Virginia teachers learn in-house

TechKNOWLEDGEy Academy

Virginia teachers will be able to get technology training and meet professional

certification requirements by taking a two-month distance-learning class

offered by a local school system in Northern Virginia.

Prince William County Public Schools is offering TechKNOWLEDGEy Academy,

a series of 10 sessions designed to help teachers integrate technology into

their curriculums and to achieve the objectives of the Virginia Standards

of Learning.

The programs are televised Mondays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Comcast

Corp.'s public access cable channel Oct. 16 through Dec. 18.

Participants must complete assignments based on each lesson. A technology

mentor will review the assignments. Sessions can be videotaped for later

viewing.

This is the third time the class will be offered as a distance-learning

opportunity to Prince William County teachers, said Sharon Bradshaw, an

instructional technology specialist with the school system. A grant from

the Virginia Department of Education enabled the school system to offer

the program to teachers throughout the state via the school system's own

distance-learning network.

The TechKNOWLEDGEy Academy is an outgrowth of efforts to make sure that

the school system's technology infrastructure did not turn into "some very

expensive dust-catchers," Bradshaw said. "Our ultimate goal is that teachers

will integrate the applications into their classrooms so that the students

will be the recipients of that knowledge."

The school system's Office of Instructional Technology, which coordinates

the programs, estimates that about 1,000 teachers will have completed the

coursework by the end of the next session, Bradshaw said.

Teachers will receive credit toward state requirements for certified

technology personnel, as well as 30 of the 180 points required for recertification

every five years, Bradshaw said. The course also counts toward the county's

annual staff development criteria.

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