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Press Release

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Learning Environment of Tomorrow Showcased During State Board of Education Workshop

~ Board members learn first-hand about the application and success of emerging technologies in education ~

TALLAHASSEE – Furthering Florida’s commitment to innovative learning opportunities for students, State Board of Education members yesterday participated in a hands-on workshop about the Learning Environment of Tomorrow. The four-hour workshop included a host of presenters from different organizations and states, all highlighting the unique benefits of blended learning approaches that use technology to help students succeed.

“Florida continues to push the boundaries for what’s possible in student achievement and this latest workshop has helped identify promising new avenues of success,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Our children are learning in increasingly different ways, and it is our responsibility to stay ahead of the curve and provide them with the educational environments that fit each of them the best.”

Commissioner Smith welcomed attendees and introduced President/CEO of Florida Virtual School Julie Young during the event who updated the Board on exciting initiatives happening for students in our nationally-recognized virtual school. Workshop representatives included Alliance for Excellent Education, Digital Learning Now!, Innosight Institute, Denver School of Science and Technology, Carpe Diem, and New Tech Network. Each presenter shared details about their unique programs and the successes they are having with students each and every day. Senators Jeremy Ring and Stephen Wise were also on hand to listen to the presenters about the unique tools available to students.

Tapping into the technology theme of the meeting, representatives from the Denver School of Science and Technology provided Board members insights of their experiences with these new learning approaches through Skype. The goal of each presenter was to communicate a direct, real-time portrayal of a “day in the life” of the students under their care.

“The possibilities are endless when we use technology to engage our students in the classroom,” said Public Schools Chancellor Dr. Frances Haithcock. “Innovation fosters learning, and I am excited to broaden our use of digital tools to encourage academic success.”

The State Board of Education’s primary mission is to increase the proficiency of all students within one seamless, efficient system, by providing them with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills through various learning opportunities. The next State Board meeting will take place on May 17 at St. Petersburg College. To view upcoming agendas and meeting schedules for the State Board, visit http://www.fldoe.org/board/meetings/.