A State-By-State Look at Top Ed-Tech Initiatives

Teachers and administrators in AMSTI schools undergo 120 hours of subject- and grade-specific training during summer institutes, and 11 universities offer AMSTI sites on their campuses.  After 1 year of teacher training, achievement in an AMSTI school for mathematics was the equivalent of 28 days of additional student progress over students receiving conventional math instruction in control schools. The initiative’s cumulative effect after 2 years of teacher training was the equivalent of 50 days of additional student progress.

Alaska: Alaska’s Learning Network initiative (AKLN) aims to improve student achievement through online learning and professional development opportunities. In Alaska, many schools are in rural areas, and students from kindergarten through twelfth grade are often in one room together. In addition to distance learning courses for students, this learning network initiative gives teachers access to professional development resources. This network includes a coalition of all of Alaska’s 54 school districts, managed by the AKLN Advisory Board, which is managed by superintendents.

Arizona: IDEAL, Arizona’s eLearning initiative, offers all state educators a single access point to educational resources and information, professional development, standards-based curriculum resources, collaborative tools, and school improvement resources. The platform also offers resources to extend student learning at home.

Arkansas: The EAST Initiative, which focuses on environmental and spatial technology, is an educational model featuring student-directed community service projects accomplished with teamwork and technology. Students work to identify problems and then use real-world, professional technologies to solve those problems in the classroom. The initiative focuses on critical thinking, collaboration, and college- and career-readiness.

California: The Los Angeles Unified School District awarded a $30 million contract to Apple to provide every student in the district with an iPad. Critics raised questions about additional support costs, while others wondered if the tablets were the best choice for the district.

Colorado: RISE (Relevant Information to Strengthen Education) is Colorado’s initiative to provide an education information system that meets the student performance and education delivery expectations. Administrators say this instructional improvement system will offer secure and real-time information about students, educators, and schools.

Connecticut: The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc.‘s (CCAT) Education and Workforce Development Initiative aims to advance STEM literacy, boost interest in STEM fields, and to create STEM workers who are more competitive on a global scale. This initiative includes K-12 STEM programming that supports students and educators.

Delaware: The Instructional Technology Users Group began as an initiative in 2000 and has since grown to 350 members. Members of the online group post comments and questions, share thoughts, and responses are usually immediate, demonstrating how valuable online communities and networks are for teachers and administrators. Discussions include software, hardware, teaching strategies, grants, and more.

District of Columbia: McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. exposes low-income and minority students to STEM education and STEM careers when they otherwise might not have an opportunity to immerse themselves in the subject matter so thoroughly.

Florida: Each of Miami-Dade’s 350,000 public school students will have access to a mobile learning device by 2015, according to a groundbreaking plan approved by the Miami-Dade School Board, which governs the nation’s fourth largest school system. The $63 million initiative, among the largest in the country, aims to provide devices such as laptops or tablets for students from kindergarten through 12th grade who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them.

Georgia: The Georgia STEM initiative seeks to empower students to become innovators and technologically-proficient problem solvers. It also aims to take learning outside of the classroom walls by extending and enhancing learning experiences through technology.

Hawaii: The Mid-Pacific Institute’s One-To-One Education Initiative offers a one-to-one, all-school technology program designed to foster creativity, global awareness, critical thinking, and collaboration.

Idaho: Idaho’s State Department of Education has partnered with Lili Library, a portal linking Idaho residents to free online tools, to offer thousands of Common Core-aligned digital resources that are searchable within several of the Lili Library databases.

Illinois: In July, Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $3.5 million capital investment to help build the John C. Dunham STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy at Aurora University. Quinn first visited Aurora University in 2011 to sign Senate Bill 621, which supported the creation of a math and science partnership school operated by Aurora’s four school districts and Aurora University on campus. When fully operational, the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School on the Aurora University campus will serve approximately 200 students in third through eighth grades from four area public school districts (Aurora East, Aurora West, Indian Prairie and Oswego). The school’s curriculum will be aligned to new educational standards and is being developed cooperatively by the four participating districts, the university, the corporate sector, and governmental and nonprofit partners.

Indiana: The 21st Century Learning Lab initiative is a communication channel for educational technology, and centers on monthly topics complemented by commentary on school success and policy initiatives. Each month we will spotlight a different educational technology topic. Each month offers at least one webinar and one podcast, and conversations continue through the Learning Connection, which was developed by the Indiana Department of Education as part of a federal grant for developing statewide data systems.

Iowa: The Connect Every Iowan Initiative aims to, as its name suggests, position Iowa as the best-connected Midwest state. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said: “Broadband is also almost certainly the way education of the future is going to be delivered and we want to make sure that Iowa is on the cutting edge of this very important technology and that we don’t have anyone left out.” Branstad has charged the existing STEM Advisory Council’s Broadband Committee with the creation of a broadband expansion plan, and said he wants to see the plan in place and reaping successful results by January 1, 2015.

Laura Ascione

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at submissions@eschoolmedia.com.

Comments are closed.


We’re Celebrating 25 Years with 25 Giveaways!

Enter Each Day to Win the Daily Gift Card Giveaway

and the Grand Prize drawing for an

Apple iPad!

Visit eSchool News each day through April 1, 2023 to enter the daily $25 Gift Card drawing.
Each daily entry counts as one entry for the grand prize drawing. See details and rules.
Giveaway is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and Canada who are employed full- or part-time in K-12 education.