Hi Everyone -
Yesterday Education Week released it's Technology Counts 2004 version and Vermont fared well thanks to the efforts of many of you.
Initiatives that were cited include the work on technology GCEs, the Vermont Interactive Learning Network (ILN), and the Vermont/IBM Reinventing Education-3 project.
The technology GCE effort was spearheaded by Ed Barry, Technology Director at the Milton School District and Gregg Martin, Technology Director at the Chittenden South Supervisory Union. Under initial funding from VITA-Learn, Ed and Gregg pulled together about 20 educators from the northwestern part of the state. Ed and Gregg then instigated and led a statewide effort that has involved more than a hundred of you in fine tuning the GCE work. Lyn Haas from the Vermont Institutes coordinated all of the GCE work and several others contributed significant amounts of time including Steve Barner (South Burlington), Lauren Parren (Addison Northeast), Paul Smith (Windham SE), and Steve Webster (South Burlington).
As you all know, the ILN network has been up and running for several years, but use has sky-rocketed over the past year thanks to the particular efforts of several folks at the Vermont Institutes, which manages and coordinates ILN. Carolyn Jones, Peter Drescher, Richard Campbell, Carrie Biggam, and Phil Hyjek all contributed to the success of ILN along with, of course, the many hundreds of users around Vermont. The article in Ed Week notes that the number of ILN sessions in fall 2003 was four times the number of sessions held in the previous spring. In addition, over the course of this current school year there have been several ILN sessions that have included more than two dozen sites simultaneously using the system! Vermont educators have really begun to uncover the great potential of this videoconferencing tool!
The Vermont/IBM "RE3" project, scheduled for completion in about a year, will produce several online tools that will be made available to all Vermont educators. The project is currently running several pilot programs at both K-12 and Higher Education levels. Led by DOE Project Manager Jill Peck and Higher Education Coordinator Joyce Morris (UVM), the project is testing the use of these new tools as well as existing "Standards Into Action" tools for creating electronic portfolios, and engaging in online collaborations connecting students and teachers from all over Vermont. Marian Lawlor, Vermont IBM's Education Outreach Coordinator and several other corprate IBM staff members have been integral to the successes so far.
So when you take a look at the Education Week article (http://www.edweek.org/sreports/tc04/state_profile.cfm?slug=35vt.h23) keep in mind that the educational technology successes we experience here in Vermont are due to the efforts of so many of you. You deserve to be proud of the educational technology work that you all do.
Many thanks -
Educational Technology Coordinator
Vermont Department of Education