Katie Baird, Author at Ellipsis Education

⭐ Texas educators: our K-5 Tech Apps curriculum is a state-approved instructional material. Learn More.

How Ellipsis Education Does Assessment in Texas

How Ellipsis Education Does Assessment in Texas

April 9, 2024
Dr. Whitney Dove CEO

This post describes our Texas Technology Applications curriculum only. For information about assessments in our national offering, please visit our Curriculum Resources page.

Assessment practices provide ongoing and actionable insights into students’ learning.

Following best practices for design, we use a variety of assessment types to ensure intentional monitoring of students’ learning against key outcomes. Educators are provided with grade-tracking tools and rubrics to support consistent and equitable grading.

Keep reading to explore assessment options, and download a PDF version of this post to share with your evaluation committee.

Assessment Practices

Let’s explore the different assessment methods embedded within Ellipsis curriculum.

1. Self-Assessment

Students begin each unit by completing a self-assessment to measure themselves against the unit’s I Can Statement.

2. Exit Tickets

Students complete brief exit tickets in most lessons to help determine if they understood the lesson’s main ideas.

3. Formative Assessments

Students take formative assessments in lessons that do not have an exit ticket. These allow the students and teachers to see how their mastery of key learning outcomes is developing across the unit.

4. Performance Tasks

Students demonstrate their ability to apply their new learning by completing TEKS-aligned performance tasks.

5. Self-Assessment

Students reflect on how far their learning has progressed by repeating the self-assessment and celebrating their growth.


Ellipsis Education by Coder Kids, Inc. is a K-5 state-adopted Tech Apps curriculum. Learn more about our offering and take a look at sample materials.

How to Grade Assessments in Ellipsis Curriculum

Grading students’ work is done using grade-tracking tools, answer keys, and rubrics. We recommend using qualitative grading systems with high-quality feedback to track students’ progress on formative assessments. Numeric grades can be assigned to summative assessments.

Capacity Matrix

Locate the unit’s capacity matrix in the Unit Launch lesson. Prepare the document by adding your students’ names. Or, input the assignment names into your online grade book.


Guide students through the self-assessment found in the Unit Launch and the Unit Close. Use the provided guidance to rate students as developing, emerging, or mastery on the capacity matrix.

Exit Tickets

Print and distribute Exit Tickets found at the end of most lessons. Use the answer key to evaluate and provide feedback on students’ work.

Formative Assessments

Print and distribute the Formative Assessments that occur in lessons without an exit ticket. Use the answer keys and provided guidance to rate students’ progress. Update the capacity matrix.

Performance Tasks

Print and distribute the performance task summative assessment found in the Unit Close lesson. Use the provided grading rubric to review students’ work. Enter their summative grades in the grade book.

Explore Our Texas Tech Apps Curriculum

With the Texas Tech Apps implementation quickly approaching, many schools and districts are conducting formal evaluations of Technology Applications curriculum. Ellipsis Education by Coder Kids, Inc. is one of three K-5 state-adopted instructional solutions.

See all the different Ellipsis assessment methods in our curriculum preview, or schedule a demo with one of our account managers.  We’d love to hear about your district’s vision for Technology Applications and answer any questions you may have!

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Ellipsis Education Named 2024 SIIA CODiE Award Finalist

Ellipsis Education Named 2024 SIIA CODiE Award Finalist

March 28, 2024
Katie Noe Director of Growth Marketing

Ellipsis Education curriculum recognized by peers as a Market Leader in the “Best STEM Instructional Solution for Grades K – 12” category.

Indianapolis, IN (March 28, 2024) – Ellipsis Education today announces that their computer science curriculum was named a 2024 SIIA CODiE Award Finalist in the “Best STEM Instructional Solution for Grades K – 12” category. CODiE Finalists represent the best products, services and people in the Education and Business Technology Industries. 

Ellipsis Education curriculum is built so a teacher (not a machine) can bring computer science to life. Each course is thoughtfully designed with all the curriculum, resources, and support necessary for any teacher to be successful. With block and text-based programming, formative and performance-based assessments, and focuses on digital literacy and career development, students receive the very best instructional practices and a comprehensive view of computer science. 

The SIIA CODiE Awards, the long-running, premier awards program for the software and information industries are produced by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software, education, media and digital content industries.  Ellipsis Education was selected  as a finalist across dozens of Business Technology and  Education Technology categories, among hundreds of nominations. 

