internet resources.

It's a great source to study the history of our great country and it's military.

Also, please visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for more information on this day.

Understanding the Numbers - II

I wanted to continue our discussion on statistics and interpreting test scores. Again, most of the information that you will read on this topic are from Jerome Sattler's "Measurement of Children."

Percentile ranks are the next norm-referenced measurement (an indication of average or typical performance of the specified group) that I want to discuss.

Percentile ranks are derived scores that permit us to determine an individual's position relative to the standardization sample (or any other specified sample). A percentile rank is a point in a distribution at or below which the scores of a given percentage of individuals fall. If 63 percent of the scores fall below a given score, then that score is at the 63rd percentile rank. Quartiles are percentile ranks that divide a distribution into four equal parts, with each part containing 25 percent of the norm group. Deciles, a less common percentile rank, contain 10 bands, with each band containing 10 percent of the norm group.

Interpretation of percentile ranks is simple and straightforward. For example, a person who obtains a percentile rank of 85 on an intelligence test has scored as well as or better than 85 percent of the people in the norm sample. However, the psychometric properties of percentile ranks limit their usefulness in data analysis. The primary difficulty is that all points along the percentile distribution do not represent equal units. Raw score differences between percentile ranks are smaller near the mean than at the extremes of the distribution. Thus percentile ranks must be normalized through conversion to another scale before they can be used in statistical tests.

[Remember: A norm group should be representative of the various demographic populations as a whole, the number of subjects in the the norm group (size) should also be large enough to ensure stability of the test scores, and it is always important to consider how relevant the norms are to the evaluation of the examinee.]

Remember to check out the "Labels" section of the blog where all posts are archived according to topics. This allows you to review previous posts and see what you might have missed! J.T.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I recently heard about a great website, Blurb.com, that allows you to create your own books.

It seems like a simple three-step process:
  1. Download Blurb BookSmart™, a free bookmaking software.
  2. Add photos, artwork, and text. You have creative control.

  3. Order one book or many (Prices start at just $12.95).

You can also select hardcover, softcover, paper quality, and quantity (discounts are available for certain quantities). This could be a great idea for presentations, projects, assignments, or as a gift (there are exactly how many shopping days until Christmas???).

I hope you enjoy the website and let us know if you create any books and what you think of the process! J.T.

New Endorsement

CareerTech Testing Center Receives Endorsement from
The Professional Photographers of Oklahoma

The Photographer skills standards and competency test that are offered by the CareerTech Testing Center have recently been endorsed by the Professional Photographers of Oklahoma. These standards are also aligned to the Professional Photographers of America, Incorporated standards.

If you have any questions about these standards or the competency test, please contact us at (405) 743-5413.

Don't forget to review all of our
endorsements. J.T.

Friday, October 31, 2008

New Products at MAVCC

I was perusing the website at MAVCC (Multistate Academic and Vocational Curriculum Consortium) during lunch and I wondered how many of you had recently viewed their "New Products" webpage?

New products include:

Also, check out the online catalog or contact their customer service department at 1-800-654-3988 or (405) 743-5579, or e-mail them at customerservice@mavcc.com

National Consortium on Health Science and Technology Education

The National Consortium on Health Science and Technology Education (NCHSTE) and the CareerTech Testing Center have teamed up to provide an online testing system that provides both pre- and post-testing opportunities and reporting services. The assessment is based on the National Health Care Foundation Skills Standards. Eligible students who successfully pass this online assessment will obtain a Certificate issued by NCHSTE.

NCHSTE is a national partnership of individuals and organizations with a vested interest in health science and technology education. The consortium was organized in 1991 to stimulate creative and innovative leadership for ensuring a well prepared health care workforce.

