Test Configurations

The best way to confirm that digital content will work on any given computing device or operating system is to try as many combinations as possible. Put together a “test kit” that combines each type of computing device, its system software and a sample of the content and allow users to interact with the content to uncover the unexpected “gotchas.”


Technical Requirements

Technical requirements to consider when selecting and implementing digital instructional materials and resources include:
Content Format. The evaluation process for digital content should include making note of the formats the content is available in and the operating systems and internet browsers it is compatible with. It is important to monitor the minimum and recommended device specifications to make the best use of the digital content provided by the content publisher. If the content is not “device agnostic,” what are the tradeoffs you might be forced to make? (For example, if your school has a BYOD program, will all students be able to access and have the same experience with that content as somebody using a school-supplied device?)
Content Access. Decide what type of content access is preferred and then determine how the licensing and copyright considerations address those preferences. Can the digital content be saved to computing devices, made available online, or both? Is internet access required to see and interact with the content? Can the content follow the user and adapt to the device being used at the moment?
Interoperability. How will the digital resources connect with current and future resources. Does the vendor follow appropriate standards-based data definitions? Does the software allow for sharing of information across applications? Does the software enable the search, alignment and discovery of digital content? Learn more in the Interoperability section.
Broadband. Some digital content relies on the use of streaming video or high definition visuals. Are the plans for acquisition of digital content in sync with plans to expand the broadband access coming to the building as well throughout the building? Learn more about broadband and Wi-Fi in the Equity & Access section.
Accessibility. How are the needs of students with disabilities and English language learners addressed by the technology and the content? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the content for these students? At the most basic level, is the content accessible? Additionally, does it provide the supports and scaffolds to support independent learning by a diverse student population?
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