“The 2024 CODiE Award Finalists are a showcase of those products and individuals who have been identified by industry experts as being at the forefront of innovation. These Finalists perpetuate the CODiEs’ longstanding tradition of acknowledging the year’s most influential products, services, and leaders, thereby laying the groundwork for future innovators. A hearty congratulations to all who have earned this recognition.” 

“We are honored to be named a CODiE Award Finalist,” says Dr. Whitney Dove, CEO of Ellipsis Education. “It’s always wonderful to be recognized as we continue to further our mission: ensuring teachers have the curriculum, resources, and support they need to confidently teach computer science.”

The SIIA CODiE Awards are the industry’s only peer-recognized awards program. Finalists are determined by industry experts. CODiE Award winners will be announced during the Virtual Celebrations May 21, 2024 at 1pm EST.

Details about each Finalist are listed at https://siia.net/codie/2024-finalists/

About the SIIA CODiE™ Awards

The SIIA CODiE Awards is the only peer-reviewed program to celebrate the vision, talent, and advances in building quality products in the Tech Industry. Since 1986, thousands of products, services and solutions have been recognized for Leading Innovation and Achieving Excellence. For more information, visit https://siia.net/codie/

About Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA)

SIIA is the only professional organization connecting more than 700 data, financial information, education technology, specialized content and publishing, and connects learners and educators. Our diverse members manage the global financial markets, develop software that solves today’s challenges through technology, provide critical information that helps inform global businesses large and small, and innovate for better communication across the information ecosystem.

About Ellipsis Education

Ellipsis Education is removing barriers to teaching computer science. In every K-12 course, Ellipsis delivers all the curriculum, resources, and support needed for teachers to build confidence and capacity. The curriculum includes detailed lesson plans (beyond just coding), pacing guides, standards maps, and training. With school and district partners, Ellipsis Education is imagining a world where all learners have equitable access to high-quality computer science education. For more information visit ellipsiseducation.com.


Ellipsis Education communications contact:
Katie Noe
Director of Growth Marketing

SIIA communications contact:

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Tech Apps in Texas: A Familiar Crossroads

Tech Apps in Texas: A Familiar Crossroads

February 29, 2024
Dr. Whitney Dove CEO

The changes to the Technology Applications requirements may feel challenging, but we’ve been here before. I see many similarities between the Texas science implementation and what we’re doing today.

I got the keys to my very first classroom in the summer of 2006. I was a mix of emotions as I stepped inside room 103 at Piner Middle School in Sherman, Texas. The weight of my new responsibility washed over me. 

The room itself was shouting, “Science is all around us! It’s in the world, for us to explore!” But, the instructional materials given to me had a different story: science is here, in books, for us to read. Because I was so new, I fell back on what was comfortable. I began my career with a big, boring book as the primary tool for teaching my students. 

My students were quizzed on facts, figures, and definitions. I’m sure they were bored to tears. Thankfully, that was all about to change.

Redefining Instruction

In 2011, some interesting things started happening in science education. Texas introduced new legislation that updated the TEKS and added science to the list of tested subjects in grades 5 and 8. Now, there was an initiative to provide funding and supply teachers with higher quality instructional materials. 

I believe this moment was critical in the evolution of science education in our state. For the first time in a while, we had the opportunity to redefine the notion of quality instruction. We were able to view materials that had not been previously available. 

Those materials showed us a world that was possible beyond those big, boring textbooks. They taught us that there was a better way to do science. 

I was incredibly fortunate to be part of the committee that would choose our district’s new materials. And later, I was incredibly fortunate to join the team of the curriculum we selected: STEMscopes. I had a front row seat for all the changes that were about to happen.

The Changing Landscape

As districts wrestled to understand new legislative requirements, adopt new materials, and prepare students for a statewide assessment, we truly saw an evolution take place. We saw, and overcame, two main challenges: 

1. “There’s not enough time!”

Elementary schools had to figure out how to make time for science. While we understood and empathized with that reality, we helped them to brainstorm and work through their unique challenges so that they could find the time needed to adequately prepare their students.

2. Adopting a Hands-On Approach

Teachers hesitated to adopt a hands-on approach to teaching science. They, like me, had grown up in a world where science lived in big, boring books. A new way felt scary and uncomfortable. We worked with them on mastering the 5E Instructional Model, appreciating the value of inquiry, and using formative assessments to monitor students’ progress across the learning cycle. 

Over the last 10 years, science has really grown up. Today, it’s clear that this active, hands-on, and student-centered view is the prevailing model of science instruction across the state. 

Technology Applications: History Repeats

I tell you this bit of history, because we’re finding ourselves at a familiar crossroads. It’s 2024, and Technology Applications (Tech Apps) is ready to grow up. 

