Next February, approximately 1 million students from nearly 10,000 schools in the United States will participate in pilot tests developed by the American Institutes of Research (AIR) for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. We’re happy to share that AIR will now support Chromebooks as secure assessment devices to take these tests.

Photo Credit: American Institutes of Research

This development follows our earlier announcement that the PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia, as part of the U.S Department of Education Race to the Top initiative, verified that Chromebooks meet hardware and operating system requirements for online student assessments in the 2014-2015 school year.

An increasing number of schools are finding Chromebooks to be cost-effective and secure devices to administer testing. According to John Jesse, Director of Assessments at Utah Department of Education, several schools in Utah used Chromebooks to securely administer their summative online state assessments this past spring.

New features and web apps
The Chromebook management console—like Chrome OS—is constantly getting better. The newest features help make Chromebooks more secure as assessment kiosks. With the latest OS release you can disable external storage (e.g., USB flash drives), screenshots, audio output sources (e.g., speakers), and audio capture sources (e.g., microphones).

Likewise, we’re adding more educational apps to the Chrome Web Store all the time. New apps available include OER Commons and CK12 for curated web content, Agilix Buzz for customized learning paths and the Hapara Teacher Dashboard for effortless maintenance of a classroom’s Google Apps activity.

We’re excited by how educators continue to find new ways to use the web and discover web resources to help them teach and engage with students. We look forward to sharing more of your stories in the new year.