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Learning Technology Grant Program Overview: PNW BOCES Consortium

Award Years: 2018-2021

Over the last seven years, PNW BOCES has successfully supported a consortium of school districts in providing quality, authentic online courses for high school students through its Online Courses for the 21st Century program (OC21 program). This proposal grows out of lessons learned and a desire to provide a greater number of students with a blended learning experience.

The specific goals of this project include:

  1. To promote equity and access for all students by creating a collection of high-quality blended high school courses that embed inclusive learning practices (culturally responsive), foster 21st century skills (such as communication, collaboration, and critical and creative thinking), and address social emotional learning by building dispositions that will serve students throughout their lifetime (for instance, reflection, persistence, empathy, and self-awareness).
  2. To build teacher and district capacity to develop quality, authentic curriculum that utilizes technology effectively. Ongoing face-to-face and virtual professional development opportunities will embody best practices in adult learning and foster the dispositions of reflective practice, collaboration, and risk-taking. The professional development will focus on quality curriculum, instruction, assessment, and technology integration.
  3. To strengthen the OC21 consortium (after the grant period) by expanding the number of participating districts, providing more access for students, and offering more diverse courses after Year 3.

The project will use a consortium model. Twelve high schools across eleven districts have made a commitment to send one teacher-writer to develop a blended elective course in Year 1. After a full year of ongoing professional development and design, each teacher will facilitate the course in their home district for a group of students from 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. (Districts will choose the target student population based on teacher selection, credentials, and course load.) At the end of the grant period, all participating districts, the region and New York State, will have access to a full set of elective courses that will support student agency and success for college and career.

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