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Dell Software Helps School Districts Prepare To Implement Online Assessment Testing Programs

Dell software today announced the Dell KACE Family of Appliances delivers systems management tools that help schools measure and evaluate technology readiness for several online assessment testing programs to measure student progress toward college and career readiness. These national programs include Smarter Balanced, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College Careers (PARCC), Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) and Assessment Services Supporting ELLs through Technology Systems (ASSETS).

As school districts evaluate existing technology readiness for these online assessment programs and plan for additional technology purchases, Dell KACE can ensure districts’ devices including PCs, laptops and tablets, meet these programs’ configuration specifications. As a first step, national programs such as Smarter Balanced and PARCC, are providing a “Technology Readiness Tool” to help K-12 schools identify their current technology infrastructure in preparation for the transition to online testing. Once the infrastructure has been identified, Dell KACE can then determine whether or not districts need to buy new hardware or operating systems to support the testing system.

Technical Requirements Met

In order to administer these new assessment programs, a school district will need to ensure its computer type, hardware, browser versions, operating systems, and other equipment are configured correctly in order to interact with the appropriate assessment systems. Additionally, districts will need to ensure configuration with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) authentication and role-based permission for administrators, allowing them to log in and send configuration items to managed components; and alerting and remediating disk issues.

Dell KACE not only helps a school ensure its infrastructure satisfies many of these programs’ requirements today, but also helps districts once a testing program has been implemented. For example, Dell KACE can help to lock down systems so that the operating system or applications cannot be changed by users. Scripting can be used to lock down browser access and USB ports and software distribution can ensure that systems have the required browsers and standard applications. Dell KACE also includes a comprehensive reporting module that lets IT administrators develop and produce reports in a variety of formats for audit trails.

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