Supporting the Kansas Technical Assistance System Network
May 30, 2019
TASN is the Kansas Technical Assistance System Network; a network of organizations that provide training and resources to special educators. We built them a robust platform to support their projects, and its reach has grown.
We'll let TASN introduce themselves:
Our overall goal is to improve the quality of education and outcomes for students who receive Special Education services and students with disabilities. These students spend the majority of their time in the general education classroom and receive most of their instruction from general education staff. Therefore, many of the supports provided by TASN target district and building level systems and instruction that occurs in the general education classroom.
TASN includes over a dozen different 'projects' - discrete organizations that provide specialize research and training for topics in special ed. Each org is different, and they've got really deep areas of expertise.
The TASN platform started with a handful or organizations, and has expanded to 25 different organizations - so far.
By the numbers:
A few tools on the TASN platform that are really useful:
The TASN site started with 'the big blue button' - a prominent way for any Kansas educator to request support and assistance in their classrooms. This can be something like 'We have a new student with a specific special ed need and we'd like some training' to 'send us a coach to help us implement a co-teaching model.' Click the big blue button, enter a few details, and the TASN team jumps into action, routing your request to a friendly expert.
The platform does a bunch here behind the scenes: automatic routing and notifications, workflow tracking between the people who respond, and follow-up surveys to make sure the educators got what they wanted.
All those experts have produced a big library of support and training materials. The Resources section includes more than 2000 files, presentations, videos, and links to support educators. There's a robust search engine, and content is categorized and tagged up one side and down the other.
Like most training resources, your library is only helpful if it's up to date. So: we included an annual review cycle, where the project team is reminded to review and update their resources they've added to the library. If a user doesn't approve that the content is still fresh and relevant, the resource is automatically sent to the archived catalog.
TASN also does a TON of training: these events range from multi-day in-person conferences, to short webinars that educators can join from their desks. To support all that, TASN needed a robust events system. So we built them one!
The platform includes registrations, marking attendance, automatic reminders, pre- and post-quizzes, event evaluation surveys, certificates of completions, and on and on. The system even handles payments for events that require a fee.
TASN is a project that's been really rewarding: it's been up and running for a few years, it's doing a good job, it's interesting, and its scope and services are expanding.
But most importantly, it's helping and supporting educators across Kansas.