I think therefore I am

If Descartes were alive today, and teaching in our school system, he might have been impressed with ThinkLink Assessment, a new tool from Discovery Education.

ThinkLink Learning is a revolutionary formative assessment product that helps teachers improve student learning and predicts how students will perform on high-stake tests.  Its model for measuring student progress toward meeting state standards has been proven to predict student performance with 80%–90% accuracy.  It enables teachers to run reports and focus on each individual. And most important of all – it’s easy to use!

To dive into ThinkLink a little more deeply, let me introduce Betsy Drennan, our Outside Sales Manager for ThinkLink Learning.

Matt: Betsy, can you give us a brief history of ThinkLink Learning?  Where did it come from?  Where is it going?

Betsy: ThinkLink was established in 2000 by Vanderbilt University, and it remains closely tied to both Vanderbilt and  Peabody College.  ThinkLink’s Predictive Assessment Series is a revolutionary approach to formative assessment, it’s proven to be up to 90% accurate in predicting student proficiency, and best of all…it’s extremely easy to use, so teachers love it. Teachers administer the tests up to three times per year. The tests require less than one class period per subject, and they are available either on paper or online. Teachers will receive the test results within days. The reports are color-coded and very easy to understand, so teachers can pinpoint exactly which students need help with which skill. Teachers can also create practice quizzes as desired throughout the year using our bank of pre-configured items.

You asked where ThinkLink is headed, and that’s a great question. Here’s why: we are very close to having Discovery video clips linked directly to the test reports. In other words, when the teacher is looking at her test results, and she’s looking at a specific skill that calls for remediation, there will be a link to a Discovery video clip that will address that specific skill. It’s something that our unitedstreaming customers have been asking for for a long time, and we are really excited about it.

Before you get too excited about all this, I should mention that since ThinkLink tests are so tightly aligned with state standards, ThinkLink is not yet available in all states. Right now, it’s available in AL, AR, CA, CO, DC, FL, KY, IL, IN, MI, MO, MS, NM, NC, NY, OH, OK, SC, TN, VA, WI, and WV.

Matt: Ok I think that we have a feel for what ThinkLink is and where it came from, but is there any way we can touch and interact with this tool, in other words, take it out for a test drive?

Betsy: I think the best answer is to visit our website: http://www.thinklinklearning.com to learn more. Our sales reps will work with you to try it out, just give us a call at 866-814-6685 or InfoRequest@thinklinklearning.com and we’ll set something up for you.

Matt: I know Florida Educational Technology Conference is fast approaching.  Will you be attending the show? If so how can participants find you?

Betsy: I’ll be there! Discovery Education’s booth number is 102, and we’ll have several in-booth presentations on ThinkLink: Wed 6pm, Thurs: 12pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, and Fri: 11:30 and 1pm.

Matt: Previewing with the ThinkLink is great, but would you be able to meet with interested school districts one-on-one?  If so what’s the best way to get in touch with you?

Betsy: I am available for face-to-face appointments. You can call me at 800-323-9084 x2545 or email me at betsy_drennan@discovery.com.  If I’m out of the office visiting districts and you want to speak with someone right away, you can always call our other Florida rep, Jon McPeters, at 866-814-6685 or jonathan_mcpeters@discovery.com.

Matt:  Thanks for sharing your thoughts, time and information with us Betsy.  What a great way for teachers to see what their students know and teach what they need!

Matt Monjan
Discovery Education, unitedstreaming


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