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Technology Companies Team Up on Testing

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Three of the world's largest technology companies are working together to create assessments that measure critical thinking, technical aptitude, and other 21st century skills—a project that could guide new versions of international comparison tests.

The project by Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems, and Intel Corp. was unveiled this month at the Learning and Technology World Forum in London.

Barry McGaw, the executive director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute in Australia, will oversee the project. Mr. McGaw is a former education director of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, which runs the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA.

Officials with OECD and the International Association of the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, which conducts the Trends in International Math and Science Study, or TIMSS, have expressed interest in using the measures on the next versions of the international assessments, according to a news release from the forum.

"IEA is committed to the greater integration of [information technology] into all its assessments, especially TIMSS and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study," IEA Chairman Seamus Hegarty, said in the statement. "This reflects the changes in learning environments and the potential of technology to enhance the teaching and learning process."

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Vol. 28, Issue 19, Page 4

Published in Print: January 28, 2009, as Technology Companies Team Up on Testing
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