The project, funded through a $2 million Reinventing Education grant from IBM, has enabled West Virginia educators to share innovative lesson plans, the latest teaching strategies, creative student project ideas and other valuable information with teachers throughout the state and around the world. In 1995, West Virginia was one of only 10 states receiving funding for this inventive project through a competitive grant process.
“IBM is initiating a new Reinventing Education partnership in Mexico with Monterrey Tech University, the largest university in Latin America,” said State Superintendent Dr. David Stewart. “Because of our overwhelming success in West Virginia, IBM has asked our state coordinator, Donna Landin, to participate in the initial training for master teachers in Mexico. This is quite an honor.”
According to Stewart, IBM recently received the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership. The award, managed by The Conference Board, is the only Presidential Award honoring companies for outstanding achievements in employee and community relations. Fully funded by the private sector, the award is named in honor of the late U. S. Secretary of Commerce, Ron Brown. Stewart said that the awards ceremony was held May 18 at the White House.
“It was quite an honor to represent the West Virginia Department of Education at the White House,” Stewart explained. “The Mountain State is now recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in education technology.”
Landin, coordinator of the IBM Reinventing Education program for the West Virginia Department of Education, will depart West Virginia for Mexico on June 4 to work with college faculty at Monterrey Tech University to re-examine their curriculum, to improve elementary and secondary teacher training programs and to share the success of West Virginia’s initiative.
“I’m looking forward to sharing what we’ve learned in West Virginia with educators from Mexico,” she explained. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me to learn more about what they’re doing and for them to learn how West Virginia has used the Reinventing Education grant to improve student achievement.”
Landin said that this is not the first time West Virginia has shared its education technology expertise with educators from other parts of the world.
“In November 1999 and March 2000, teams of educators from Ireland and Italy visited West Virginia schools and met with Department of Education staff to discuss technology initiatives and the implementation of Reinventing Education in classrooms,” she noted. “The Reinventing Education project is connecting educators from around the world. This is exciting for teachers and students, who enjoy sharing ideas with fellow students and teachers from around the globe.”