Transforming Education in Ohio
Indian Lake School District | Lewistown, Ohio
The Indian Lake School District was awarded an eTextbook Pilot Project Grant for the term of two years. The state of Ohio provided funding to facilitate the purchase of digital texts, electronic educational content and professional development resources for Ohio’s public and chartered nonpublic schools. The Indian Lake School District chose to pilot digital content for ELA classes for two years (2014 - 2015 & 2015 - 2016).
Project Description & Summary
Indian Lake's pilot included one elementary teacher working with approximately 122 teachers/staff on professional development . Each teacher/staff member received a license/seat to a digital learning platform (Grovo). The teachers were given an introduction and tutorial in the summer and fall of 2014 in utilizing Grovo. These staff members were able to implement the content immediately after the training.
There were 40 staff members that were active in using Grovo as a digital learning tool. None of the professional development was made mandatory by building leadership, but was encouraged. With cooperation from our district's curriculum director, each teacher/staff member that completed two assignments were able to receive professional development units. This was a motivation factor for many teachers/staff members needing to update or continue their licensure.
eTextbook Grant Details
- Name of Digital Content ---> Grovo (grovo.com)
- Locale ---> Lewistown, Ohio
- Grade Level / Subject Area ---> Professional Development (digital skills)
- Number of Teachers Participating ---> 40/122
- Number of Students Participating ---> N/A @ this time
- Number of Students Impacted ---> ~ 40 teachers x 25 per class < 1,000 students
Positive outcomes for teachers included an increased level of knowledge in specific digital concepts, a better understanding of students and their digital use(s), and a better sense of efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness . Teachers/staff members were able to access the digital content at school and at home. The content could be used through multiple platforms (desktop computers, tablets, or mobile phones). The teachers found that the digital content ranged from benefitting them in their own personal work and management to increasing student differentiation of digital skills.
Sustaining the Work
Based on the success of this pilot, the Indian Lake School District is continuing the second year of this professional development grant. There will be discussions to which content will be released in the future or if there are specific building interests/plans for specific content. Another decision that needs to be made is if building administrators would like to take this grant onto the next level...include students in this learning platform! Our school district tried to address what we felt was the larger need (teachers), but may want to begin to incorporate some of the digital content into our high school or middle school students learning.
Lessons Learned / Advice to Others
Grovo's digital learning platform and administrative dashboard made the process much more effective. Their platform tracks all users activity and learning. There were no stumbling-blocks with setting up teacher accounts or creating customized assignments. Grovo representatives were always willing to guide you through any process. Monthly check-in meetings were made and Grovo made multiple phone calls to building administrators to ask for feedback or encourage further activity.
Our advice to other administrators considering Grovo's digital content is first to talk with the teachers and see which ones are ready and willing to make the move to digital content, then, determine in what content area you will start. The professional development should then be made mandatory and some type of reward is encouraged. Please keep constant communication open through Grovo's reps because they are willing to give many options to rewards or motivational incentives.