Online Professional Development Offered to Teachers

March 24, 2006


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPBS) are partnering to develop an online professional development program for classroom teachers called West Virginia e-Learning for Educators.  

West Virginia e-Learning for Educators is funded through a $4.6 million U.S. Department of Education grant to Alabama Public Television (APTV) and represents the first part of a five-year, $22 million award.  

West Virginia is one of nine states partnering with Alabama Public Television (APTV) to develop the capacity to use e-learning as a vehicle for delivering effective professional development to improve teacher’s content knowledge, improve teaching practices and improve student achievement. Course content will be specifically designed to meet high-priority needs of West Virginia school teachers, with special emphasis placed on teachers from high need school districts.  

"We are pleased to collaborate with West Virginia Public Broadcasting to provide teachers with research-based strategies that will improve student achievement, help meet teacher quality requirements and provide professional development opportunities not otherwise available,” said West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine.  

This technology initiative will provide sustainable professional development programs via the Internet for K-12 teachers, regardless of their location and school schedule. Facilitators for this program will be trained in a semester-long course, focused online teaching and learning, skills and techniques for online course design and facilitation, and planning for incorporating online learning into local programs. During the year following the facilitation course, facilitators will be supported in a national Facilitator Forum, an online environment where they can share experiences, questions, successes, challenges, materials, products and more with other facilitators across the nation.  

"West Virginia Public Broadcasting has a long-standing commitment to supporting classroom teachers," said Rita Ray, executive director. "This project is a significant opportunity to work with the WVDE to create high-quality teacher professional development courses that will prepare teachers to teach 21st Century Skills."  

APTV and the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), a nonprofit educational research and development organization, will coordinate the five-year initiative. The other partnering states are Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.  

Information regarding West Virginia e-Learning courses can be obtained by contacting Donna Landin: e-mail or phone (304) 558-7842.

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