FALL NEWSLETTER
Welcome to the OSC World Fall Newsletter. In this edition you will find an article on work on test scoring in New York State written by our EVP Research & Development, Jeffrey Schneider, as well as an informative Q&A interview with Michael Balboni concerning the importance of social media monitoring, another one of OSC World's fields of expertise. We also have the latest from our EVP Business Development, Mike Richez, who was in Florida for the National School Safety Conference and in Phoenix for the Assoc. of School Business Officials Intl. (ASBO) and featured on local TV in each market speaking about Digital Fly Social Media Awareness.
An Interview with
MICHAEL BALBONI

Awareness of the social media postings of its students is becoming critical for schools across the country. We recently spoke with Michael Balboni, Former New York State Senator and Deputy Secretary for Public Safety and Homeland Security Advisor for New York State and the Founder of RedLand Strategies, about the rise in importance of using social media awareness technology and strategies in today's world. What follows is a Q & A session with Mr. Balboni discussing schools and use of social media intelligence.
 
Question: Is social media information mined by schools on the rise and, if so, why are more schools examining social media activity?
 
Michael Balboni: Social media awareness technology has developed at a pace with the evolution of social media itself. This particular medium of communication is so accessible, so rapid and so widely adopted that it's become an intrinsic part of daily life, but the benefits don't always outweigh the detriments.
 
The benefits of the breakdown of social, temporal and geographic barriers of communication is often tarnished by the negative realities of social media coverages such as bullying, threatening messages, violence and criminal activity. All we have to do to understand why schools are so concerned is think back to the Sandy Hook tragedy and whether or not there was any way to understand that there was a threat evolving in the community.
 
Q: Why are schools moved to monitor social media?
 
MB: An August 2015 study by the University of Alberta Canada discovered that there is a strong relationship between cyber bullying and depression among children and adolescence. This analysis becomes even more distressing when studies show that 23 percent of children and teens have been cyberbullied. Similarly in 2014, a study by JAMA Pediatrics reports that cyber bullying increases the likelihood of suicidal identification in victims more often than the traditional means of bullying. So, schools need to look at social media more closely, using social media awareness technology, as it's become a real issue for the mental health of their students.
 
Q: What exactly should schools be looking for when they are monitoring?
 
MB: The reports from industry leaders show schools are mostly interested in bullying threats made to students, faculty and the community, and are also concerned about suspicious comments about violent shooting and other violence before they occur. Schools also want to know about activity that's happening now like fights, dealing of drugs, etc. and which may be carried on school grounds or nearby and, of course, the gain an awareness of bullying online.
 
Q: School security remains a hot topic. What can schools implement to help protect students?
 
MB: Schools can develop an awareness of what is going on around them by implementing fluid lines of communication. This will allow them to better understand the attitudes of the majority of students and uncover what is driving the pathology in some students. To do this they have to ensure that they have structural and physical security in their premises and have effective social media monitoring that can spot threats before they emerge.
 
Q: How can police and schools work together to protect students and the general public?
 
MB: Police and schools can coordinate their efforts in planning and training for emergencies and incidents and can support each other through the social media awareness by sharing technology, techniques, keywords and best practices. With effective social media awareness technology, it gives educators, police, social service providers and parents great visibility into the early warning signs of potential threats in our schools and communities.
 
Q: Will more schools and communities monitor social media for threats as well as to better understand community concerns?
 
MB: Social media awareness of any concerning content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, if done effectively, can be customized and adapted to a specific school district. With improved social media awareness, it can help prevent harmful incidents.
 
Q: Why should school consider using social media awareness technologies and tools?
 
MB: Gain awareness to social media postings, when carried out in a responsible only looks at publicly-available social media posts, posts that could be accessed by anyone within capabilities. Social media awareness software simply compiles the data of these posts and displays just that specific information through a keyword search, which can be analyzed and reported. In these ways use of social media awareness technologies, helps to protect schools and communities. It supplements cameras and other security measures that have become pervasive and accepted in schools and other communities.
Transforming and Ensuring the Integrity of Tests
With the rise of test cheating scandals reported in districts in New York and across the nation, test scoring and test integrity have become important issues for school administrators, state education departments and parents alike. Issues with scoring and test integrity are caused in part by test scoring performed at the local district level, thus allowing for the possibility of bias or intentional test scoring fraud.
 
Concerns related to biased scoring and intentional scoring fraud has resulted in a shift of test scoring responsibility. When test scanning, processing and scoring is done by a third party, the potential for bias and fraud is significantly reduced. Answer sheets are secured in a central location, scanned and the electronic versions can be scored, and electronically checked for accuracy and anomalies. The hard-copy original backup also remains intact for review.
 
OSC World remains a trusted leader in test scoring. Each year the company scans and processes over 1 million student tests and answer sheets in New York State. As tests have changed, so has the technology behind processing them. OSC World's ability to scan, check and rapidly process tests is unmatched.
 
One product offering just introduced has saved many New York State districts significant time and money. Districts utilizing OSC World's assessment scoring service have their test scores audited by New York State. No longer will these districts have to box up and send the physical tests to the auditor. OSC World processes the audits electronically and sends the scanned images directly to the auditor. This saves districts considerable time and expense and providing the convenience of not having to address the packaging, sorting and mailing of boxes of student exams.
 
Making the right choice

Today, corporations and school administrators alike have choices when it's time to select a provider for test scoring. When it's time to select a provider, it's important to ask questions, consider options and work with an industry leader with the ability to process tests quickly as well as ensure their integrity.






To learn more about these services, contact
Jeffrey Schneider
at jeffrey.schneider@oscworld.com.
 
OSC World in the News
OSC World's Digital Fly Software featured on CBS 5 Phoenix
OSC World's Digital Fly Software featured on News 13 Orlando
ABOUT OSC WORLD
The success of any project, be it in Education, Market Research or Business, hinges on the accuracy of the data captured, tabulated and analyzed. OSC's patented, feature-rich, user-friendly software exceeds the industry standards with an accuracy rate of 99.9% verified by ADI (Advanced Document Imaging). Our unsurpassed technical know-how enables us to adapt our software to meet your specific needs. From the creation of the materials to the analysis of the results, our professional, personalized support makes the entire experience a stress-free one. And our procedures can be tailored to satisfy all your project's requirements within your budget. That's why so many of our satisfied clients agree, when it comes to data processing support, OSC has all the right answers.