Ohio, Massachusetts Select Thinkgate to Provide Online Learning and Data System For Educators
Release date: 1/4/2013
COLUMBUS – 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 awarded today.
Thinkgate, LLC. has been selected to provide an instructional improvement system (IIS) 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 (OBR) 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
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 every students’ work
“Our goal is provide educators immediate, relevant information that allows them to make instruction more personal for every student, every day”, shared 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.”
Thinkgate was selected through a competitive bid process and an innovative procurement partnership between the Ohio and Massachusetts education agencies. By pooling purchasing, the states received better prices. Ohio’s split of the development cost is only $138,367. An additional $1.7 million is being spent to implement the IIS in Ohio which includes connecting the IIS to other resources in Ohio.
Under the contract, the Thinkgate IIS will be available to all Race to the Top (RttT) schools funded by the ODE using the RttT grant for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years. All schools could then pay a per-student price that will be based upon how many districts ultimately adopt the system. Estimates indicate that the cost will be between $2.75 and $5 per student. Use of the Thinkgate system is voluntary.
Integrating iLearnOhio.org into the new system will assist schools in selecting:
Full-year courses, such as Advanced Placement courses for students who are ahead (state tuition waivers offered) or credit recovery courses for students who must repeat a course.
Online college courses for students still working on a high school or home school diploma.
Learning objects to assess a student's learning level to match him/her to appropriate level resources.
Webinars and other extra help for students needing remedial assistance.
Reduced costs for fee-based resources thanks to efficiency in state bulk purchasing.
The new IIS is still being developed and tested but will be available to RttT school districts beginning next school year.