AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced today that Project Share, the Texas Education Agency’s online learning community, has surpassed three million subscribers.
Launched in 2009 as a small collection of professional development resources for Texas educators, the Web portal has rapidly expanded to become an online ecosystem for teachers and students alike to access student resources, professional development courses, academic networking and professional learning communities.
“Project Share is already an important resource for more than three million Texas teachers and students,” said Commissioner Williams. “The continued growth of Project Share subscribers reflects that our school districts are utilizing this online tool to help students advance their learning potential.”
Project Share now boasts more than 100 online professional development courses, more than 70 collections in Texas Education on iTunes U, career and technical education (CTE) professional development courses for mathematics and science, recently updated OnTRACK lessons for students, the ESTAR/MSTAR formative assessment systems and the TxAIR math and science items repository. All resources are provided at no cost to all public K-12 districts and open-enrollment charter schools.
Many teachers are leveraging Project Share resources to increase students’ algebra readiness knowledge and skills at the elementary and middle school levels. Two programs that have seen sharp increases in enrollment are the Elementary School Students in Texas: Algebra Ready (ESTAR) and the Middle School Students in Texas: Algebra Ready (MSTAR) Universal Screener and the MSTAR Diagnostic Assessment. The results from the ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screener and the MSTAR Diagnostic Assessment help teachers identify and support students in need of additional algebra-related instruction, making them better prepared for crucial end-of-course (EOC) exams.
Project Share also continues to see accelerated growth in its OnTRACK Lessons enrollment. While the lessons’ primary purpose is to supplement classroom instruction, districts report using the lessons for after-school, summer school and tutoring programs. The lessons are aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and provide engaging content for additional practice, extensions, intervention and acceleration.
As of February 2014, nearly 120,000 students and more than 40,000 educators are enrolled in the OnTRACK Lessons—including more than 20,000 students in Biology, nearly 18,000 students in Algebra I and more than 13,000 students in English I.
Several additions to Project Share will soon be available. Beginning this summer, a series of writing professional development resources will be shared with all secondary teachers at no cost. Resources will include a series of facilitated online courses, writing activities for English, math, science, and social studies classrooms, and interactives for students. Developers are also working with school districts prior to the start of the 2014-2015 year to enhance the authentication system and simplify the processes for account provisioning and user sign-on.