Ohio to use grant for online learning system

Staff report


Ohio’s schools will have access to a state-of-the-art system that lets teachers analyze student achievement and select the best learning resources under a contract.

Thinkgate LLC has been selected to provide an instructional improvement system for schools in Ohio and Massachusetts. Both states’ education agencies agreed to create powerful online learning platforms as part of their federal Race to the Top grants and teamed up to conduct a competitive procurement.

As part of Ohio’s system, the Ohio Department of Education will collaborate with the Ohio Board of Regents to incorporate iLearnOhio.org, a one-stop home for high-quality K-12 content that is aligned with the state’s new learning standards. iLearnOhio is the product of a collaboration of the Ohio Resource Center, The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology and OBR.

“It has never been more important for educators to use modern technology to give students customized learning options based upon real data about their needs,” said Michael Sawyers, acting superintendent of public instruction. “Creating a statewide instructional improvement system is truly the beginning of a new era in Ohio education.”

The IIS will enable teachers to accelerate and personalize the education experience by providing the following features:

Online access to curriculum and standards.

Curriculum custom-ization.

Easy-to-use paper, online and clicker test administration options that teachers can use to determine what progress students have made and what help they need.

Data analysis and reporting capabilities.

A portfolio of all students’ work.

“Our goal is to provide educators immediate, relevant information that allows them to make instruction more personal for every student, every day,” said Eric Waynick, Thinkgate CEO. “Our instructional improvement technology provides this benefit when used by committed educators. Ohio and Massachusetts have proven to be innovative leaders in education, and we are excited about this partnership.”

“This new toolkit will allow our educators and students to more effectively engage in a teaching and learning partnership,” said Massachusetts Education Secretary Paul Reville. “By giving educators a way to track and assess student progress, and facilitating consistent feedback between students and teachers on performance, we are helping close those gaps that prevent students from reaching their full potential in the classroom.”

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