Technology for Learners


Transition to the SBAC: Developing Student Technology Skills

Author: Rick Phelan
Published: 09.13.13

Technology is not an “elective” with the Common Core Standards and 21st century learning. At a minimum, students need to know how to carry out computer-based tasks to perform well on the new SBAC testing. Four tasks that challenged students in the 2013 pilot tests were:

  • Moving between two or more screens
  • Operating spreadsheets and calculators
  • Manipulating virtual objects such as geometric constructions
  • Editing electronic text

If you are looking to develop student technical skills in these areas, the following resources may be helpful.


Moving between two or more screens
Model research activities that involve the evaluation of two or more electronic sources. Use web browser tabs and toggle between the sources. A sample activity in this area can be found at All About Explorers.

Operating spreadsheets and calculators
Encourage activities where students learn to construct and use electronic spreadsheets. A range of engaging spreadsheet activities can be found in the ISTE publication, Spreadsheet Magic.

Manipulating virtual objects
There are a growing number of websites that offer virtual objects for manipulation. One of the best sites for K-12 mathematics activities using maniplulatives is the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives.

Editing electronic text
Educators can encourage skills in this area by offering word processing activities that require text editing and revisions. This YouTube video offers an introduction to peer editing with Google docs, which is a great way to develop skills in this area.


Technology Skill Matrices

As schools expand their work with technology for teaching and learning, a growing number of districts are adopting technology skill matrices for students. Here are two resources that are commonly referenced.

Fresno County Office of Education
Recommended Digital Literacy and Technology Skills (pdf)

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS)
Profiles for Technology Literate Students (pdf)
NETS Student Standards 2007



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