SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System has rolled out a dedicated demo site to guide families through its new learning management system.
Before the official site for online platform itsLearning launches on Aug. 19, parents and students have a chance to explore and get familiar with the demo version.
“It’s our digital access to lots of digital content as well as a learning system where our students can interact with their teachers,” Dr. Vallerie Cave, SCCPSS associate superintendent for K-12 school transformation and innovation, told WSAV.com NOW.
“They can have recorded sessions as well as live sessions, parents will be able to check grades and they’ll be able to keep up with what their children are doing on a day-to-day basis,” Cave said.
There’s currently no live data on itsLearning, and sample information has been added to provide an overview of its features.
Andrea Burkiett, the school board’s director for elementary curriculum and instruction, says her department has been hard at work since July on the process of choosing the best learning management system for Savannah-Chatham County students and parents.
“It’s going to be something that we learn for a little while, but the demo is going to help give a head start on that if they’ll log in,” Burkiett told WSAV.com NOW.
The itsLearning demo site offers families a peek at sample class schedules, upcoming assignments and due dates, lesson plans as well as chat conversations among parents, teachers and students.
Burkiett recommends following their child’s lead if they’re stumped about navigating the platform, as the site mimics what the younger generation is already familiar with on social media and other websites.
“I can hear my former first-grade students saying, ‘oh my gosh, this is cool, it looks so awesome,’ and I can hear our high school students thinking, ‘okay, this is going to work for me, this is a lot more interesting than looking at something in a black-and-white document,” said Burkiett, whose own son is heading to high school this year.
“We’ll be doing a little bit to begin with and that will evolve, and by the time we get to the end of the year, we’re going to all be experts at it,” she said.
For parents needing additional guidance on using the itsLearning platform, she recommends checking out the YouTube channel dedicated to quick explainers and tutorials on how to navigate the learning management system.
“As soon as we get the students and teachers all lined up and in there schedule-wise, we will have parent access and talk to parents about how they will log in,” Burkiett said of the eventual live version of itsLearning. “They will be able to download an app on their phone or go through the web browser to our specific district’s itsLearning site.”
Parents will be able to view features like complete or incomplete assignments, ways to chat with teachers and see the details of their child’s assignments.
They’ll also be able to check their young learner’s progress on those tasks.
“There won’t be any question of, ‘it’s not in PowerSchool yet because maybe the teacher hasn’t graded it,’” Burkiett said. “They’ll be able to go straight to the platform and say, ‘yes, you did’ or ‘no, you didn’t.’”
You can watch Andrea Burkiett provide a thorough walkthrough of the itsLearning online platform demo site by viewing the video clips above.