Below you will find links to documents that you can download and print:
Portfolio content criteria
Portfolio rubric
National Healthcare Foundation Standards and Accountability Criteria

This is an exciting partnership with the CareerTech Testing Center! If you aren't aware of NCHSTE (who they are, what they do, etc.), click on the link in their name and check them out!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Understanding the Numbers

I have been thinking about "numbers," "testing," and "test interpretation" after attending recent parent/teacher conferences and I thought it might be a good time to begin an ongoing discussion of what some of those numbers mean. When attending conferences, I always flashback to a few years ago to when I heard an instructor interpret a test to a parent that a "70" standard score was actually ok because it was like making a "C" when, in effect, it was two standard deviations below the mean and on an intelligence test, this would clearly fall in the mentally retarded range of ability.

Anyway, I know many of you interpret a wide range of assessments and measurement instruments so this may seem like a review, but feel free to post and tell us about some of the tests you use and what you like/dislike about the administration, scoring, and interpretation procedures of each instument.

Most of the information that you will read today and in the future on statistics are from Jerome Sattler's "Measurement of Children" and I thought it would be good to start with norm-referenced measurement (an indication of average or typical performance of the specified group).

A norm group should be representative of the various demographic populations as a whole, the number of subjects in the the norm group (size) should also be large enough to ensure stability of the test scores, and it is always important to consider how relevant the norms are to the evaluation of the examinee.

The first derived score we will look at is Age-Equivalent and Grade-Equivalent Scores.

"Age-equivalent and grade-equivalent scores are derived by determining the average score obtained on a test by individuals of various ages or grade placements. For example, if the average score of a 17-year old student on a test is 15 items correct out of 25, then any other student obtaining a score of 15 receives an age-equivalent score of 17. An age-equivalent score is found by computing the mean raw score of a measure for a group of children with a specific age. Similarly, a grade-equivalent score is found by computing the mean raw score obtained by children in each grade. If the mean score of seventh graders on an arithmetic test is 30, then a child obtaining a score of 30 is said to have arithmetical knowledge at the seventh grade level. A grade-equivalent score is expressed in tenths of a grade (for example, 10.5 refers to average performance at the middle of the tenth grade). A grade-equivalent score, therefore, refers to the level of test performance of an average student at that grade level. It does not mean that the student is performing at a level consistent with curricular expectations at his or her particular school. (Other terms for age-equivalent scores are mental age (MA) and test age.)

Age- and grade-equivalent scores require careful interpretation, for the following reasons:

1. Within an age-equivalent (or grade-equivalent) distribution of scores, the scores may not represent equal units. The difference between second and third grade-equivalent scores may not be the same as the difference between eleventh and twelfth grade-equivalent scores.
2. Many grade equivalents are obtained by means of interpolation and extrapolation. Consequently, the scores may not actually have been obtained by children.
3. Grade equivalents encourage comparison with inappropriate groups. For example, a ninth grader who obtains a grade equivalent of 11.1 in arithmetic should not be said to be functioning like a eleventh grader at the beginning of the school year; this is the wrong comparison group. The ninth grade student shares with the average eleventh grader the number of items right on the test—not other attributes associated with eleventh grade mathematical skills. The grade equivalent of 11.1 should be thought of in reference to only the student’s ninth grade group, not any other group.
Identical grade-equivalent scores on different tests may mean different things.
5. Grade equivalents assume that growth is constant throughout the school year; this assumption may not be warranted.
6. At upper levels, grade or age equivalents have little meaning for school subjects that are not taught at those levels or for skills that reach their peak at an earlier age.
7. Grade equivalents exaggerate small differences in performance—a score slightly below the median may result in a grade level equivalent one or two years below grade level.
8. Grade equivalents vary from test to test, from subtest to subtest within the same battery, and from percentile to percentile, thereby greatly complicating any type of comparison.
9. Grade-equivalent scores depend on promotion practices and on the particular curriculum in different grades.
10. Age- and grade-equivalent scores tend to be based on ordinal scales that are too weak to support the computation of important statistical measures, such as the standard error of measurement.

The preceding discussion indicates that grade- and age-equivalent scores are psychometrically impure; however, they still may be useful on some occasions. Grade- and age-equivalent scores place performance in a developmental context, provide information that is easily understood by parents and the public, and reduce misinterpretations. (Percentile ranks, for example, are often misinterpreted as indicating the percentage of questions that the child answered correctly.) Instead of abandoning grade- and age-equivalent scores, we should better educate people in their use."

