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

Ohio: ilearnOhio is a comprehensive eLearning platform funded by the Ohio General Assembly to ensure that Ohio students have access to high-quality online courses. This statewide platform includes a searchable repository of standards-aligned educational content (courses and digital resources), an eCommerce marketplace, and a learning management system to facilitate the delivery of course content from multiple providers to various end users.

Oklahoma: Students at the six Oklahoma schools participating in the national National Math and Science Initiative program showed a 55 percent increase on advanced placement exam scores in math, science and English after the first year of the program. NMSI is a nonprofit that aims to transform math and science education in the United States

Oregon: The Portland Metro STEM Partnership is a regional collaboration of public and private organizations with a shared goal of transforming science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for K-12 students. In particular, it focuses on schools and programs that serve traditionally underrepresented populations so that all students have pathways to achieving college and career readiness in STEM.

Pennsylvania: The Quakertown Community School District’s technology initiatives include a one-to-one laptop initiative that will expand from grades 9-12 to 6-12 over the next few years, and a future iPad initiative for kindergarten students district-wide. Superintendent Lisa Andrejko’s blended learning initiative has been cited by Michael B. Horn, co-author of “Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns,” in a Forbes.com blog post and at iNACOL’s Virtual School Symposium (VSS). QCSD also operates an in-district cyber learning program, called QCSD Cyber.

Rhode Island: Pleasant View Elementary School in Providence was chosen as the first Rhode Island Technology Model School Grant winner, and received a $470,000 grant that will enable it to purchase tablets, interactive whiteboards, train teachers, open computer labs, and more.

South Carolina: South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics & Science brings together advocates from business/industry, education, government and community organizations to serve as an active proponent for economic and workforce development through STEM. SCCMS partners with S²TEM Centers SC, a nonprofit K-12 STEM education group, and other organizations pursuing goals consistent with its vision for STEM education.

South Dakota: Students in grades 3-12 in the Sioux Falls district are receiving their own Google Chromebooks for this school year. Administrators say they expect the program to expand to lower grades next year.

Tennessee: A report from Connected Tennessee, a local broadband consortium that advocates for eLearning, shows that online learning helps students become comfortable with technology early on, which helps them better prepare for college and careers. Data from the report shows that 55 percent of parents said their children use home internet for schoolwork, 60 percent said their children use the internet in school, and 39 percent of rural Tennessee internet users said they took classes online or researched schoolwork online.

Texas: The Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Initiative offers a fundamental approach to empower teachers, inspire students, and advance the studies in these four fields. The public-private initiative of academies, professional development centers and networks is designed to improve instruction and academic performance in science and mathematics-related subjects at secondary schools. It aims to increase the number of students pursuing STEM studies outside of K-12 schools.

Utah: The state is among those leading the way in access to K-12 open educational resources (OERs). In January 2012 the Office of Education announced that it would support development of “open textbooks” in key areas, including language arts, science, and math. The Office of Education also said it would encourage districts and schools throughout the state to consider adopting them beginning in fall 2012.

Vermont: Vermont’s Vita-Learn aims to promote and support the many ways in which information technology can transform the state’s education through professional development, training, and networking opportunities.

Virginia: The Games, Animation, Modeling and Simulation (GAMeS) Lab at Radford University designs interactive mobile games and study the impact of these products on student engagement and learning. With funding from the National Science Foundation and the Virginia Department of Education, the GAMeS Lab designs and implements Standards of Learning (SOLs) aligned games for participating schools in rural, southwestern Virginia. In addition, the GAMeS Lab collaborates with participating teachers to determine how best to integrate these games within the existing curricula.

Washington: The Special Education Technology Center (SETC) serves public school districts and personnel, any student up through age 21 who receives formal special education services and who might require assistive technology to access education, and family of special needs students. Resources include collaborative technology planning, technology devices such as augmentative communication devices and software, and staff development. SETC is funded by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Special Education Division and administered by Central Washington University (CWU), Ellensburg, Washington.

West Virginia: The state is on its way to filling districts with more digital content. SB 631, passed in 2010, replaced the terms “textbooks,” “instructional materials,” and “learning technologies” with “instructional resources” and revised the definition to include digital content. In 2011 the Department of Education implemented a two-year hiatus on the purchase of social studies textbooks and reallocated the funds to educational technology infrastructure upgrades as part of a transition to the use of digital content.

Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Technology Initiative provides funding for school districts willing to commit to both integrating interactive whiteboards into their classrooms and the professional development necessary to successfully implement their use. Grant recipients will be expected to provide an annual report and share best practices with their peers across the state.

Wyoming: The Wyoming Education Gateway (WedGate) is part of a statewide intranet that links schools with K-12 educational resources and tools. The resources are geared toward Wyoming’s educational resources, and educators can use the portal’s online communities to monitor their own teaching progress.

Laura Ascione

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

Comments are closed.