The Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) project began in November of 2012. Fifty-eight teachers from fourteen different districts in Texas collaborated to create courses for teachers that covered all high school core content areas. The varied and unique backgrounds and teaching styles of the participant’s created an experience like no other and resulted in a truly collaborative and innovative project. Teachers grouped together with their subject specialty and immediately got to work; they diligently curated what they believed to be the best materials out there for their subject areas and brought to life a one-of-a-kind authentic, practical and applicable academic product.
These courses are a source for teachers to find materials needed for them to cover all the state standards in one place. It is a course specifically built for teachers NOT for students. The first four courses launched at South by Southwest Edu (SXSWEdu) in March 2013. There were a total of eighteen courses live by June 1, 2013. Since then, over two hundred additional teachers were recruited to ensure the expansion and curation of content as well as inclusion beyond the high school core curriculum to encompass K-12 subjects. As a result, by January 2015, a total of fifty-nine courses were launched.
All courses are free-of-charge and designed in an effort to help support and advance the transformation of teaching and learning in Texas schools. There are six main categories organized as follows:
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Career and Technical
- College Prep
All the courses and material are housed in iTunes U. The content is curated and vetted by teachers for teachers. The idea is whether you are a novice teacher or a veteran teacher that you will be able to find content, lessons and ideas that can be implemented in your classroom. The content—created by teachers for teachers—aims to foster creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking skills in a digitally rich learning environment.
While each course is unique in its subject matter, the variety and multitude of resources that are attached help meet the diverse needs and learning styles of students. In the fifty-nine courses that TASA has available, there are over 10,000 resources attached. Since Texas was the first state to initiate such an idea, TASA did not just stop there, they continued with the improvement of the materials as well as adding other courses for teachers to use. So after the initial launch TASA brought the teachers back. Phase two of the project included taking the materials that were curated the first round and building the learning to help transform the classroom and move beyond the basic substitution principle. This included having a multiple approach strategy to many of the posts in iTunes U that showed ways and choices that can help teachers use the resources no matter level of technology is available in their district.
The posts include a detailed overview of the lesson and materials. These posts provide examples of exemplary lessons and lesson ideas. Over 10,000 resources are attached to the 59 courses. These include a variety of free resources as well as several recommended paid apps. The assignments start with a verb that allow the teacher to understand the focus of the material and the purpose of the standard.
TASA on iTunes U was created in Texas but is available to the world! It is a unique and priceless resource for teachers to help transform learning in the classroom. TASA on iTunes U will help you redefine TASA, it is not just Texas Association of School Administrators, TASA is helping with the transformation of learning. This project provides transformational material that is accessible across the world. By providing material that is student driven and helps students and teachers see accomplishments every day.
Check out the TASA courses and get some creative project-based lesson ideas. Visit the TASA website for more information.