Monday, October 27, 2008


Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like.

You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends. You can either paste in a bunch of text, enter the URL of any blog, blog feed, or any other web page that has an Atom or RSS feed, or enter a del.icio.us user name to see their tags.

Create your own here.

I think Wordle can be an interesting tool to use when making a presentation as it shows the importance of key words used within your presentation. It may be fun to use as well if you have your own website or blog. I entered the URL for the CareerTech Testing Center Blog and the graphic above was created.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Testing Liaison Updates

As the testing season begins, please be aware of the following updates:

1. We are asking for the student's WAVE ID number on our competency tests. If the student does not have a WAVE ID number yet, they can still use a social security number, school ID or other unique numerical identifier for the student. If the number they use is not 10-digits long, they will need to add zeroes to the FRONT of the number. For example, if the student's id number is 445566, this will need to be input in the WAVE ID field as 0000445566.

2. If you need certificates, you may use the certificate pdf file that you have used in the past. Starting January 2009, we will have a new competency certificate available that will be printed at ODCTE and mailed to the testing liaisons.

3. Check our website regularly for updates: http://www.careertechtesting.com/

4. Testing/Data policies (i.e. when to test, waiting period, etc.) can be accessed in the 2008 Testing Liaison Policies and Procedures.

5. The Passport to Financial Literacy Act legislation requires instruction in financial literacy for all students in Oklahoma, beginning with those who start 7th grade in the 2008-09 academic year. The CareerTech Testing Center has developed skills standards and a test that address these requirements and CIMC (Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center) now offers "Life Skills: Financial Literacy Skills" that addresses all 14 content areas listed in the recently passed legislation.

6. Please forward the blog to anyone, on or off your campus, that may benefit from the information and ask them to join. The membership continues to grow and we hope you will provide your comments as well. It's also our hope that this will evolve into an exchange of ideas concerning testing and career and technology education. Please let us know if you happen to find something interesting that would be relevant to the blog and we will post it as well.

And remember, you can always check the Testing Liaison Updates link located in the left-hand column of the blog. J.T.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Ways to Cheat

YouTube seems to have created "celebrities" out of high-tech cheaters. "Kiki" has recently appeared on Good Morning America (see link for story and video) and has had other articles written about her as well.

A quick YouTube search finds 3,000+ videos on cheating. I wonder how well these students would perform on exams if they were actually studying instead of making videos???

Kiki's video is currently off of YouTube, but will soon be back after her agreement with Good Morning America expires. However, there are a few others I might recommend in the future. J.T.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Visit us on Wikipedia

Visit the CareerTech Testing Center on

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Recommended Time for Testing

Ideally, students should be tested as soon as they have completed training and passed all skills performance evaluations. It is NOT a recommended practice to wait until the end of the academic year to test if the student is ready to test earlier.

Testing statistics prove that 70% of all certification exams are passed when students take their exams 3 to 7 days after course completion. This amount of time typically provides adequate study time and allows testing to take place while the information is still fresh. On the converse, the same statistics show over an 80% failure rate for students attempting their exam immediately after a class or if they wait more than 2 weeks after course completion.

Please review our 2008 Testing Liaison Policies and Procedures guide for more information.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Brave New World-Wide-Web

I just viewed a video by David Truss shared via the Dangerously Irrelevant Blog that does a great job showing the transformation and tools of a instructor in the 21st Century and why these tools should be used in the classroom. The video is extremely well done and I like it a lot, but I also know that there are going to be LOTS of people whose reaction to David’s video is: "I DON'T WANT TO BE THAT CONNECTED." Anyway, it's food for thought as we consider the ever-changing effects of technology on today's classroom. J.T.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Video Game Literally a Mind Game

MAKUHARI, Japan (AFP) - Willpower is set to replace fast fingers in a new video game in which players move characters through a headset that monitors their brain waves.

