Verizon Renews Support of Free Online Resources for Teachers with $73,000 Grant
Posted: November 17, 2008
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education has received $73,000 from the Verizon Foundation to continue efforts to train West Virginia teachers to use its free, online educational resources.
Verizon’s Thinkfinity.org offers a free, comprehensive program and online portal to 55,000 educational resources, including standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and other interactive tools and materials for students provided in partnership with many of the nation’s leading educational and literacy organizations.
The program offers teachers from elementary through high school resources across eight academic disciplines, ranging from science to English to mathematics, to improve student achievement. The latest Verizon grant follows a $48,000 one awarded to West Virginia last year.
“West Virginia has been a national leader in educational technology and incorporating 21st skills into the classroom,” said West Virginia Superintendent Steve Paine. “Thinkfinity and its predecessor, MarcoPolo, have been a large part of our success. As we step further into the 21st century, Thinkfinity is one way teachers can learn to integrate technology tools into their lesson plans.”
The grant will be used to train about 100 field trainers and about 2,100 users, including current teachers and future teachers now enrolled in education preparation programs at several West Virginia colleges. The grant also will allow the West Virginia Department of Education to align its Content Standards and Objectives with Thinkfinity content, a first for the program.
In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation’s leading educational and literacy organizations, Thinkfinity also offers a free, robust professional development program for teachers and trainers.
Already this year, Thinkfinity field trainers in West Virginia have conducted 185 training sessions across the state. Four of the trainers have been selected as Thinkfinity Field Trainers of the Month from among thousands of trainers nationwide. Daton Dean, Phoebe Levine and Mehdi Seyedmonir, all from West Virginia State University, received the honor in September. Sharon Stump at Richwood Middle School received the award in August. The trainers of the month are chosen based on how many people they train and scores received from attendees.
Mark Moore, technology coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, also was named Thinkfinity Certified Trainer of the Month earlier this year in April and again in May. He conducts training sessions for field trainers, who in turn train teachers in their counties and schools.
“West Virginia is fortunate to have developed a successful training program,” Moore said. “Of the 24,026 educators in West Virginia, 3,385, or 14 percent, have been trained to use Thinkfinity. We are having an impact in schools across the state as teachers incorporate 21st century learning into their classrooms.”
For more information, visit www.verizon.com/foundation or contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.