Student Interns Help Prep GCISD For Online Testing
Posted on 02/07/2022

With the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) transitioning to an online platform, the test-taking experience will soon be very different for students. From choosing a certain style of cursor to choosing a voice to read the text out loud, there are quite a few new options available. 

GCISD’s Assessment and Instructional Technology departments recognized an opportunity to help prepare students for the new testing environment and asked for assistance from some very tech-savvy high school students.

The GCISD Student Technology Ambassadors are a group of dedicated students who use their interest in technology to assist the district in different areas. To be selected, these students must submit an application and go through an interview process. All GCISD students 16 years of age or older are encouraged to apply in the spring for the following school year.

This year’s Ambassador group took on the large task of creating videos to assist parents and students as they begin to navigate the testing site. As families are able to work through the practice test portal, these videos will be available to help get their students ready for the STAAR.

Shannon Tovar, Director of Accountability and Continuous Improvement, believes that these videos are crucial to the success of our students.

“The STAAR Online Tools are aligned to problem-solving strategies that students use in school. By viewing the videos produced by our Student Technology Ambassadors and practicing the online tools with released STAAR questions, students will feel better prepared for the transition from paper to online testing,” Tovar said. “In sharing these tools, the Student Technology Ambassadors have increased the opportunity for other students to demonstrate their learning. I am so appreciative of how these student leaders modeled effective communication, positively contributing to a supportive learning environment here in GCISD.”

In addition to the STAAR videos, this year the Student Technology Ambassadors have hosted two social media campaigns, developed a "phishing campaign" to help increase the district’s cybersecurity awareness, and post monthly "Learn While You Go" flyers in student restrooms at the high schools.