Michigan K-12 Teachers Learn Practical Applications for Technology in the Classroom Through Michigan Virtual University and Classroom Connect Partnership

June 26, 2001

First, laptop computers. Then, free access to more than 700 online courses covering a myriad of information technology topics. Now, Michigan K-12 teachers will be offered professional development opportunities to learn how to effectively integrate technology into their classrooms.

As part of its ongoing commitment to raising the standards for technology use in Michigan’s classrooms, the Michigan Virtual University (MVU) has acquired 1,000 subscriptions to Connected University(TM), an online professional learning service offered by the California-based company, Classroom Connect. Each Connected University subscription provides educators with access to online courses and resources that fit any level of technology experience and professional interest, a library of resources, and a thriving community of support. These subscriptions will be distributed through the Ameritech Technology Academy, an innovative program that trains Michigan K-12 teachers to use technology in the classroom.

In addition, MVU, through its Michigan Virtual High School project, will serve as a reseller for Classroom Connect and its line of Web-based educational resources for both student learning and teacher professional development. Educators interested in purchasing Classroom Connect products and services should visit the Michigan Virtual High School Web site beginning in July at www.mivhs.org, and follow the Classroom Connect link.

“Putting technology into teachers’ hands is very valuable, but the impact is multiplied when the right training goes along with it,” said David A. Spencer, president of the Michigan Virtual University. “Through this agreement with Classroom Connect, the Michigan Virtual University offers every K-12 educator the opportunity to really see and learn the power of technology in the classroom, in a very practical, hands-on way.”

“Training educators on technology through online courses is a powerful way to enhance their professional development and their familiarity with using online educational resources in the classroom,” said Judith Hamilton president and CEO of Classroom Connect. “Our partnership with Michigan Virtual University brings Michigan educators the tools to effectively make online learning a reality for themselves and for their students.”

The Ameritech Technology Academy (ATA) teaches four-person teams from schools throughout Michigan the latest techniques for applying technology in all areas of the curriculum. It was launched through a $2 million grant from the Ameritech Foundation to the Michigan Institute for Educational Management (MIEM). The Michigan Virtual University contributed $500,000 to the program. ATA partners also include the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Association for Computer-related technology Users in Learning (MACUL), the Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA), and the Offices of Michigan Governor John Engler and U.S. Senator Carl Levin. Four hundred ATA scholars have already been trained, with another 1,600 slated to complete the training over the next two summers.

Michigan Virtual University (MVU) is a private, non-profit corporation established in 1998 by Governor John Engler and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (formerly the Michigan Jobs Commission) to provide online learning opportunities to Michigan’s citizens. MVU does not grant degrees or certificates or teach courses, but acts as a broker of programs made available by Michigan’s public and private colleges, universities, and commercial training providers. MVU is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Automotive and Manufacturing College and the Michigan Virtual High School. For more information, visit www.mivu.org.

Classroom Connect, Inc. (www.classroom.com), is a leading provider of professional learning and classroom learning resources that help make Internet learning a reality in K-12 education. Its partners include some of the nation’s most respected organizations, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Library of Congress and NASA. Classroom Connect has more than 175 employees in five offices nationwide, with headquarters in Brisbane, CA. For more information, visit Classroom Connect’s Web site at www.classroom.com or call 650-351-5100.