The teachers _ including special education and career-technical teachers, library media specialists and Ed Tech grant-funded educators _ all received free laptops during the week-long session that is part of a 40-day program.
Once trained, the technology specialists will take their new skills back to their home schools where they will help other teachers integrate technology into their teaching plans to improve student achievement.
“Technology is at the core of 21st century learning,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “In a digital world, the 21st century learner must learn to use technology to master the core subjects and other important skills. Teachers play a critical role in how their students will learn the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.”
The training session comes only months after Education Week Magazine identified West Virginia’s educational technology system as the best in the nation. In Technology Counts 2006, West Virginia was named the top state for computer access, data use and technology capacity in schools across the state. The state received an A, while the nation received an overall grade of C-plus.
West Virginia became the second state in the nation to join the Partnership for 21st Century Skills in November 2005. The Partnership's framework puts a special emphasis on information and communications technology literacy as well as critical thinking, communication skills, global awareness, and business, economic and civic literacy.