Boston, MA – April 30, 2014 —itslearning (www.itslearning.net), the digital learning platform of choice for a growing number of districts nationwide, continues to move towards a student-focused, personalized learning platform through its latest release, which features a wide variety of product enhancements, including the following:
· Student-focused lesson planner.
· Customizable site-level learning objectives for student learning goals.
· Improvements in the mentor/mentee relationship for individual learning plans.
· Enhancements to the shared calendar, including improved interactivity and collaboration.
Lesson Planners for Student Access
This innovative tool allows teachers to easily communicate standards-aligned lessons and related resources and activities with students and parents. The integrated lesson planner is now accessible on any device via responsive web design, providing students with immediate, easy access to lesson expectations and associated personalized tasks.
Custom Learning Objective Repository
In addition to the existing national learning objectives repository, each of itslearning’s school and district partners will now have their own custom learning objectives repository, allowing schools and districts to clearly communicate student learning objectives (SLOs or Learning Targets) to students and parents. Students now have the ability to review clearly defined learning objectives, sometimes referred to as “I can” statements, related to a variety of resource types including assignments, activities, assessments, surveys, polls and more.
“Our partnership with itslearning began last year,” said Rich Valegra, chief information officer, Minneapolis Public Schools. “Within a few months, over 39,000 users were loaded into the platform and Teachers on Special Assignment had created course templates for many of the high school-level English, math, science and social studies courses. We use course templates to provide those teachers with resources that are aligned to our own course standards (learning targets) and pre-populated with district-approved resources. These are just some of the added values of using itslearning versus another platform.”
The custom Learning Objective Repository is also useful to schools and districts using itslearning to deliver professional development to teachers and staff. It has proven so valuable for teacher evaluations that districts like Forsyth County Schools are now considering adding the Georgia Teacher Keys Effectiveness System TKES standards to their repository so that they can create and align a bank of professional development resources for the TKES strands & elements within the platform. Those resources can also be used in conjunction with the itslearning Recommendation Engine following teacher observations/evaluations.
“Using the standards-aligned assessment criteria, we can convert the classroom observation formula we use into a rubric in itslearning. Principals can then evaluate teachers using that rubric and have the results flow into the Recommendation Engine,” said Jason Naile, i3 Grant Coordinator for Forsyth County Schools.
Improved mentor/mentee relationship for individualized learning plans
itslearning now allows individual students to be assigned to a mentor when developing individual learning plans, fostering a more personalized, collaborative and productive relationship between mentor and mentee. Traditionally a counselor within a school setting, a mentor can now be a master teacher assigned to a new teacher or even a community member assigned to mentor an individual student.
More interactive colorful calendar
Calendar enhancements include significant upgrades to the user interface, allowing users to access shared calendars that conveniently resize to fit the screen resolution of any browser, on any device. The update also features event categorization with user-designated colors, improved navigation and toolbar functionality that provide a helpful overview of calendar events, and simplified methods for adding and modifying events via one-click, drag and drop functionality. Improved filtering options also make viewing several of a teacher’s favorite courses and communities, as well as searching other users’ public calendars, a quick and easy exercise.
“Personalized learning is at the center of what we do at itslearning,” said Travis Willard, itslearning CEO. “This current release offers our partner schools and districts a way to build strong connections and so have truly customized experiences between teachers and students through our enhanced technology platform. We continue to be dedicated to opening up a whole new approach to learning and teaching.”
A full list of new features can be found at: on the itslearning website:
About itslearning, Inc.
Established in 1999, itslearning is a cloud-based K-12 learning management system designed to make teaching easier, learning more engaging, and parent involvement more effective and efficient. Headquartered in Bergen, Norway, itslearning has offices in Boston, Atlanta, London, Birmingham, Berlin, Paris, Mulhouse, Malmo, and Enscheda. For more information, visit http://www.itslearning.net.
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