Just like science of old, there is a current model for how Tech Apps is taught. Except this time, the big, boring book = student-led software applications. 

As a state, we’re comfortable with this paradigm. However, there are new requirements for Tech Apps that are presenting an opportunity to redefine our notions of quality. And, with that, we’re having to overcome some of the same challenges we did with science. 

It feels like the perfect time to reflect on our history, and use that as a guide for how to think about the changes in Tech Apps. We should ask ourselves, “What do we want Tech Apps to look like in the future?” This is our chance to define what high quality is, and prepare ourselves to deliver it. 


Ellipsis Education by Coder Kids, Inc. is a K-5 state-adopted Tech Apps curriculum. Learn more about our offering and take a look at sample materials.

Knowing what I know now, here’s how I think about Technology Applications

1. Start With The Right Curriculum

The right instructional materials set the tone for your whole implementation. There are quite a few options on the market, so it’s important for your committee to decide what’s important. In my previous district, we prioritized a curriculum with quality pedagogical practices, an engaging learning experience for students, and cohesive learning progression across grade levels. 

2. It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect Right Away

We can take small steps toward our big vision. Let’s say we know we want Tech Apps to be incorporated in the classroom. Maybe we start out teaching Tech Apps with paraprofessionals or specials rotations, but take concrete steps each year to transition Tech Apps into the regular instructional day. Each district will be unique in this regard, but a good curriculum partner will help you every step of the way.

3. Professional Development is Key

In my experience with science, buzzwords like “student-centered inquiry”, “problem-based-learning”, and “constructivism” started to pop up. Sure, those are great in theory, but It’s important to share practical strategies for using these ideas in the classroom. Providing professional learning opportunities for teachers will help create buy-in and unify the overall vision for your district. 

Final Thoughts

This is an exciting time in Texas. I can’t wait to look back at this moment in another 10 years and see the work we’ve done to redefine quality instruction for Technology Applications.

Try Out Our Curriculum

Ellipsis Education by Coder Kids, Inc. is one of three K-5 state-adopted instructional solutions on the Instructional Materials Current Adoption Bulletin.

Most programs on the list have a large student-led component. But, students could miss out on the “why” behind what they’re learning. Ellipsis is different because the curriculum is designed so a teacher, not a computer, helps students learn Technology Applications concepts.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Ellipsis Education can help you implement the revised TEKS, preview the curriculum on our website or schedule a demo with one of our account managers.  We’d love to hear about your district’s vision for Technology Applications and answer any questions you may have!

About Dr. Whitney Dove

Whitney Dove, PhD is CEO at Ellipsis Education. Whitney is influenced by her desire to help teachers bring best practices into their classroom through high-quality curriculum materials.

Previously, Whitney managed professional development programs at the National Institute for STEM Education, served as a founding member of the STEMscopes Curriculum team, and worked as an eighth grade science teacher and instructional coach.

Whitney earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas Tech. She also holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Texas – Arlington and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Austin College. She is passionate about using STEM education as a lever to promote equity, students’ post-secondary readiness, and teachers’ self-efficacy.

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Understanding the Revised Texas Technology Applications TEKS

Understanding the Revised Texas Technology Applications TEKS

February 1, 2024
By Katie Noe

Texas educators are getting ready for big changes to their technology standards. Revised Texas Technology Applications TEKS are adopted and set for implementation in the 2024-2025 school year.   

According to the Texas Administrative Code, the Technology Applications standards include “the study of digital tools, devices, communication, and programming to empower students to apply current and emerging technologies in their careers, their education, and beyond.” 

With these important skills on the line, you may be looking to understand the differences between the old and new Tech Apps TEKS. Let’s explore the history, changes, and implications of the new Texas Technology Applications standards.

History of the Technology TEKS

The original K-8 TEKS Technology standards were adopted in 2011 and implemented in the 2012-2013 school year. This made Texas one of the earliest states to formally enact a set of technology standards. 

More than a decade later, in 2022, the Technology Applications standards were revised and updated. Implementation is set for the 2024-2025 school year. You can review the new standards on TEA’s Technology Applications page.

As part of this adoption cycle (known as Proclamation 2024), the State Board of Education (SBOE) conducted a robust curriculum evaluation process. Instructional materials that have been approved and adopted by the state can be found on TEA’s Instructional Materials Current Adoption Bulletin. If you buy off this list, you can use your instructional materials allotment to purchase curriculum.


Ellipsis Education by Coder Kids, Inc. is a K-5 state-adopted Tech Apps curriculum. Learn more about our offering and take a look at sample materials.