California-based NeuroSky Inc. showed off the new headset -- named Mindset -- at the Tokyo Game Show, the industry's biggest exhibition which opened near the Japanese capital Thursday. The Mindset monitors whether the player is focused or relaxed and accordingly moves the character on a personal computer. "We brought this to the game show as a new interface, a new platform for game creators," NeuroSky managing director Kikuo Ito told AFP. Children's games using the system will hit the US market next year, Ito said.

"We are exploring the use of brain waves in the game industry because games are fun and so close to people," he said. "Once people get used to the idea of using brain waves for various applications, I hope we will see various products using this technology," he said. In distance learning courses, for example, teachers could monitor whether students were attentive, Ito said.

Train drivers and motorists could use it to judge their stress levels and alertness, Ito added. Japan's Keio University put similar technology to use this year to let a paralysed man take a virtual stroll on the popular Second Life website, with the machine reading what he wanted to do with his immobile legs.

NeuroSky said the Mindset could help people with other types of disabilities. "For people with difficulty speaking, this can be a tool for communication," Ito said. Ito was hopeful that the technology would eventually go on sale outside the United States. Prices have not been announced.

It will be interesting to see how this new technology can affect special education and education in general. J.T.

What Happens When a Student Cheats?

Cheating on Tests

If any candidate is caught cheating during an examination, testing will stop immediately. The candidate will receive a failing result and the incident will be reported to the CareerTech Testing Center (CTTC).

Several factors to consider when cheating occurs:
• Widespread cheating (e.g., answer copying) jeopardizes the validity of results.
• Leaking of test items damages the credibility of the individuals involved, as well as the school and the CTTC.

Tips on how cheating can be prevented:
• Advise test takers that testing is monitored continuously for irregularities and cheating.
• Minimize testing attempts.
• Use the Coaching Report to see if participants are scoring consistently, as expected. Did some participants “ace” the test unexpectedly?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

High-Stakes Testing Puts Pressure on Educators

By Diette Courrégé (Contact)
The Post and Courier
Sunday, September 14, 2008

So much rides on public school students’ test scores. They can make or break a principal’s career. Awards, money and promotions often accompany high scores. Low scores can mean state takeover or intense public scrutiny. They can lessen neighborhoods’ home values and desirability. The increasing pressure on educators to post strong results on high-stakes tests has created ripe conditions for cheating.

The increasing pressure on educators to post strong results on high-stakes tests has created ripe conditions for cheating. Cases of educator-led cheating are cropping up across the country, from Virginia to Texas to Ohio. An analysis of ......

As always, click on the title if you want to read the entire article. J.T.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Just found a website called Animoto.com. You can upload pictures and sync them to music, free for 15 seconds. What a great way to add something interesting to your website, presentation, or report. Longer versions, with CD quality, will cost you, but you can create a class assignment, place it on YouTube or send it to your iPhone. I think there are lots of applications....

Here is a video that demos new products at CIMC. The best thing is that it only took a few minutes to make:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Helpful Hints for Testing Liaisons

Here a few helpful hints that will make the testing process easier and better for all of your students (view the complete 2008 Testing Liaison Policies and Procedures for more information).

The testing environment should be such that participants can concentrate on their assessments with minimal distractions. Considerations regarding the testing environment include:
o Consistent/adequate lighting levels.
o Temperature at a comfortable level with proper ventilation.
o Space is quiet with minimal distractions.
o Participants should be asked to behave consistently (no eating, getting up and moving about).
o Avoid/delay the test administration when a participant appears hurried, troubled, or ill.

Responsibilities of the Test Proctor include:
o Participant authentication: a picture ID should always be shown and login should be handled quickly and quietly by the proctor.
o Protection of the security of the online testing system. Username AND password should NEVER be revealed.
o Prohibiting the use of all communication devices (photos of test items and text messaging are common problems).
o Computer usage: Monitor whether participants are trying to access the internet or other programs.
o The proctor should be vigilant in their observance of the testing environment: Note passing, hand gestures, etc.
o Reference materials, texts, notes, etc., are not allowed in the testing area unless specifically allowed for in the exam or in a student’s Individualized Education Plan.
o If a candidate is caught cheating during an examination, testing will stop immediately. The candidate will receive a failing result and the incident will be reported to the CareerTech Testing Center (CTTC).
o Students with an IEP may have special accommodations as specified in an IEP, IRP, 504, LEP, and ELL.

