FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2013
More Than 250 School Districts Already Signed Up for Campaign Providing Districts with Free Resources to Help Meet Growing Demands for College- and Career-Ready Students
Washington, DC –The Alliance for Excellent Education announced today that more than 250 school districts, representing approximately 2.5 million students across forty-two states, have already signed up for its ground-breaking new initiative to help school districts plan for and effectively use technology and digital learning. Entitled “Project 24,” the initiative will be officially launched during the Alliance’s Digital Learning Day Digital Town Hall at 1:00 p.m. (ET).
“If you’re a school or district leader who is considering using education technology and digital learning in your schools, STOP—and go no further—until you have a comprehensive plan that addresses your district’s specific challenges and learning goals for all students,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “Project 24 will help districts plan for the future and fully integrate digital learning into classrooms and school systems to achieve the goal of college and career readiness for all students.”
The “24” in Project 24 represents the next twenty-four months, a time during which the nation’s education landscape will change greatly as states and districts face numerous challenges, including the need to implement college- and career-ready standards for all students; utilize online assessments to gauge comprehension and learning; push for greater system and classroom innovation; deal with shrinking budgets; and contend with demands of states’ waivers from key provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Project 24 will help to inform the incredibly important decisions that education leaders will need to make regarding each of these issues. To participate, a school district must (1) sign up at www.all4ed.org/project24 ; (2) assemble a team composed of the district superintendent or a representative, a district curriculum leader, the district technology director, and a district professional development leader; and (3) take the free self assessment . Upon completion of the self assessment, a confidential, customized report will be generated for each district.
“With Project 24’s self-assessment tool, district leaders can frame their vision for student learning, begin to recognize the various aspects of the system that need to be addressed, and specify how technology can help align these efforts to achieve higher college- and career-ready standards,” Wise said. “It will help district leaders move beyond counting computers and internet connections to analyzing how they can integrate technology into their instructional plans.”
Partnering with other national membership organizations listed below, the Alliance has identified a framework with seven major components that will provide education leaders in states and school districts with tools to make good decisions about how technology aligns with the goals and visions for their students. As shown in the image to the right, the framework will provide assistance to districts on (1) academic supports, (2) budget and resources, (3) curriculum and instruction, (4) data and assessments, (5) professional learning, (6) technology and infrastructure, and (7) use of time.
Districts will have access to the Project 24 Team of Experts , a team of nationally recognized leaders with a demonstrated record of success in effectively using technology to help advance student outcomes. Additionally, the Alliance is developing a two-year schedule of virtual activities that will allow district leaders to collaborate and share information while receiving guidance from the Project 24 team of experts. These resources include webinars, instructional videos, profiles of successful districts, and interactive chats and blogs.
Most notably, the Alliance, in conjunction with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University, has developed a Massive Online Open Course for Educators (MOOC-E), called “The Digital Learning Transition in K–12 Schools: A Planning MOOC for Educators.” The six-week course is designed to provide a new type of learning experience for education leaders, one that will help them identify the potential of technology-enabled learning opportunities for the district, including its leaders, teachers, and students. The course will kick off on April 8, 2013.
“Make no mistake; digital learning holds the key to preparing millions of additional students for college and productive careers, but districts need to approach this opportunity with sound planning to get the best results,” said Wise. “Going forward, our goal is to get every district to sign up and start planning.”
The Alliance is pleased to be working with the following national organizations to develop content and resources for Project 24: American Association of School Administrators; Council of Chief State School Officers; Consortium for School Networking; Digital Promise; Education Commission of the States; International Society for Technology in Education; Learning First Alliance; National Association of State Boards of Education; National Association of Secondary School Principals; National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; Rural School and Community Trust; and Software & Information Industry Association.
The launch of Project 24 coincides with the Alliance’s second annual Digital Learning Day , which celebrates teachers and shines a spotlight on successful instructional technology practice in the classroom. In a sign of the growing importance and demand for digital learning strategies for the classroom, fifty states, the District of Columbia, nearly 25,000 teachers, and millions of students participated in digital learning activities around the country today.
More information on Project 24 is available at www.all4ed.org/project24 .