WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nov. 2, 2009 –Today at the State Education Technology Directors Association’s (SEDTA) Leadership Summit and Education Forum 2009, Pearson announced that it has added techSteps from SchoolKiT to its comprehensive offering of 21st century learning tools. Built on the National Education Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S), techSteps is used by schools to plan, teach and assess K-8 student technology literacy in an integrated, 21st century context.
In conjunction with the forum, SETDA is conducting a Showcase for U.S. Senators at which West Virginia representatives will present their impressive success with techSteps. The showcase will feature the ways that states are using their American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants for NCLB Title IID, Enhancing Education Through Technology.
techSteps furthers the agenda of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), the leading organization advocating for the infusion of 21st century skills into education. Long a member of P21, Pearson recently celebrated its commitment to this national education organization when Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnerships Kathy Hurley was elected chair.
"P21 is committed to ensuring that every child is prepared for the 21st century with skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation and global competence," said Hurley. "The curriculum and assessments that techSteps provides puts P21’s agenda into action in states and schools around the country."
In June 2008, West Virginia school districts began using techSteps to develop and assess K-8 student technology literacy. The nearly 50,000 students from 50 districts who participated in this project completed and were assessed on one or more math, science, language arts or socials studies project during the school year, putting them on the path for building critical 21st century skills. For example, of the approximately 4,392 eighth grade students who participated in the program, 97 percent successfully demonstrated grade-level technology proficiency.
"In West Virginia, we want all of our students to develop technology literacy in the context of 21st century instruction. We believe that the best way for students to acquire these skills is in the context of their day-to-day learning, practicing using technology across all subject areas," said Brenda Williams, Executive Director, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Instructional Technology. "techSteps has provided our schools and teachers with the tools necessary to promote technology literacy and 21st century learning. Our results demonstrate the ways it is preparing students to face the challenges of our increasingly complex world."
The techSteps curriculum includes a set of six electronic activity books for each grade level. Each book presents a meaningful math, science, language arts or social studies challenge, and then shows students how to use digital tools to explore and complete the task at hand. This enables students to develop technology literacy in a way that is both integrated and systematic. Assessment and reporting options are available to meet teacher and district needs. For example, each learning activity includes a classroom assessment rubric tied to the technology literacy standards.
"For more than a decade, SchoolKiT has developed solutions that help schools make technology an integral part of teaching and learning," said Adam Smith, CEO. "We are particularly proud of how techSteps is allowing schools to use technology to benefit student learning in every classroom. Through this new partnership with Pearson, we can now work with even more states and school districts to increase technology literacy for their students."
SchoolKiT knows that technology skills are important, but also understands that 21st century learning is about much more than that. It is about students learning to use technology systematically and creatively to think critically and solve problems.
School districts that partner with SchoolKiT ensure that all of their teachers integrate technology in meaningful ways to improve student learning and academic results.
Together with school districts, SchoolKiT takes a twofold approach. By implementing the company’s technology literacy and integration activities, districts see immediate success — in the classroom — where it counts. And using SchoolKiT’s online professional development solution, teachers become critical users of technology, able to design lesson that really do improve student learning. For more information, visit www.schoolkit.com
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information about the Assessment and Information group of Pearson, visit http://www.pearsonassessments.com/.
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