When top performing Georgia school district Forsyth County Schools set out to find a new LMS, they knew the search wouldn’t be easy. Well known for their vision and innovation, Forsyth sought a single platform that would serve as a ‘one stop shop’ for teachers, students, and parents, providing all of the tools they need in one location, with one login, on any device. They wanted an LMS that met the needs of all students, including early learners; one that could track standards mastery and automatically deliver recommended content for remediation and review; a platform that would integrate seamlessly with existing technologies and help make teaching easier for educators in the district.
After an exhaustive search and rigorous review of several providers, Forsyth selected itslearning as their platform of choice. Home to 36 schools and 38,000 students, Forsyth saw itslearning as a solution for eliminating one of its biggest problems; too many disconnected systems, in different locations, requiring multiple logins. "Teachers tend to login to one or two systems consistently," says Chief Technology and Information Officer, Bailey Mitchell. "After that, everything else is optional." Forsyth was using different platforms for assessment, grading, course management, professional development, and collaboration, and felt confident itslearning could help reduce costs for the district and increase user adoption amongst teachers.
With an ambitious goal of launching the platform in time for the beginning of the 2013 school year, Forsyth and itslearning partnered to develop a plan that included content migration, integration with the district's School Information System (SIS), training, and additional development the district was interested in creating on behalf of its teachers and students, including a standards mastery and recommendation engine.
After a busy and eventful summer, Forsyth launched itslearning as planned and thousands of teachers, students, and parents kicked off the school year by logging into itslearning. One of those teachers was Lambert High School Business and Marketing Teacher, Brian DeRose.
DeRose has been teaching high school for six years and appreciates the benefits he's already experienced with itslearning. "I've seen a big difference in the level of engagement of my students," says DeRose. "They know exactly what's expected in regards to assignments and upcoming activities and always know where they stand in terms of performance and achievement."
DeRose also uses itslearning to personalize instruction for his students and recognizes the importance of structuring learning opportunities to specifically cater to individual needs. "My students learn in different ways and I need to be able to tap into resources that best meet their needs. Some like to watch a video, others want to read, and still others appreciate hands on activities. itslearning allows me to accommodate all of those learning styles and give each student what they need to succeed," says DeRose.
He was able to personalize instructional activities for his students in that manner during a recent lesson on business card development using Adobe Illustrator.
There's still much to accomplish for the District, Lambert High School, and Brian DeRose but by all accounts, the year has gotten off to a great start. With an early adoption rate of 76%, it's clear the system is being used by administrators, teachers, students, and parents, and expectations are high that number will continue to rise. The district is pleased with the early results and feedback they've received and with teachers like Brian DeRose leading the way, there's no limit to what they can achieve!