High Tech for Higher Education

May 19, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and the state’s higher education institutions are working together in an effort to align West Virginia’s 21st Century Teaching and Learning initiative in both teacher preparation programs and pre-K -12 schools.
The effort begins with a professional development conference on May 20-22 at The Embassy Suites in Charleston and is hosted jointly by the WVDE’s Office of Professional Preparation and Office of Instructional Technology. The initiative will help West Virginia’s 20 institutions of higher education become familiar with the technology software, hardware and technology integration efforts currently offered in pre-K -12 schools. This opportunity places proven technology-based instructional strategies in the hands of the people who will be training our future teachers.

An overview of WVDE instructional technology initiatives will be provided along with hands-on practice.  The agenda consists of general sessions, nationally-recognized keynote speakers, interactive/hands-on breakout sessions, and team planning time for higher education faculty to create action plans designed to incorporate the initiatives within their institutions’ teacher education preparation.

Nationally recognized keynote speakers will provide updates on innovative technology integration initiatives and new standards for teachers relevant to higher education preparation programs. (full agenda attached)

"It is imperative that West Virginia educators are prepared to help students meet the higher demands and greater expectations of the 21st century," West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine said. "To develop the top students in the world, we need to change how we prepare teachers to better respond to student needs in the 21st century."

This technology professional development conference comes as the WVDE and the state’s higher education institutions have already been working together on implementing Classroom Assessments for Learning through a series of professional development sessions.  Higher Education faculty members are also currently participating in the West Virginia Leadership Development and Support Collaborative to create recommendations and proposals to better prepare principals for 21st century schools.

A lack of connection between K-12 and higher education historically in the United States has been deeply rooted in U.S. education policy. The country's two separate systems of mass education - K-12 on one hand and universities and colleges on the other - rarely collaborated to establish consistent standards. But a new willingness between K-12 and higher education to work together and affect significant change has been improving among the various education sectors as the public demands greater accountability from its schools.

For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.


You are welcome to download the agenda.

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