South Dakota’s Technology for Training and Learning Program will provide extensive internet training for approximately 3,000 K-12 teachers this year, 1,200 of whom will be taking courses this summer at three state universities. The program, started in 1997, has been lauded for the breadth and depth of its training, as well as the way its knowledge can be applied quickly into classrooms.

The training curriculum begins with internet and eMail usage—especially the use of search engines to help students quickly locate information—and is followed by use of digital cameras. Teachers also are taught how to use PowerPoint to enhance classroom presentations given by themselves or their students. Coursework is completed with activities on spreadsheets.

Under the program, South Dakota not only pays for training, it also gives teachers grants of $1,000 each for buying technology equipment for their classrooms.

One middle school teacher said she’ll use many aspects of the training to develop a several-month course on economics. She plans to incorporate lessons on checking accounts, budgeting, savings, credit, and foreign currency.

A high school English teacher said she’ll use her new multimedia skills to coach her students in creating an American literature project that incorporates speech and history skills.