iOS 8 compatible secure browser for assessment available soon

The following Priority Notice was distributed on Tuesday, Jan. 13 to superintendents, technology directors and district/system assessment administrators (DSAs) to alert them that an iOS 8 compatible secure browser for administration of the new online assessment was being developed by AIR and would be coming later this month.

The Maine DOE is aware that the secure browser application that will be used for the administration of the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced is currently not compatible with the iOS 8 operating system on updated Apple iPads, including those provided to Maine schools through MLTI.

Please know that our assessment administration vendor, American Institutes for Research (AIR), expects to release an iOS 8 compatible secure browser application prior to the interim assessments going live on Jan. 27. This updated app will leverage new iOS functionality called “Autonomous Single App Mode” that will make test administration easier for both teachers and students.

In the meantime, the Department encourages teachers and students to familiarize themselves with types of questions and the testing environment they’ll experience when the actual assessment is administered between March 16 and May 29 by accessing the Smarter Balanced developed practice and training tests using the existing Safari browser on their iPads.

Please know that the Maine DOE’s Assessment and Learning Through Technology teams will continue to ensure Maine schools have the tools, training and technical assistance they need to ensure a successful administration this spring of the new online MEA for Mathematics and ELA/Literacy. We will communicate with you via the weekly Commissioner’s Update and Priority Notices like this one when new resources become available, including when the updated app is released later this month.

For general assessment information or technical assistance, please visit www.maine.gov/doe/assessment or contact the Department’s Acting Assessment Coordinator Nancy Godfrey at nancy.godfrey@maine.gov or 624-6775. For information or assistance related specifically to assessment technology, please contact Maine DOE consultant Andy Wallace at meatech.doe@maine.gov.