Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Governor Bush, Governor Wise Kick Off First Technology Task Force Meeting

Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida from 1999-2007, and Bob Wise, Governor of West Virginia from 2001-2005, helped kick off the first meeting of Idaho’s Students Come First Technology Task Force.

“The Students Come First Technology Task Force has hit the ground running. Over the past two days, this broad-based group has worked hard, learning from state experts in educational technology and national leaders in education reform,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. “I am excited for our work going forward as we create the 21st Century Classroom for every Idaho student.”

The Students Come First Technology Task Force is a 39-member task force working to successfully implement the technology components of Idaho’s education reform laws. Specifically, the task force is studying and developing plans for the one-to-one ratio of mobile computing devices in high schools. Once the State Board of Education determines the number of online courses for a graduation requirement, the task force also will develop implementation plans for this requirement, in addition to the necessary professional development for teachers.

Governor Bush and Governor Wise, who traveled to Idaho at their own expense, applauded the State of Idaho for its reform efforts. They jointly lead the bipartisan Digital Learning Now! This initiative advances policies to integrate current and future technological innovations into education to provide all students with a customized, quality education experience.

Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Bob Wise present at the Technology Task Force meeting.
“Imagine if every student in the state of Idaho gained the knowledge to pursue their dreams.  Idaho would lead the nation and the world in education as well as business, innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Jeb Bush.  “The Students Come First plan is an excellent example of taking real, tangible steps toward improving education.  Idaho has the opportunity to pursue the most innovative methods to give every student the opportunity to achieve their God-given learning potential.”
“It is time we stop asking students to power down when they go to school and instead to power up and use their interest in technology and social networking as a new way to learn,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “Digital learning can provide all students, rural or urban, with access to a number of high-quality subjects that may not be available in their individual schools, including foreign languages and advanced math and science courses. Effective teachers are an invaluable component of digital learning. Imagine delivering high-quality content over the internet to large numbers of students where classroom teachers could then personalize that content to meet individual students’ learning needs. Now that’s what I call a force multiplier.”

During the two-day meeting, the task force also heard presentations from Jeff Coe and Jeremy Davidson of Schoolnet, Dr. Lisa Dawley and Chris Haskell of Boise State University, and Dan Thomander from Cassia Alternative High School.

Each presentation focused on how Idaho teachers can use technology in the classroom to engage students and enhance the learning experience for every child.

All presentations along with PowerPoints and meeting minutes will be posted on the Students Come First website.

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