PRISM Becomes Go-To Resource for Indiana School Teachers

Thursday, April 16, 2020
Rose-Hulman professor Jenny Mueller teaching to a class of Indiana K-12 teachers.

Rose-Hulman’s PRISM program has provided Indiana school teachers with valuable e-learning resources and summer professional development workshops, in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education.

School teachers across Indiana needing online educational resources to help their students with e-learning are utilizing Rose-Hulman’s Portal Resource for Indiana Science and Mathematics (PRISM), as recommended by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE).

For the first time, PRISM is listed on the IDOE’s eLearn website for providing valuable remote support services for Indiana educators.

“We have worked hard across many years to become a go-to resource for teachers and are appreciative of the IDOE’s support for PRISM,” says program director Patricia Carlson. “These unsettled times have made PRISM’s services even more valuable.”

PRISM, with Lilly Endowment Inc. support, provides Indiana teachers in kindergarten through 12th-grade use of the free Moodle Learning Management System to create their own secured classroom courses. There are also tools for teachers to easily integrate favorite resources into their daily lessons.

An online library allows teachers to share lesson plans with other school districts, along with having access to more than 6,000 free, online teaching resources that mirror the digital tools used in the modern workplace. These include simulations, scientific visualizations, virtual labs, collaborative skills builders, process modelers, serious gaming, and access to live data. PRISM staff provide online Moodle training and daily support, as needed.

Teachers across Indiana are appreciative of PRISM’s services being readily available as they adapted their classes for online teaching in response to school closures and stay-at-home policies due to the coronavirus epidemic.

“In this time of abrupt, unannounced, necessary change, I’ve heard many teachers scrambling to figure out how to deliver content online. I have been shouting the praises of PRISM from the rooftops and recommending that any teacher sign up for an account,” says Nora Walsh, chemistry teacher at Evansville’s Reitz High School and a PRISM user for 10 years. “This term, more than ever, (PRISM) is making my job much easier.”

Walsh promoted PRISM’s services to other educators during a national webinar presentation for the American Association of Chemistry Teachers. This came at the end of February, just as some school districts across the U.S. moved to online teaching in response to the pandemic.

Kathleen Shroyer, an English teacher at Greensburg Community High School for 44 years, adds “During this crisis, PRISM is more important than ever as a tool for both teachers and students. It is a ‘familiar face’ for both kids and faculty, and serves us all well.”

Leigh Ann Lambert-Neu, chair of Southridge High School’s English Department, states “(PRISM) went from a good product initially to a superlative one today. Prior to Rose-Hulman’s involvement, I spent countless hours searching the Internet to figure out how I would accomplish tasks, only to find out I lacked the security and permissions needed or our local technicians did not have the system correctly configured. With PRISM, I have what I need to accomplish tasks efficiently without the added pressure of maintaining the program itself.”

Then, she adds, “With the recent change in the lives of educational institutions, nothing seems the same with the exception of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s support for schools in Indiana.”

PRISM has been providing resources to Indiana elementary and secondary teachers since 2003. The program has received IDOE’s Promising Practices Award for its math and science partnership grant programs with Indiana school districts.

The PRISM team consists of Carlson, Educational Liaison Bob Jackson and Assistant Director and System Manager Ryan Smith. For additional information about PRISM, contact carlsonp@rose-hulman.edu.
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