School board thinks ‘Thinkgate’ will open gate to instructional solutions

First Byline: 
Enoch Autry

The Screven County Board of Education has agreed to become another school system to seek technological advancements from a company that specializes in linking and reporting data into a more efficient, timely and comprehensive view for administrators and educators.
The BOE approved spending $25,646 to join Thinkgate. The cost of the program will be divided between the district’s three schools.
According to its website, Thinkgate “integrates different management solutions to give teachers and administrators better information when and where they need it most. This web-based solution also makes accessing that information quick and easy through an ‘app-like’ interface, or dashboard, without massive training or implementation hurdles.”
Local officials say, among the many positives, is the program’s platform is built to the needs of the schools and teachers.
The program allows educators to not only implement one management solution, but also maintain multiple ones.
Superintendent William Bland said school system officials did “very extensive research” on Thinkgate, a program that is being funded through federal Title I money.
“We are very excited about this,” Bland said.
Holly Boykin, the school system’s technology director, helped lead the review of the program that should provide additional assistance to teachers as they continue to make the transition into Common Core.
According to Thinkgate, the program links the other systems that are already in place.
“This helps you maximize the value of your current technology while pulling together the most complete, up-to-date information for educators,” according to the Thinkgate website.
With standards and performance-based learning, Thinkgate, which is used by multiple school systems in Georgia, teaches the curriculum through a variety of resources and strategies that “maximize student interest and understanding.”
With Thinkgate’s Progress Monitoring Solution, local school officials anticipate getting a data warehouse with an analytics engine that maximizes their ability to view and generate reports at the district, school, teacher, class, student, demographic, AYP subgroup and state-standard levels.
These easy-to-read, interactive reports invite deeper analysis and data utilization by teachers and administrators alike for adjusting and improving student instruction.