WVDE, Oracle Form Partnership to Improve Education

August 16, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ The West Virginia Department of Education and Oracle Education Foundation have formed a new partnership that will help teachers better prepare students for the 21st century.


Ten educators from across West Virginia have been chosen to attend the premier 21st Century Learning Institute at Oracle's headquarters in Redwood City, Calif. The event, which is sponsored by Oracle, will give these educators the opportunity to use online resources and give them access to protected intellectual property.


The educators and their counties are: Deborah Brown, Kanawha; Juanita Spinks, Greenbrier; Linda Morrison, Ohio; Lauri Nichols, Mineral; Wayne Yonkelowitz, Fayette; Linda Fonner, Wetzel; Claudia Zimarowski, Monongalia; Reba Jan Coby, Pleasants; Melissa Lampinen, Upshur; and Douglas Cipoletti, Raleigh.


“We are excited about the opportunity this partnership will offer West Virginia teachers in incorporating 21st century skills into their classrooms,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “We are helping teachers move beyond the days when we were concerned about how many facts can be memorized to preparing students who can not only read and write but who also can analyze data, solve problems and communicate effectively.”


Among the online offerings is Think.com, a protected online learning community, which is used by 300,000 students and teachers in 48 countries worldwide. It has been embraced by educators as an effective way to engage students while teaching fundamental skills in project management, research, teamwork, Web publishing, collaboration and writing.


Also available is ThinkQuest, a Web site building competition that offers a creative, collaborative learning experience for students and teachers around the world. While creating innovative educational Web sites, student teams learn advanced technology skills, project management, teamwork, cross-discipline content knowledge, problem solving in a real world context and a sense of connection with the world beyond their own communities.


West Virginia teachers will begin with an online course in October, attend the institute and then implement 21st century learning projects with students in their classrooms when they return. The intent is to provide another digital learning resource for teachers to use as they teach in a 21st century classroom.


For more information, contact the WVDE’s Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.


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