School districts now have a final technology planning framework for supporting new assessment systems.
Based on research of existing school and district technology, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium of states came up with a framework of minimum existing device requirements and recommended guidelines for new devices. Smarter Balanced — along with another group of states called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers — received federal grant funding to design next generation assessments based on the Common Core State Standards.
The 48 states that belong to one or both of these consortia will need to put assessment systems in place in the 2014-15 school year. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium estimates that most of the schools and districts in participating states will not have to upgrade existing infrastructure to handle the assessments.
Each device must have a 10-inch class screen, a physical keyboard, headphones, Internet access and administrative tools -- which knocks out the Google Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini.
For the full framework and specifications, see the consortium's guide on its website.