1. West Virginia Department of Education Names Globaloria as a Partner in its 21st Century Skills Initiative
The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) included Globaloria on its list of "the best and most innovative programs and organizations to ensure West Virginia's students receive the highest quality 21st Century education in its recently published A Chronicle of West Virginia's 21st Century Learning Initiative [PDF]. This chronicle was created as part of the WVDE's effort to institute a comprehensive framework of policies, strategies, and resources to implement 21st Century learning and instruction in West Virginia.
"We are thrilled to contribute Globaloria to this comprehensive effort to define - and implement - a vision for 21st Century education, and to ensure every child's success as citizens and workers in the 21st Century," says Dr. Idit Harel Caperton, President of the World Wide Workshop. "West Virginia is a leader in the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), and is the perfect state to demonstrate the feasibility of Gloaboria as a first-of-its-kind statewide network for learning."
Since joining P21 in November 2005, the WVDE collaborated with West Virginia leaders from business, government, and education to transform public education in the state into a more rigorous and globally competitive education system. The WVDE recognized the Globaloria Program as an important partner in helping students "sharpen their communication and critical-thinking skills for leadership online and offline, bringing them closer to the participatory and collaborative nature of work in the 21st Century."
Globaloria-WV is making great strides toward the goal to touch every school in West Virginia and become the first-ever statewide social network for learning. Thanks to a second year of funding from the West Virginia Governor's Office, the Benedum Foundation, and Verizon West Virginia, Globaloria-WV more than doubled in size in its second pilot year. This year, the program grew from 89 students and 15 educators to almost 300 participants in 14 public schools across the state. We are particularly enthusiastic about the 100% retention of our seven Pilot Year 1 schools, and the significant increase in public middle schools and high schools participating in the 2008-09 program. Our goal is to continue this sustainable scaling approach, expanding to 500 participants in Pilot Year 3 and 1500 in Year 4. "What's most exciting to me is observing the flexibility of our platform, tools, curriculum and course structure. Each educator is able to tailor and customize them to their particular contexts and needs, whether they be middle schools, high schools, technical centers, community college or alternative education settings," says Shannon Sullivan, Director of Programs.
Our latest recruit, Maitreyi Doshi, is the Foundation's Special Projects Coordinator. Her first assignment is to help ensure the smooth functioning and successful statewide implementation of Globaloria in West Virginia. Maitreyi is a liaison between the Foundation, the Globaloria-WV network of students and educators, and the WV Center for Professional Development. Maitreyi has hit the ground running! In her first three months she has already conducted educator workshops, supported the installation of software at participating schools, started her own blog and initiated the weekly Globaloria-WV newsletter. For more information on Maitreyi see her team bio. Please join us in welcoming Maitreyi to the World Wide Workshop family.