HCISD helps develop iTunes U course content for Texas Association of School Administrators project

The Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District was invited by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) to take part in the TASA Course/Content Development Project for their recently launched TASA on iTunes U project.

A total of 14 school districts from across Texas were invited to participate, and recommend classroom teachers and curriculum/content specialists to collaborate with TASA in the course and content development for TASA on iTunes U. The individuals designated were Clarissa Gonzalez, instructional facilitator at Harlingen High School South, Instructional Technologist Kasey Boykin, Reading/ELA Specialist Debra Wilson, Math Specialist Jennifer Maldonado and Social Studies Specialist Dr. Angela Gonzalez.

TASA on iTunes U is set to help transform Texas teaching and learning by providing course content for classroom teachers in the four core subject areas of mathematics, science, social studies and English language arts.

The content is designed by teachers and will foster creativity, collaboration and critical thinking skills in an engaging, digitally rich learning environment for Texas students, with special emphasis on high priority learning standards. In addition, the content is set to assist teachers in their preparation for the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

“Our invitation to participate as content developers for the TASA on iTunes U initiative is an opportunity for our district to contribute to the integration of technology into classrooms,” said HCISD Superintendent Dr. Steve Flores. “The prospective benefits that technology possesses for optimizing student engagement activities aligned with the TEKS are promising. This marks the beginning of transformation for Texas public schools.”

With more than 1billion downloads, iTunes U is the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content that helps educators create courses, including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabi, and offers them to millions of iOS users around the world.

“It’s making it easier for our teachers to find classroom resources,” said HCISD Instructional Technologist Kasey Boykin. “TASA on iTunes U pulls together the resources for teachers to use to create more tailored and engaging lessons for students.”

In the first phase of this initiative, to be completed by June 1, TASA on iTunes U will provide course content for a set of 18 high school courses that are fully aligned to the TEKS, free and accessible anywhere.

“In order to prepare our public school students for success after high school, learning must occur through a variety of digital pathways that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and at any pace. It is imperative that we seamlessly integrate digital devices, global connections, and flexible student-centered learning environments. TASA on iTunes U is a perfect vehicle for this to occur,” said TASA Executive Director Johnny Veselka.

The course content for four high school courses, Pre-Calculus, Biology, World Geography, and English II, was debuted on March 5. Content for the remaining 14 high school courses is under development.

The participating districts included: Allen ISD, Clear Creek ISD, College Station ISD, Coppell ISD, Decatur ISD, Duncanville ISD, Eanes ISD, Harlingen ISD, Lake Travis ISD, Lewisville ISD, Mansfield ISD, McAllen ISD, Northwest ISD and Rockwall ISD.

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