Find out more about test administration and the CareerTech Testing Center.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Touring Oklahoma

Another great new product from CIMC!
(Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center)

Touring Oklahoma provides students with an opportunity to explore careers in the Hospitality & Tourism cluster within the context of Oklahoma events, attractions, and places of interest. This curriculum also helps students to become more aware of marketing opportunities for destinations in specific regions of the state.

Students will:
Develop an appreciation for and promote pride in Oklahoma.
Gain knowledge of tourism themes and destinations in Oklahoma.
Explore careers in the hospitality and tourism industry in Oklahoma.
Compare economic opportunities in different regions of Oklahoma.
Develop a tourism marketing plan for a designated region of the state.

CIMC is offering unit 4, "Touring Frontier Country," as a free sample to download. Follow the link to preview the free sample and then contact our customer service department at 800.654.4502 to place your order.

Remember, "Touring Oklahoma" isn't just for students. Order a copy for yourself or give it as a present. Learn more about the great state of Oklahoma! JT

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Do You Know Who All of Your Examinees Are?

Study Confirms Widespread Cheating on Job Exams
Secret investigation discovers 'proxy test takers' prevalent

By Kevin Baron and Alan Wirzbicki
Globe Correspondents / July 22, 2008

WASHINGTON - A secret international investigation into job certification test fraud conducted by a major US technology company has confirmed long-held suspicions that thousands of people worldwide are cheating on certification exams for coveted jobs.

Cisco Systems Inc., the Silicon Valley firm behind some of the world's biggest computer networks, and Pearson VUE, one of the world's largest test administrators, recently conducted a trial run of an anticheating system intended to identify and crack down on "proxy test takers," people who impersonate others to take exams for them.

Officials at Cisco and Pearson VUE told The Boston Globe this week that during an eight-month span ended in June 2008, they monitored hundreds of thousands of exams given in eight countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Cisco said it had confirmed that one in 200 of those exams was taken by a proxy, and not the actual enrollee.

Randall T. Trask, a vice president at Pearson VUE which administers some of Cisco's tests, said he suspected the numbers were "the tip of the iceberg" because they only measured a limited number of one company's tests. Cisco's exams are given in 4,400 test centers in more than 160 countries, according to Pearson VUE's website.

In many white-collar fields, certification tests have taken on growing significance as a prerequisite for many well-paying jobs and proof that employees are maintaining their skills. In the highly competitive technology industry, surveys have shown that technicians with enough certifications can add up to $35,000 to their annual salary........

As always, click on the title if you want to read the entire article AND if you don't know who an examinee is...just ask to see a photo I.D.!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Star Trek in the Classroom???

ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2008) — Schools are set for a Star Trek make-over thanks to the development of the world's first interactive classroom by experts at Durham University.

Researchers at the Technology-Enhanced Learning Research Group (TEL) are designing new learning environments using interactive multi-touch desks that look and act like a large version of an Apple iPhone.

The team observed how students and teachers interact in classes and how Information Communications Technology (ICT) could improve collaboration. They then set about designing an interactive classroom solution called 'SynergyNet' to reflect TEL's aims of achieving active student engagement and learning by sharing, problem-solving and creating.

The team has linked up with manufacturers to design software, and desks that recognize multiple touches on the desktop, using vision systems that can see infrared light....

(Follow this link to see a demonstration)

Click on the title to read the rest of the article. And believe it or not, there were no Priceline advertisements from Captain Kirk!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Passport to Financial Literacy Act

Can you meet the requirements of the Passport to Financial Literacy Act?

The CareerTech Testing Center and CIMC can help! This legislation requires instruction in financial literacy for all students in Oklahoma, beginning with those who start 7th grade in the 2008-09 academic year.

