News

For Immediate Release
December 28, 2007

State Board of Education working with local districts to improve technology training through online courses


More than 340 teachers learning how to better bring technology into the classroom

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that more than 340 teachers in 26 districts statewide will be participating in a series of in-depth, online courses focused on bringing technology into the classroom. The classes, which begin in January, are an integral part of the Illinois Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) grant program, which aims to improve access to technology and to provide technology integration training to teachers and students in the state.

“The explosion in technological development means that we are trying to prepare many of today’s students for future careers. That’s why integrating technology into the classroom is important,” said State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch. “Our students need to be technologically literate in order to be successful in and beyond the classroom. That foundation starts with our teachers and these courses are valuable tools for their professional development.”

The federal EETT grant will help districts train teachers on how to mix advanced technology with everyday classroom learning. The grant also funds ongoing professional development that focuses on new trends in the technology arena. The primary goal is to help teachers grow, and in turn, improve student achievement.

The online education courses are available through PBS TeacherLine, a nationally recognized online learning community that is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. TeacherLine provides online professional development through more than 130 content-courses, such as reading, science and math. All classes are aligned with both Illinois and national learning standards. In addition, all courses will be facilitated by specially trained veteran teachers from Illinois.

Teachers can also participate in PBS TeacherLine and International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) Certificate of Proficiency Capstone Program, an intensive three-course online professional development curriculum. The program includes two 15-week, 45-hour online classes.

All teachers taking the online courses can earn either graduate college credit with an approved university or earn continuing education unit (CEU) credits and continuing professional development unit (CPDU) credits. Illinois public school teachers are required to participate in continuing education and professional development in order to renew their teaching certificate.

The EETT grant is a three-year competitive grant that was awarded in 2005-2006. The 26 districts who received the EETT grant are:

More information about PBS TeacherLine is available online at www.pbs.org/teacherline.

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