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Behind the Initiative

Overview:

Digital Wish is on a mission to solve technology shortfalls in classrooms. The technology currently available in schools is woefully inadequate for the task of preparing students for the 21st century workforce, enabling smooth post-secondary transition, and ensuring future economic development. It is time to bring together educators, administrators, parents, community members, politicians, and business leaders in a statewide school modernization initiative that can define the root cause, identify new sources of funding, and develop transparent implementation systems. This initiative is designed to trigger a community-wide movement to modernize our schools, and in doing so, rally connected communities that will support our future workforce.

Goals:

Our schools will molding the next generation of students who will form the basis of a new knowledge economy. This initiative strives for:
1. School modernization – 21st Century tools and teaching practices will become an integral part of every school day.
2. Connected Communities – The internet provides new channels for sustainable learning environments.
3. Economic development – Savvy students will be able to find jobs locally, start businesses and increase the future tax base.
4. Workforce development – Corporations will be able hire locally and expand their operations.
5. Increase college readiness – High school graduates will be better-prepared for college, and thereafter, may return to Vermont to live and work.

Strategy:
It is not enough to simply drop technology into schools and expect change. There is a tremendous amount of infrastructure that must be put in place before technology can be effectively integrated into the daily curriculum. Leadership must be cultivated, teachers need training, and support networks must be formulated. We are identifying each necessary element, studying what’s worked in other pilots, programs, and states, and then based on past successes we are developing a series of programs designed to support the modernization of Vermont schools. Both quantitative and qualitative data is being collected to track progress towards pre-stated goals.

National Models:

Through experience in the Vermont pilot schools, Digital Wish has crafted a master “menu” of programs that will support and sustain modernization, and guide all American schools to support their own rich digital learning environments.  In December 2011, Digital Wish will launch the “Technology Program Implementation Kit” so that schools nationwide can replicate the same strategies that have been successful in Vermont.

Organizations Endorsing:
* VPA – Vermont Principals’ Association
* VSA – Vermont Superintendents’ Association
* VITA-Learn – Association of Tech Coordinators
* ESA – Educational Services Agencies
* VSBA – Vermont School Board Association
* VT-NEA – Teachers’ Union

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