AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has officially launched Texas Home Learning 3.0 (THL 3.0), a comprehensive initiative to support school systems, teachers, parents, and students during the public health crisis and beyond with high-quality instructional materials, technology solutions, and professional development resources.
As part of THL 3.0, the TEA announced this week that it will offer all Texas school systems a world-class Learning Management System (LMS) from PowerSchool’s Schoology for two years at no cost. Like other THL 3.0 offerings, use of the Schoology LMS will be optional for Texas school systems. Currently, Schoology is used in schools representing more than one million students across Texas (1 in 5 students statewide).
The LMS that the agency is offering can serve as an online learning hub for digital content and communication to help keep students learning while easing the burden on teachers and staff, saving schools across Texas time and money in the process. The LMS brings together teachers, students, parents, and administrators to provide easy access to classes, assignments, grades, and more, supporting learning in the classroom, at home, or both. The tool allows parents to track their students’ progress throughout the school year, which is especially useful as many families in Texas choose for their children to receive instruction remotely because of COVID-19.
Using CARES Act funding, the TEA is providing this critical, high-quality remote learning software system free for every Texas school system, saving school systems up to 40 million dollars out of their local budgets over two years. And by using the purchasing power of the state, TEA was able to bring prices down that ultimately save the taxpayer up to 22 million dollars over two years.
There are significant benefits to Texas school systems; this innovative learning solution will—
• Bring Everyone Together—The LMS connects everyone in a school district within a single teaching and learning hub, so parents, students, teachers, can all share resources, answer questions, and stay connected;
• Keep the Learning Going—Teachers can easily create and/or deliver courses in the LMS that support in-person, online, and blended models–enabling learning to continue regardless of the circumstances in a particular school or district;
• Save Teachers Time—By eliminating administrative tasks, the LMS gives teachers more time to engage with students and innovate their instruction; and
• Cover all Costs for Texas Schools—As part of the Texas Home Learning 3.0, TEA will fund the LMS for any Texas LEA for two years at no cost to the LEA.
“Texas schools are working mightily to meet the educational needs of millions of kids who will participate in school remotely given the public health situation. TEA is working to provide as much support to school systems as possible, including fully funding schools for remote instruction and providing schools with free, high-end teaching technology so that the remote education experience is effective for our students,” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. “This Learning Management System allows teachers to seamlessly communicate with their students and helps their students stay focused on their lessons while learning from home and will go a long way toward ensuring Texas students continue making major academic gains even during the pandemic.”
Bryan ISD Superintendent Dr. Christie Whitbeck stated, "We implemented Schoology during this unprecedented pandemic. The ability to distribute quality lessons to our teachers and monitor our students' participation and progress led to 97 percent student engagement. The Schoology team provided continual training and support allowing for a smooth transition and a valued new partnership. TEA’s free offering to school systems will provide tremendous opportunities for students and teachers alike."
“We are so proud to partner with TEA to provide Schoology Learning to any school system in Texas that wants it or needs it, ensuring that educators, parents and students have the tools they need to be successful,” said Hardeep Gulati, CEO of PowerSchool. “At PowerSchool, we believe in the simple truth that every student deserves the best opportunities in life and we help make that a reality as the leading provider of K-12 education application technology supporting 45 million students in over 80 countries for blended learning, remote operations, and virtual talent management.”
For more information on Texas Home Learning 3.0, click here.
For more information on how to sign up for PowerSchool’s Schoology Learning Management System, click here.