Lilly Endowment Grant Supporting PRISM in Providing Digital Tools and Resources to Indiana K-12 Teachers

Thursday, July 23, 2020
Image shows a Rose-Hulman teacher conducting a class for area teachers.

PRISM provides a library of 6,300 free digital materials and professional development resources for Indiana's K-12 educators.

Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a $635,000 grant to support Rose-Hulman’s PRISM internet portal, which provides digital and professional development resources for Indiana’s K-12 educators so they can meet e-learning challenges.

PRISM’s website, www.rose-prism.org, provides a curated library of 6,300 free online resources that meet the needs of schools facing the new realities of digital learning in these times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The library is fully searchable and indexed to Indiana Academic Standards. PRISM also provides free accounts on Moodle, a secure, full-featured learning management system.

The portal currently has 14,620 teacher members and 126,081 student accounts.

Vigo County School Corporation Deputy Superintendent Karen Goeller states, “The PRISM resource is certainly a valuable tool that teachers in our district use to bring about the most effective classroom practice and engaged student learning.”

Program Director Patricia Carlson states that students who engage with course content through digital teaching resources are more likely to exhibit the 21st-century skills necessary for success in post-secondary education and in the modern workplace.

“In these uncertain times for K-12 education, with the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on classroom learning, online educational tools are going to be at a higher premium for the upcoming 2020-21 school year and beyond,” Carlson said. “We appreciate that Lilly Endowment is continuing to support the PRISM program and our outreach efforts to provide teachers with the vital tools necessary to meet the demands of new technologies – for teachers and their students.”

With suspended face-to-face instruction this spring during the pandemic, PRISM became an important resource for Indiana K-12 teachers during the transition to at-home learning.

Chemistry teacher Nora Walsh of Evansville’s F.J. Reitz High School featured PRISM and its services in a national American Association of Chemistry Teachers webinar in late February as schools began shifting to online teaching. She says, “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.”

Created in 2001, PRISM offers extensive support to teachers such as moderated electronic-learning courses on using Moodle. Assistant director/system manager Ryan Smith and teacher liaison for digital pedagogy Robert Jackson facilitate innovation in teaching and learning and consolidate digital tools that merge teachers, talent, and technology to advance student accomplishments. Staff also provide as-needed advice through an email help desk.

PRISM is encouraging teachers to visit the website throughout this summer to examine options for online, hybrid, or flipped classroom teaching. Additionally, the PRISM network has expert users willing to serve as mentors for teachers new to digital teaching as well as a number of professional development modules available as e-learning experiences.

Accounts can be established through the PRISM website. For more information or assistance contact
jackson2@rose-hulman.edu, smithrn@rose-hulman.edu, or carlsonp@rose-hulman.edu.
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