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.
“In the near future, thousands of school districts will be tasked with launching these assessment testing programs, and it’s critical that IT teams ensure their systems are up to the task,” said Steve Plume, vice president of marketing for Dell KACE. “As IT teams evaluate technology purchases, we’re excited to be able to provide educational institutions the ability to meet these requirements while streamlining their systems management tasks.”A Good Choice for Educational Organizations Through its award-winning systems management technology, Dell KACE can not only help organizations streamline common systems management tasks such as software inventory and asset management, they can also provide educational organizations with an easy way to evaluate technology readiness as they prepare to implement future student assessment programs. As districts evaluate future technology purchases, Dell provides a variety of solutions that will further improve teaching and learning by providing information and tools for teachers and schools and helping children succeed. About Dell Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is committed to helping students develop the knowledge and skills they need to learn and succeed in an increasingly digital world and a globally competitive workforce. As a top provider of technology and services to schools, Dell listens to and works with students, educators, administrators, parents and community members around the world to deliver innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more in and out of the classroom. Learn more about Dell in Education at www.dell.com. Follow us on Twitter @DellEDU. Dell provides system-management solutions for customers of all sizes and system complexity. The award-winning Dell KACE family of appliances delivers easy-to-use, comprehensive, and affordable systems management capabilities for organizations of all sizes. For more information, visit http://www.dell.com/KACE or follow the conversation at @DellKACE. Join us at Dell World 2012 – The Power to Do More. Technology professionals will learn from one another and identify key challenges and opportunities connected to the top forces changing business today. Learn more at www.DellWorld.com or follow #DellWorld on Twitter. Helpful Links