As people better understand what the information age makes possible in the classroom, they realize that if students are to be successful in the 21st Century, they must have access to the latest technologies.
While schools continue to struggle with the growing costs of technology and limited outside funding, TECH 2015 gives our teachers and students a voice to influence their future and increase awareness of the importance of technology in schools.
Jennifer Kolar-Burden, Psychology Instructor and Coordinator of Curriculum for Illinois Virtual School, travelled to Springfield today with students from her classes to present their experiences with IVS to members of the Illinois General Assembly. The event – Tech 2015 – seeks to highlight advancements in technology and digital learning and encourage legislative support for the learning opportunities of students across the state.
The students presented in the Illinois State Capitol and were visited by students, parents, teachers and legislators from across the state.
About the TECH 2015 Event — Demonstrations for Legislators in State Capitol
Since 1990, students and teachers have set up demonstration tables at the Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois to show elected officials, business leaders, and the general public how technology is being used in schools.
The TECH 2015 event strives to present classroom technology projects from across the state of Illinois. All schools and districts in Illinois are invited to apply to participate. Selected schools send teams of up to four participants to TECH 2015. School selections were made on the basis of the location of the school within the state, grade level, type of demonstration proposed and diversity in student learning styles.
Jeb Bush’s think tank, ExcelinEd, pointed to the following as highlights of the digital learning progress in Illinois.
Illinois State Highlights
The Illinois Virtual School is the state virtual school with supplemental courses for middle and high school, advance placement, credit recovery with professional development for all Illinois teachers on reading, school nurse certification, Autism and PBIS.
Illinois Virtual School offers flexible enrollment with fourteen enrollment terms are built into the calendar.
Illinois districts throughout the state also offer online courses using their own district teachers.
Illinois Virtual School provides professional development in digital learning for teachers of blended or online courses.
His education think tank, ExcelinEd, released scores grading all 50 state’s digital learning efforts last week. The ratings are based off ten learning principles that were decided by a group of 100 education policymakers, leaders, and blended learning experts selected by ExcelinEd at a conference in 2010.
Overall Illinois scored high on Quality Content, Quality Choices and Assessment and Accountability while noted to need the most improvement in the areas of Advancement, Funding, Delivery, and Student Eligibility and Personalized Learning.
Districts can work with Illinois Virtual School to improve on these areas by becoming a partner, and by working with local and state policy makers, or by supporting our advisory board.
If you’re thinking of continuing your education, a program combining face-to-face interaction and online learning could be the right option for you.
Research has shown that blended learning may have academic advantages. One reason to consider blended learning: it might combine the greatest strengths of online and face-to-face education.
The U.S. Department of Education published a review of the research on blended learning in 2010, which found that blended learning approaches are often more effective than more traditional face-to-face instruction and that they incorporate learning and teaching elements that are not found in purely online or face-to-face courses.