Monday, March 28, 2016

ATI Salutes Two Galileo Users upon Their Retirement

We would like to thank all Galileo coordinators, instructional coaches, and administrative staff who are responsible for implementing, training, and supporting the use of Galileo on behalf of the district’s students and educators. Additionally, we would like to pay homage to two educators who shared their experiences with us. In this entry, we are highlighting their work as educators and their role within their districts in supporting the use of Galileo technology. They are knowledgeable, inquisitive, and dedicated to the success of their students. We would especially like to give them a happy farewell, as they retire at the end of this school year.

A Salute to Rick Neilson, Director of Assessment and Data
Rick Neilson took a while to join the education field. His father, an elementary school teacher and principal, wanted his children to take other professions and not follow in his footsteps. Therefore, Mr. Neilson  started his professional career in the airline and corporate travel industry right out of college. He succeeded in that industry and became president of his own company. 

In 2002, Mr. Neilson sold his company and after some soul-searching realized that he found joy in teaching. Ignoring his father’s advice, Mr. Neilson decided to become an educator. At that time, North Carolina had a program called NC Teach which provided an accelerated pathway to certification and much needed mentoring. During the next several years, Mr. Neilson found enjoyment in the famous “aha moments” we see in students when they finally grasp a concept. 

Mr. Neilson has held various positions in the education field with his most recent role being the Director of Assessment and Data for his district. The district uses Galileo for local assessments and data reporting to determine student growth as measured on pretests to posttests (reports such as Student Growth and Achievement), to plan interventions based on information from Benchmark reporting (Risk Level Summary) as well as from formative assessments (often built using Quiz Builder and Test Builder) to identify standards mastery (Intervention Alert) and remediation suggestions. Mr. Neilson has already started training a successor to ensure a smooth transition. He has also been part of the district’s next step in partnership with ATI, implementing Galileo’s Digital Curriculum Platform, an integration of existing and new curriculum content, instructional materials, and assessments.

Mr. Neilson starts the next chapter of his life at the end of this school year: sailing the coastal waters of the United States and the Caribbean. Bon voyage!

“The object of teaching a child is to enable 
him to get along without his teacher.”
- Elbert Hubbard, n.d.

A Salute to Dr. Vicki French, Assessment Specialist
Dr. Vicki French began her work in education 30 years ago, attaining various degrees and holding numerous roles. Her education experience includes a Bachelor’s degree in Education, Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership. Her professional experience is no less impressive. She has held varied positions including Primary Teacher, Reading Specialist, Mentor Coach, Curriculum Director, Assistant Superintendent, and Assessment Specialist.  

It was during her first position as a District Office Budget Coordinator that she decided to return to school and become an educator. Her decision was fueled by her love of working with children and by a schedule which would provide balance in her personal life. In education, she learned how change can fill every day with multiple opportunities to stretch and grow personally and support children on their personal learning journey. 

Dr. French is currently an Assessment Specialist, heavily involved in the construction, administration, and data analysis for district-wide and state assessments. Dr. French is well acquainted with the Galileo system and has been using it for the past five years. Her district uses Galileo to create their interim benchmarks, pre/posttests, and as a resource for teachers to construct their own formatives (Test Builder). They have found value in the data collected from each of these assessments to incorporate in their “data chats” for progress monitoring and further instruction, and to prepare students for the state online testing.

Dr. French is now ready to embark on her new endeavor. She and her husband plan to travel the countryside in their fifth-wheel trailer, and enjoy priceless time with their grandchildren. They also plan to volunteer for other organizations and spend time working with children. 

ATI wishes Mr. Neilson and Dr. French well in their retirement and are thankful for the work and contribution they have provided to the education of students.

“If you want to plan for a year, plant rice.
If you want to plan for ten years, plant a tree.
If you want to plan for a lifetime-
Educate a child.”
- Confucius, n.d.

References:
Hubbard, E. ( n.d.). Goodreads. Retrieved from
http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/114059.Elbert_Hubbard 

Confucius, (n.d.) Goodreads. Retrieved from
http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/15321.Confucius?page=2 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Galileo Technology Supporting Educators Building a Better World

Since ATI was founded in 1986, our mission has been to create and disseminate technology to promote learning. We have achieved many milestones in our ongoing efforts to provide cutting-edge curriculum, assessment, and reporting tools to promote learning from birth through high school. We’re excited to highlight some of these milestone, but to learn more read our new paper, A Brief History of Galileo Digital Curriculum Technology.

ATI initial work on the development of technology making curriculum available online and integrating curriculum with assessment began just prior to the 21st century. Our early work focused on transforming educational management tasks typically implemented offline to an online environment. Our first patent for an instructional management system integrating curriculum with assessment was filed in 1998 and granted in 1999. Shortly after this initial work, we began an initiative to implement teacher facilitated online instruction and assessment involving multimedia assessment and instructional content. As a result of this work, a second patent involving multimedia instruction offered online using ATI’s Storyteller technology was granted in 2005. 

