Houston Independent School District and itslearning Take Bronze Medal in 2017 IMS Global Learning Consortium’s Learning Impact Awards

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LMS platform gives HISD’s 283 schools access to library with millions of curated and standards-aligned resources; access to planning, assessment and reporting tools for greater efficiencies

Houston Independent School District (HISD) and itslearning, an internationally acclaimed learning management system (LMS), have been awarded a bronze medal in the 2017 IMS Global Consortium’s Learning Impact Awards program. Their entry in the Established Projects Category, PowerUp: Taking Technology Integration to the Next Level in K-12, was recognized at this year’s annual Learning Impact Leadership Institute held in Denver, Colorado.

An expert panel of judges used eight criteria for determining the learning impact of entries. Out of the 38 projects that competed as finalists in this year’s competition, five medalists were selected in the New/Research category for projects implemented within the last 12 months, and four medalists were selected in the Established category for projects that have been deployed for at least 24 months. The award aligned to the theme Student Success and Outcomes-Based Learning Support Services and was chosen among applications and processes to enable teaching, learning, and placement tied to explicit outcomes and achievements.

“As a major urban school district, HISD had a challenge: to close the digital divide and transform traditional instruction approaches into successful blended and personalized learning experiences. Further, these needed to be available anytime and anywhere, to all students including their large population of low-income students and English language learners. They selected itslearning as their partner to meet that challenge,” said Arne Bergby, CEO of itslearning.  “In doing so, HISD now has a robust and customizable LMS that is delivering improved student outcomes and greater district-wide efficiencies and cost savings.”

In its submission to the awards program, HISD and itslearning highlighted five key gains or ‘returns on technology investment’ including Increased Student Achievement; Anytime, Anywhere Access; Expanded Access to Resources; Increased Collaboration and Innovation; and Cost Savings.

“Recent assessment data suggest that reaching students with targeted activities and resources in our PowerUp program has contributed to increased passing rates on end-of-course tests for high school students,” said Michael Dorsey, director of HISD’s Digital Learning and Resources. “Additionally, the PowerUp program has allowed our students to engage in highly interactive, personalized, and transformational learning experiences using digital tools, resources, and strategies.” 

Bergby concluded, “The success of this program -- a coherent and tightly integrated 1:1 laptop rollout for all high school students; a learning management system for teachers and students in all grades; standards-aligned curriculum and student-facing master course development that leverages effective instructional practices, strategies, and resources; and a teacher coaching and appraisal system aligned to these transformation goals – is what can be accomplished when organizations work together on a single mission and vision.”

itslearning and HISD continue to inspire other districts in pursuit of similar objectives. In Texas alone both Clear Creek ISD and Spring Branch ISD, as well as districts in California, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, South Carolina, and Georgia have successfully integrated content across 21 content providers such as HMH, McGraw Hill, Pearson, ABC Clio, and many more.

An analysis of the 2017 winning projects will be provided in the annual Learning Impact Report, which will be released in the fall. 

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