Jul 3 2018
John Crow works as a Career and Technical Education Specialist at Katy Independent School District (Katy ISD) in Katy, Texas. He’s in charge of curriculum development for engineering, manufacturing, and architecture programs for the district and the professional development of the teachers in those programs. Changes to TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), the standards that the state of Texas has set forth for each student, and ongoing software innovations created a significant challenge for Crow.
Crow needed to provide students and teachers at varying skills levels effective, on-demand training for AutoCAD, Inventor, and Revit at a reasonable price in order to meet state standards. “Autodesk offers its own tutorials, but they don’t go into the level of detail we need to advance the skills of our students and instructors.” Crow needed to confirm that his students were hitting their TEKS and teachers were developing professionally. “We needed to prove training was being used, and based on engagement and success our investment was worthwhile.”
After researching on-demand training and learning resource options, it became apparent to Crow that SolidProfessor fit the needs of his district. “SolidProfessor offers a wide range of videos for all proficiency levels, excellent tracking and reporting tools, and the control the assignment builder offers makes it easy to create assignments that teach to our TEKS,” says Crow.
Katy ISD adopted SolidProfessor in August 2017 and began integrating the on-demand resource into the engineering, manufacturing, and architecture curriculum at their eight high schools and fifteen junior high schools.
“Since SolidProfessor is online, our teachers can utilize the videos to learn in the summer, before or after school, or during their planning periods,” states Crow. The district determined that not only was it a great resource for students, but they also saved a tremendous amount of money on professional development. “When you break out the costs of substitutes teachers, Autodesk training instructors, and the cost of housing and transporting teachers for one or two-day training sessions,” says Crow, “we easily saved close to $20,000.”
It’s easy for Crow to check if classes are reaching TEKS with the reporting tools SolidProfessor offers. “If a student completes their assignments in SolidProfessor, I know they’re hitting our TEKS because the assignments line up with the unit plans I created that comprehensively cover our requirements,” says Crow. The district is introducing junior high students to SolidProfessor’s industry standard training because it makes the transition to advanced engineering courses in high school, and eventually college, smooth. “At the beginning of 2017, I set out to find a resource that I felt would be beneficial to our students and help our teachers develop professionally,” asserts Crow. “I reached that goal with SolidProfessor.”
About the Author
SolidProfessor Marketing Specialist and eight time mini hoop dunk contest champion.