Following the initial work with multimedia content, ATI introduced the concept of an online Instructional Dialog. Dialogs enabled teachers to create their own online lessons and assignments. In addition, Dialogs provided prebuilt multimedia instructional resources. Shortly after the introduction of Dialogs, ATI introduced Dialog Books. The Dialog Book offered a structure within which to organize instructional content. Each chapter in a book began with chapter objectives based on standards in use by the district. Assessments linked to each chapter provided evidence on what was learned from the book. Instructional Units and lesson plans were also added to the system. The concept of a digital curriculum platform emerged from the early lesson plans and Instructional Units available in Galileo. It also had common features with Dialog Books. Like the books, the Galileo Digital Curriculum Platform provided a structure within which to organize instruction. The platform had the additional advantage of being able to house district curriculums online. The availability of online curriculums supported real-time curriculum delivery of instructional content. The fact that the curriculum was online and linked directly to assessment information opened the way for the creation of dynamic curriculums that could be continuously improved based on consideration of assessment evidence.  

As technology availability and capability have increased, many new features have been added to the platform. This is to be expected. The platform is designed to change. In our view, that is a requirement of 21st century education and educational technology.  

Learn more about Galileo technology by scheduling a Galileo Overview

Monday, March 14, 2016

Over 6 Million Galileo Assessments Administered in the 2015-16 School Year from July 1st to March 1st

The Galileo® comprehensive assessment system is among the most extensive and robust assessment systems in the nation. ATI creates thousands of unique tests each year and supports the administration of those assessments to millions of students. The Formative Assessment component of the system plays a critical role in documenting student learning, evaluating curriculum effectiveness, supporting differentiated instruction for intervention groups, and supporting individualized instruction to assess the achievement of personal learning goals.



ATI formative item banks currently contain over 50,000 certified items. These continuously updated banks are created and managed by ATI content specialists with advanced degrees and years of experience providing users with one of the largest and fastest growing formative and secure sets of item banks in the country. New proprietary technology has enabled ATI to develop seventeen different types of Technology Enhanced (TE) items ensuring that users will have access to the latest item formats when creating assessments. ATI’s partnership with Key Data Systems provides an additional 37,000 formative assessment items from the INSPECT® item bank.  

Planning technology and test generation technology built into the system make it easy to build multiple formative assessment series aligned to the state blueprint and/or reflecting the district curriculum. Automated formative test generation minimizes the work required to assess student knowledge and skills in differentiated instruction initiatives. Automation also provides formative assessments attached to curriculum lessons supporting automated curriculum evaluation. Finally, technology enables teachers to build their own formative assessments and integrate them within their own instructional content facilitating the integration of assessment with instruction.

As we all know, education is changing at unprecedented speed. Formative assessment reflects one aspect of that change. In the last year alone ATI has witnessed a dramatic increase in formative assessment as part of a larger movement toward online assessment. In addition, there is a growing realization of the importance of integrating assessment with the instructional process. Over the past several years, ATI has developed technology, including the Galileo Digital Curriculum Platform, designed to assist educators successfully integrate assessment and instruction. With ATI’s proprietary agile software technology, innovations are occurring at a rapid rate. We will keep you posted. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Galileo’s Digital Curriculum Platform Integrates Assessment, Reporting, and Instruction

Recognizing the importance of integrating dynamic digital curriculum with research-based assessment, actionable reporting, and effective instruction, ATI has developed the next generation of Galileo K-12 Online technology, the Galileo Digital Curriculum Platform. Built on the foundation of ATI's nationally recognized Research and Development Program, the platform creates a seamless integration between standards-based instruction, comprehensive assessment, and actionable Dashboard reporting to promote learning.

As the first of its kind, the platform makes it possible to easily integrate existing curriculum content, develop new curriculum content, and modify curriculums as needed. Once curriculum content is entered into the platform, educators can quickly access the information to: 
1) develop and implement lessons; 
2) design empirically-based differentiated instruction; 
3) rapidly link curriculum to balanced interim benchmark and formative assessments; and 
4) monitor the impact of instruction on student progress and mastery of standards. 

Within this context, the platform can help facilitate achievement of district goals related to students, teachers, parents and curriculum developers.  

Galileo Digital Curriculum Platform helps to facilitate achievement of district goals. Click image to view larger.

The Galileo Digital Curriculum Platform is fully integrated with Galileo K-12 Online and the Galileo K-12 Online Student-Parent Center. This unique integration makes it possible to effectively and efficiently coordinate instruction, assessment, communication, and collaboration in ways that promote student learning. 

Speak to one of our Field Services Coordinators for a more detailed discussion on the platform scope, functions, and capabilities. Contact us at 1.877.358.7611 or email.