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Curry School Receives Nearly $4 Million To Help Teachers Use Technology

Oct. 6, 1999 -- The University of Virginia's Curry School of Education has received a total of $3.6 million from the U.S. Department of Education to promote the use of technology in teaching.

The two grants will support the school’s efforts to train current and future teachers to use advanced technology in their classroom instruction. The Curry School's Center for Technology and Teacher Education will receive $2.8 million over the next three years to create and support digital resource teams, groups of people who research ways for teachers to implement technology into the classroom. In addition, education professor Robert McNergney will receive $1.5 million over three years to boost CaseNet, an on-line resource for teaching with technology.

"Technology is transforming the concept of what academic disciplines are," said Glen Bull, a professor in the Curry School and co-director of the Center for Technology and Teacher Education. "How can technology transform teaching unless you figure out a way to ensure current and future teachers can use it effectively?" Bull asked.

The grant will allow Curry educators to find these technological advances and prepare teachers to use them.

James Cooper, the Commonwealth Professor of Education and former dean of the Curry School, said the first step in creating digital resource teams is identifying technological breakthroughs in academic disciplines. An example he cited is U.Va.'s Virginia Digital History Center, home of history professor Edward Ayers' nationally acclaimed Web site, "The Valley of the Shadow."

"We need to identify where digital resource centers in academia exist, and look at how they can be used in teacher education classes," Cooper said.

Once these centers have been identified, Curry faculty will not only instruct teachers on how to use them, but also help them develop lesson plans. In addition, 40 other teacher education programs nationwide will benefit from the school’s help in infusing technology in teaching.

"Ultimately, the centers' research will impact the way children learn," Cooper said.

CaseNet is Web-assisted instruction that allows more than 780 students and 18 teachers nationwide to gain credit or professional development by enrolling in three courses, "Teaching Across the Content Areas," "Standards of Learning and Assessment" and "Using Technology to Solve Problems in Schools." In addition, teachers can access real-life classroom situations on-line and learn how to apply practical knowledge to solve problems. CaseNet has operated from U.Va. since the spring of 1996.

U.Va. is part of a consortium of several universities, public school systems and companies in North America that are involved in the project. "The glue that holds us all together is CaseNet," McNergney said.

U.Va. will instruct faculty and staff at the other institutions in the consortium on how to implement CaseNet, and those organizations will then train their teachers to use it, he added.

Additional information can be found at http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/curry/resources/tech/TeacherEd/. For more information, contact Robert McNergney at (804) 924-0749 or rfm@virginia.edu; James Cooper at (804) 924-0860 or jmc2n@virginia.edu; or Glen Bull at (804) 924-4617 or glb2b@virginia.edu

Contact: Jill Johnson, (804) 296-1250

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Last Modified: Monday, 11-Oct-1999 10:16:24 EDT
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