All that being said, Texas is unique when it comes to a formal Technology Applications adoption. Educators have a trifecta for an effective implementation: 

  1. Standards adoption
  2. Approved curriculum
  3. Instructional materials funding

At Ellipsis Education, we’ve noticed that some states have one or two of these inputs, but very few have all three. Texans have a great opportunity to take advantage of these resources and continue to be leaders in technology education.

Changes to New Technology TEKS 

The new Technology TEKS are certainly more robust than they used to be. Where the old Tech Apps standards focused on digital skills such as typing and file sharing, the new Tech Apps standards introduce computer science, coding, and computational thinking. At a high level, here are the key changes:

  • Grade-level differentiated. Goodbye, grade bands! Each grade level now has their own requirements for what students should be able to know and do.
  • Organized by strands and substrands. Think of “strands” as the key ideas and “substrands” as the supporting ideas. All substrands are new to the 2022 Technology Applications TEKS. This organization is meant to help teachers connect instruction to everyday life.  
  • Two new strands. “Computational Thinking” and “Data Literacy, Management, and Representation” are new to the Tech Apps standards. This means content has been added and reorganized to reflect these key focus areas. 
  • “With assistance” and “with or without technology”. This verbiage was added to the Technology TEKS elementary in grades K-3. This allows for age-appropriate technology use and the option to introduce standards without devices all together. 

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) also summarized these changes in this slide deck: Understanding the Updates in the Revised Technology Applications TEKS.

TEKS Technology Standards, Side-by-Side

Find a side-by-side TEKS breakdown, organized by strands and substrands. You can also download a PDF version of the table below. Both sets of standards are available on TEA’s Technology Applications page.

2011 Strands, K-82022 Strands, K-82022 Substrands, K-8
Creativity and InnovationCreativity and InnovationInnovative Design Process
Emerging Technologies
Digital CitizenshipDigital CitizenshipSocial Interactions
Ethics and Laws
Privacy, Safety, and Security
Technology Operations and Concepts Practical Technology ConceptsPractical Technology ConceptsProcesses (Grades 3+)
Skills and Tools
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision MakingComputational ThinkingFoundations
Research and Information FluencyData Literacy, Management, and RepresentationCollect Data
Organize, Manage, and Analyze Data (Grades 3+)
Communicate and Publish Results
(Grades 2+)
Communication and Collaboration(Strand no longer used)(Strand no longer used)

What The Changes Mean

So what do these changes mean for you? Maybe you’ve been teaching Tech Apps for years, or maybe you’re new to the discipline. Regardless, the revised standards represent a large shift in the way Technology Applications will show up in the classroom. 

As a native Texan and former Texas educator, Whitney Dove, Ph.D. (CEO of Ellipsis Education) shares some of her thoughts about the new Technology Applications TEKS.

“We’ve previously viewed Tech Apps as a way to improve student fluency with technology as tools,” says Dr. Dove. Truly, the 2011 Tech Apps standards taught students how to use documents, create spreadsheets, and save their work. “But now, because we’ve added computational thinking and digital literacy, we’re taking a more academic approach to Technology Applications.” The new Tech Apps standards reflect the broader skills that come with technology use. These abilities fundamentally change the ways we think and act, and they are essential for students in our digital age. 

Dr. Dove continues, “Because of these new focus areas, what’s been done in the past simply won’t work anymore. There’s just more to cover.” The new Tech Apps TEKS have more content, as seen in the grade-level differentiated standards and two additional strands. They’ve introduced advanced concepts, like coding and computational thinking. There’s also more clarity around what students should be able to do, following best practices for standards and instructional design. 

That’s why a comprehensive Technology Applications curriculum is necessary to implement the revised standards. “The new Tech Apps TEKS reflect what we’ve been doing at Ellipsis Education for a long time now,” says Dr. Dove. “Our curriculum balances the practical application of technology alongside developing those computational thinking and digital literacy skills – all through the lens of computer science education.”


Ellipsis Education by Coder Kids, Inc. is a K-5 state-adopted Tech Apps curriculum. Learn more about our offering and take a look at sample materials.

Final Thoughts

With the Tech Apps implementation quickly approaching, many schools and districts are conducting formal evaluations of Technology Applications curriculum Texas. Ellipsis Education by Coder Kids, Inc. is one of three K-5 state-adopted instructional solutions on the Instructional Materials Current Adoption Bulletin

Most programs on the list have a large student-led component. But, students could miss out on the “why” behind what they’re learning. Ellipsis is different because the curriculum is designed so a teacher, not a computer, helps students learn technology applications concepts. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Ellipsis Education can help you implement the revised TEKS, preview the curriculum on our website or schedule a demo with one of our account managers.  We’d love to hear about your district’s vision for Technology Applications and answer any questions you may have!

