Local school district using technology to teach

Students will soon use computers for test taking


The Bakersfield City School District is gearing up for a big change when it comes to standardized testing.   Students will be using computers to take tests instead of pencils and paper in the 2014-2015 school year.

The new test will replace the STAR test and the district is now working to make sure students are comfortable using technology.

“It’s a game changer for us. We have to go through a whole new interactive computer system in order to assess students. That means we have to have computers ready to go by 2015,” said Bakersfield City School District Superintendent Robert Arias.

Arias told 23 ABC the district is also putting together a committee that focuses on ways to enhance learning using technology and address issues like infrastructure and training for teachers.

“It's not just about testing you have to prepare kids for those instructional strategies necessary to be successful using technology on that assessment."

Students are even using technology now in their every day school work.

“I started coming to the computer lab a few months ago and I know that I’ve been doing better because my grades have been going up,” said Downtown Elementary School student Victoria Guerra.

The district is using a couple different pilot programs to prepare students. One would allow teachers to post homework assignments online and also let teachers post blog questions.

Dana Johnson, Program Specialist for the Curriculum and Standards Department, told 23 ABC that the idea is to prepare students for not only tests, but life after middle school.

"We can't predict what it's going to look like in the future, but we can predict that students are going to have to be critical thinkers and creative. They're going to have to be interacting with more pieces of technology then we can even imagine and it's our job to have them ready. Ready for success and the future.”

Superintendent Arias also told 23 ABC Proposition 30 will help with the funding along with Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed Local Control Funding Formula.  Arias is hopeful lawmakers will approve the plan and for now he says the district is focusing on getting ready for the big change.

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