Illinois Vision 20/20, which includes the Illinois PTA as a supporting partner, has created a new resource for high school students, the 21st Century Learning Center. The learning center is currently hosted on iTunes U and provides over 1,100 digital resources aligned to the New Illinois Learning Standards in four core subjects:
- English/Language Arts (grouped for grades 9-10 and 11-12)
- Mathematics (Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry
- Science (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics)
- Social Studies (Economics)
The collection was developed with the assistance of 22 Illinois high schools from across the state. Every item has been vetted by content leaders and curriculum specialists before being added to the site. The resources can be used by teachers to incorporate into their lesson plans, by parents to help support their children, and by students to master specific concepts that they may be struggling with. There is no cost to subscribe to the collections, but there may be an occasional paid app suggested for a particular activity.
While the learning center currently requires an iTunes account, plans for the future include making the content device- and platform-independent. Materials for kindergarten through eighth grade are in the initial development stages, and additional courses will be added to the high school materials as well.
The Illinois Vision 20/20 21st Century Learning Center is another example of how standards that are aligned across states results in increasing innovative education and support materials that can help students from across the country, much like the Howard County (MD) Public School System’s Family Mathematics Support Center can be used by Illinois families to support their children.