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Independent Report on Digital Learning Released Today in West Virginia

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January 09, 2014

“Gov. Tomblin, the Legislature, and the State Board of Education have shown strong leadership in improving education by using Project 24 for all of West Virginia,” said Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia and president of the Alliance for Excellent Education.

 CHARLESTON, WV – Today, an independent study on the status of how effectively educational technology is being used in West Virginia was released during a West Virginia Board of Education meeting. Working with the state of West Virginia and the West Virginia Board of Education, the Alliance for Excellent Education (the Alliance), a Washington, DC–based education policy organization, commissioned the independent report on digital learning. Digital learning is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to improve student learning and outcomes.

The release of the report, West Virginia Digital Learning: Report to the Governor, Legislature, and West Virginia Board of Education, is the result of last April’s announcement by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, joined by Alliance President Bob Wise, that West Virginia would be the first state to implement Project 24—a comprehensive planning initiative—at the state level. With support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Alliance is working with the state of West Virginia and the State Board of Education, in particular, to assist in their digital learning efforts.

Project 24 is a national initiative created and led by the Alliance to help states and school districts plan for and effectively use technology to ensure that students graduate from high school ready for college and a career. To date, 1,500 school districts from across the nation have participated in at least one of the Project 24 activities.

As part of West Virginia’s Project 24 planning, all fifty-five West Virginia county school districts and two state-administered districts completed the Project 24 self assessment, the results from which provide a major part of the report’s data. Results from the Project 24 self assessments help West Virginia districts and the state frame its vision for student learning. The results also show how technology can help teachers’ prepare their students to meet college- and career-ready standards.

“Gov. Tomblin, the Legislature, and the State Board of Education have shown strong leadership in improving education by using Project 24 for all of West Virginia,” said Wise. “The Alliance is pleased to have commissioned this independent report authored by the nationally prominent Metiri Group as the first step in developing a comprehensive plan for how technology can support teachers and students in West Virginia. Gov. Tomblin, the Legislature, and the West Virginia Board of Education are now leading the nation in showing how a state can lead this effort.”

Digital learning encompasses many different facets, tools, and applications to support and empower teachers and students, including online courses, blended or hybrid learning, or digital content and resources. Additionally, digital learning can be used for professional learning opportunities for teachers and to provide personalized learning experiences for students. Quality digital learning provides access to challenging academic content, immediate feedback to teachers, students, and parents, opportunities for learning in and out of the school environment, and individualized instruction.

“States and districts that develop a comprehensive digital learning plan will soon see more students prepared to succeed in college and a career,” Wise said.

Read the full report at http://all4ed.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/WVDigitalLearning.pdf.

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal education policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. www.all4ed.org.

Save the date for Digital Learning Day 2014: February 5.

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