The CareerTech Testing Center has developed skills standards and a test that address these requirements and CIMC (Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center) now offers "Life Skills: Financial Literacy Skills" that addresses all 14 content areas listed in the recently passed legislation.

Follow the links to view the skills standards and to preview curriculum samples. Then contact our customer service department at 800.654.4502 to order your curriculum.

And don't forget our test!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

2008 Testing Liaison Policies and Procedures

Do you ever wonder what factors affect the testing environment or what to do if someone cheats? Then check out the 2008 Testing Liaison Policies and Procedures.

Are you a new testing liaison? Or would you like to brush up on your testing knowledge? Try our new Testing Liaison Training and see what you know about policies, security, and other important information related to administering competency assessments.

See what's new at the CareerTech Testing Center!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Inexpensive Vacation Option?

Are the kids always pestering you for another vacation? With the high cost of travel these days, I made an excellent find called the Virtual Highway.

It’s a Google mash-up of a Google map of New Zealand and video of what the drive actually looks like. As the video plays a little car moves along the highway keeping in synch with the video.

So grab the kids, the spouse, and grandma and take a Griswold family kind of trip, only do it virtually. Instead of piling into the Family Truckster and hitting the road, gather around the computer and make memories. You can also stop the car and see all of the tourist hot spots in photos and/or video on Google Earth.
(Virtual Highway and Google Earth might even have great educational applications as well!)
Let me know what the kids think??? J.T.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

5th Grader's Moving Keynote

I just watched Dalton Sherman's keynote address for the Dallas ISD. Dalton is a 5th grader at Charles Rice Learning Center and does an outstanding job. I thought everyone might enjoy a little "motivation" at the beginning of the school year. Enjoy!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Exam Sharing Site Gets Attention From CU Students, Officials

'Course Hero' Web Site Allows Students to Upload Tests

By Brittany Anas (Contact)Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A new Web site that allows students to upload and share exams is on the radar of the University of Colorado's anti-cheating czars, but the Honor Code Council admits that little can be done to police the anonymous postings....

(Follow the link in the title to read the rest of the article)

More and more ways to cheat....Watch all the new posts as we keep you updated on "Who Cheats?" J.T.


Just read about a new spatial photo organization system on the .eduGuru Blog called Microsoft Photosynth.

You can create an account, enter in some pictures and through the magic of Web 2.0 you are brought into a "virtual tour" of a campus, room or that special place that truly brings out the character of your campus.

It seems that there may be some bugs to work out, but you could create a virtual tour of your campus? We have a few 360 degree tours, that are available, but could Photosynth be an application for all?

You can take a tour of OSU's Boone Pickens Stadium or here are some views from around Oklahoma

Can't wait to see who will be the first to develop a Synth.....J.T.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Visit Our Website

Please visit our website to learn more about the CareerTech Testing Center!http://www.careertechtesting.com/

CareerTech Focus

A new communication tool, CareerTech Focus, is now available. This information piece provides very short overviews of new or unique CareerTech initiatives. Although the document by no means addresses the entire scope of our system, it does address initiatives that might be generating questions from the field.

The first edition of CareerTech Focus can be found at http://www.okcareertech.org/ in the "About Us" section. Please feel free to copy or share this document with your instructors or partners.

If you have questions about CareerTech Focus, its purpose, or revisions/additions please feel free to contact: Paula Bowles, Robin Schott, or Kimberly Sadler at 1-800-522-5810

Follow the link in the title to go straight to the pdf. J.T.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

NYC Cash-for-Tests Program Shows Mixed Results

NYC Cash-for-Tests Program Shows Mixed Results
By KAREN MATTHEWS Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- A privately funded initiative that pays students in some New York City high schools up to $1,000 for passing Advanced Placement tests is not making the grade, critics say.

(....follow the link in the above title to read the rest of the story)

What do you all think? Pay me $1,000.00 and I think I just might pass! J.T.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ten Most Wanted Cheaters

Do you know any of these people??? J.T.
(Copyright Caveon Test Security)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...