We have an English teacher who said that whatever she wrote on the board, the students would just copy. Now that students have computers, she doesn't write things down, and the students have to pay more attention and take their own notes. We have higher-order thinking and an increased level of student engagement."

Over the next year, Indiana education officials will evaluate test scores, student and teacher engagement and costs to judge the effectiveness of Indiana ACCESS. If results are promising, they plan to push ahead with deployment to all 385 secondary schools in the state.

"If the teachers don't see this producing value there's no reason to do it," said Taylor. "We are looking for this to enhance student learning, not change the way students are learning. But I think it may end up doing both very successfully."

Huffman said he sees Indiana ACCESS as a great opportunity for Indiana students and schools. "I think a year or two down the road we're going to have an astounding success story to tell."

Justine Brown  |  Contributing Writer