The technology-based initiative will link the West Virginia Department of Education with Marshall University, where student teachers as well as veteran teachers will learn to use IBM Learning Village -- new Web-based educational tools designed to drive higher student achievement.
IBM's $1.5 million commitment to West Virginia is part of a $15 million Reinventing Education grant program announced today that will pave the way for teachers at more than 20 leading schools of education in nine states to receive new levels of quality training and professional development that help meet the requirements of the President’s No Child Left Behind Act.
The announcement brings IBM’s investment in its global Reinventing Education initiative -- currently serving 65,000 teachers and six million students -- to $70 million.
"For nearly a decade, IBM has dedicated both its expertise and technical resources to help assist with some of the toughest problems facing our public schools. This latest grant opens a new dimension in that quest," said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart. “This grant will help our students by helping their teachers -- with better training, professional development and technology deployment for the people we're asking to lead in every classroom."
Through IBM Learning Village -- created during the first round of Reinventing Education grants which began in 1995 -- teachers can build and share standards-based lesson plans, implement proven instructional practices and strategies, and seek answers from peers and teacher educators in other institutions.
The West Virginia Department of Education was awarded one of the first IBM school reform grants, where its success in raising student achievement in grades 7 through 11 is documented by independent evaluation. This latest IBM grant will build on the success of Reinventing Education in West Virginia.
“With the No Child Left Behind Act in full swing this fall, this grant comes at a perfect time to assist us in meeting some of the new mandates,” said Brenda Williams, Executive Director for the Office of Instructional Technology. “Based on the historical positive partnerships with IBM and Marshall University, this experience will allow us to provide our educators a powerful form of professional development.”
For pre-service teachers, IBM Learning Village tools will be integrated into Marshall University's methods classes and field experiences. For in-service teachers, the project plans to create IBM Learning Village training modules that will include lesson plan development, assessment activities, portfolio development and mentoring. The project also will provide teacher-training tools for all state teachers through the eight Regional Educational Service Agencies.
Similar to Project IMPACT, which was funded through a $2.28 million federal Department of Education grant, this grant will promote teacher preparation, professional development and licensure by linking all state programs together.
"This generous gift from IBM will allow Marshall University to expand its commitment to the technology-based delivery of courses and programs throughout West Virginia," said Marshall University President Dr. Dan Angel. "We applaud IBM's commitment to innovation in education and look forward to working in cooperation with Dr. David Stewart and the West Virginia Department of Education on this exciting project."
The Reinventing Education grant team --the state Department of Education and Marshall University -- will receive approximately $1.5 million in resources from IBM in the form of research and technical expertise, technology, and cash. Phase one helps each partner build and deploy a common Web-based platform to support new instructional practices and strategies.
Expanding the Reach of Reinventing Education
Since 1994, Reinventing Education has been the centerpiece of IBM's global commitment to educational improvement, supporting school reform efforts and higher student achievement through the development of innovative technology solutions.
An independent evaluation conducted by the Education Development Center, Inc. in 2001, found Reinventing Education to have "a significant" positive effect on student achievement" and documented "substantial gains in performance for students in grades 7 - 11 as a result of Reinventing Education solutions breaking down significant barriers to high academic achievement.
For more information on IBM's Reinventing Education program, visit http://www.ibm.com/ibm/ibmgives"http://www.ibm.com/ibm/