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Curriculum Update: Summative Assessments

Curriculum Update: Summative Assessments

November 27, 2023
Megan Welk Sr. Manager of Curriculum and Content

Every student learns and demonstrates knowledge differently. As a result, it’s helpful to have assessment options as you work to gain insight into your classroom. 

We’ve always been passionate about providing high quality curriculum materials, and we understand that there are many ways to measure computer science learning. Ellipsis curriculum already includes formative assessments, projects, discussions, and now – we’re launching optional summative assessments to round out this suite of materials!

Computer Science Courses Included

Now, every Ellipsis course has an optional summative assessment. The following courses are included in this launch:

Note – CS Foundations K-2 and HSCS Game Development already include summative assessments. You can find pre-assessments and post-assessments included as the first and last lessons in the course.

Exploring Computer Science Assessments

Here is the first page of a summative assessment from Computer Science Fundamentals 3. This PDF can be printed and passed out to students during class: 

Then, when it comes time to grade, you can access computer science test questions and answers in the answer key: 

We know grading can be a pain, but these two documents help it take just a little less time!

Where to Find Summative Assessments

When you log in to Ellipsis curriculum using the Curriculum Delivery Platform, you’ll land on the courses page. 

  1. Click on any course included in this launch.
  2.  On the right side of the screen, find “Summative Assessment Questions”. (Hint – it’s located right below the Course Description.)
  3. There, you’ll find your computer science questions and answers PDF.

How to Use Summative Assessments

Summative assessments can serve multiple purposes throughout the course:

  1. They can be used at the beginning of a course as a pre-assessment to gauge student’s prior knowledge of computer science. 
  2. They can be provided to students at the end of the course to measure student growth and acquired knowledge. 
  3. They can be provided as a computer science practice test as a study tool for students.

See for Yourself

Explore summative assessments in a free trial of Ellipsis Education curriculum. In this 30 day preview, you’ll see sample lessons from each grade-level differentiated course, syllabus, pacing guide, standards map, and more!

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Curriculum Delivery Platform Launches Single Sign On Feature

Curriculum Delivery Platform Launches Single Sign On Feature

September 14, 2023
Megan Welk Sr. Manager of Curriculum and Content

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Single Sign-On (SSO) for The Curriculum Delivery Platform (CDP)!

With SSO, you can access our platform with an existing account. No need to remember another username and password! In this blog post, we’ll explain more about this update and how to get started.

Streamlined Access for Teachers

SSO revolutionizes the way teachers interact with the Curriculum Delivery Platform. Educators can now log in to our platform using their existing credentials from their Learning Management System (LMS) or other authentication provider. That means it’s even easier for teachers to access their computer science courses, leaving more time for what they do best – teaching.

Supported Providers

We understand that schools and districts use various different platforms. To ensure compatibility, we partnered with Edlink to integrate our education single sign-on feature with several popular providers. Our supported platforms include:

  • Blackboard 
  • Brightspace by D2L 
  • Canvas 
  • ClassGather 
  • Classlink single sign on for education
  • Google Classroom 
  • HelloID 
  • Microsoft Teams 
  • Moodle 
  • OneLogin 
  • RapidIdentity 
  • Schoology

We frequently add integrations, so if you don’t see your preferred platform, please contact us.

By partnering with Edlink, we also established a dedicated team focused on maintaining the highest standards of security and data integrity for education SSO and rostering platforms. Teachers can rest easy, knowing their data is safe. 

Get Started with Single Sign-On for Schools

If you’re an existing Ellipsis Education customer, please have your administrator (or whomever is in charge of managing curriculum decisions at your school or district) email support@ellipsiseducation.com. Your email should include:

  1. What identity provider will you use (Clever, Google Classroom, etc.)?
  2. Who is the administrator for the account (name and email address)?

From there, our customer experience team will reach out to the administrator and guide them through the steps to turn on the new authentication method. 

If you’re not a user of our curriculum, sign up for a demo on our website! Our account managers can walk you through the Curriculum Delivery Platform and answer any questions about the new SSO feature.

The introduction of SSO for schools marks a significant milestone in our commitment to removing barriers to teaching computer science. With SSO, it’s even easier for teachers to access and navigate their curriculum. We’re excited to offer this convenient feature, and as always, we look forward to supporting your computer science goals! 

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