Ohio’s Information Technology Centers Support Schools Amid Closures

ITCs are delivering video collaboration platforms and INFOhio digital resources to enable remote learning.

Over 2,000 educators virtually connected to attend free Zoom and INFOhio trainings offered by the Management Council and Ohio’s 18 Information Technology Centers (ITCs). The trainings were created to assist educators who were suddenly thrust into the remote learning environment with little advance warning. The Management Council has negotiated heavily discounted pricing for the Zoom video collaboration platform for use by all of Ohio’s PreK-12 education community, including educators, administrators, students, school boards, educational organizations and associations, and more available exclusively through Ohio’s ITCs.

ITCs are helping school districts quickly transition to remote learning platforms, including Zoom, a video collaboration platform that enables teachers and students to engage in high-quality, live, online teaching and learning. Zoom requires no special technology and can be used on any platform. Remote students without a computer or smart device can still participate via audio using a telephone. Teachers can meet students on their regular bell schedule and employ many of the same instructional strategies used in a typical classroom, including widespread use of INFOhioresources, which are provided with state and federal funds to all Ohio schools at no cost to the district.

Delivered to districts through ITCs, INFOhio’s high-quality digital resources are entirely free of charge. INFOhio’s commitment to equitable access for students means that students access resources with or without Internet, enjoying remote interaction with content that covers Ohio benchmarks and indicators articulated in the state standards and model curriculum. INFOhio transforms student learning by providing quality resources and cost-effective instructional and technical support for each student, educator, and parent in Ohio.

“This is an ‘Apollo 13 moment’ for teaching and learning in Ohio,” said Geoffrey Andrews, Chief Executive Officer of the Management Council. “Zoom’s real-time video collaboration coupled with quality digital resources from INFOhio enables educators to effectively teach, and students to successfully learn in a remote environment. Both resources are delivered to Ohio’s school districts through Ohio’s Information Technology Centers.”

To support school districts with these resources, the Management Council and ITCs continue to offer free training to all Ohio educators. These sessions cover Zoom features, including logging on, managing classes, tracking student engagement, and more. Sessions also cover how to leverage all of INFOhio’s high-quality content, focusing on teaching and learning with digital resources and with INFOhio’s Educator Tools, which includes nearly 80,000 teacher-approved lesson plans, assessments, and other instructional resources. Educators who missed the trainings can find the recordings on the Management Council Community site to support remote learning where numerous resources have been collected to assist educators with the transition to a remote learning environment.

Educators across Ohio have embraced Zoom video collaboration platform and INFOhio’s digital resources for remote learning. Full professional Zoom licenses (that typically sell for $150 annually) are available through a district’s local ITC for $5 per educator for the remainder of this school year. INFOhio’s digital content is, as always, free for all of Ohio’s schools. Together with the Management Council, Ohio’s Information Technology Centers continue to make a difference in the lives of Ohio’s learners, teachers, and leaders.

About the Management Council

Ohio’s Information Technology Centers (ITCs) work together through a statewide network known as the Ohio Education Computer Network (OECN). The Management Council coordinates and supports the collaborative efforts of the OECN, which implements a broad spectrum of academic and administrative technologies across Ohio’s PreK-12 education system. www.managementcouncil.org

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