Texas schools have big changes on the horizon when it comes to digital skills. This year, our Lone Star students will be required to take their statewide assessments online for the first time ever. Then, we’re gearing up to implement revised Technology Application standards, or TA-TEKS, that go into effect in 2024. These shifts are likely to drive some of the conversations at TCEA soon, but at Learning.com, we’re more than just ready, we’re excited for these changes!
More Rigorous TA-TEKS
The changes to TA-TEKS are fairly significant. K-8 students will be required not only to know the basics of how to use technology, but also to develop broad computer science skills including computational thinking, coding, computer programming and online safety.
“My advice to teachers and school districts is to begin reviewing and studying the standards now so you will be prepared for their implementation in the 2024-2025 school year. These standards will take a much more concerted effort to implement than the ones they are replacing.”
– Jennifer Bergland, TCEA
Thankfully, Learning.com already offers robust content in these areas as part of our comprehensive digital literacy curriculum. We’ve long known that for today’s students to succeed in the digital world, they will need to master a broad range of skills that go well beyond the basics of navigating a computer and knowing how to type properly.
EasyTech offers a content library of 1,000 lessons, games, videos and practice exercises that cover everything from online safety and digital citizenship to algorithmic thinking and coding, by grade. Because it’s all in one place, it’s a lifesaver for teachers, whether or not they are tech savvy themselves.
For example, Corpus Christi ISD has been using Learning.com’s EasyTech since 2017, when they were looking for a program that would address Technology Application TEKS, E-Rate, and David’s Law. EasyTech turned out to be popular for both students and teachers who had been cobbling together online resources to cover crucial digital skills.
“When Learning.com came along, I was like ‘Hallelujah!’ Learning.com has everything we cover, everything I was searching for online, and more. I love the structure of it, the units, the lesson plans and interactive lessons and discussions.”
–Debra Garcia, technology applications teacher, CCISD
Learning.com’s program was the only one adopted by the state of Texas to meet 100% of current TA-TEKS, and we are committed to maintaining our adoption for the revised standards, as well.
This spring when Texas students take their state test, STAAR, online for the first time, some may stumble based not on their content knowledge, but on their computer skills. Research has shown that a student’s comfort level with the testing medium can impact their performance. Of course, every teacher wants their students’ content knowledge to shine through on the STAAR.
Here again, Learning.com has schools covered with our Texas Prep for Online Assessment. This series of lessons provides students with the needed digital literacy skills they need to succeed in online tests, including computer fundamentals, typing and word processing. It even includes skills practice, so students experience icons, tools and navigation similar to what they will see in online assessments this spring. Best of all, Prep for Online Assessment is included with our EasyTech curriculum.
Come on by at TCEA
I’ll be at the TCEA Convention in San Antonio Jan. 30-Feb. 2, talking to Texas educators. I hope you’ll stop by our booth #1044 to ask any questions you have about digital literacy and computer science skills for Texas students. There are definitely big changes coming down the pipe for Texas students and teachers, but with 20 years of experience, Learning.com is the perfect partner to help you navigate them like a star!