Tag Archives: Digital Learning

Hathaway Day

Dear Superintendents,

We are excited to celebrate Hathaway Day on November 16. Governor Mead will sign a proclamation commemorating the tenth year of the Hathaway Scholarship Program on November 9in Cheyenne. The ceremony is open to the public an we would love to see you there!

Hathaway Day gives us the ideal opportunity to unveil a makeover to the look and feel of the program. An ongoing goal of our Hathaway staff at WDE has been to educate students and families about the Hathaway Scholarship opportunity before students are in high school. We think we’ve hit on some pretty exciting ways to do this!

Most notably, 6th graders can receive the Hathaway Scholarship Certificate. This simple change has great potential. In particular, we are interested in reframing the Hathaway conversation from, “You can only earn the Hathaway Scholarship by doing x, y, and z…” to “All students are awarded the scholarship today (6th grade). By continuing to do your best, when you graduate from a Wyoming high school and complete the success curriculum, this certificate turns into actual dollars that can be used at any Wyoming college or the University. We want to support you in your journey to turn this certificate into money for college.”

In addition to the 6th grade certificate template, we also included posters, worksheets, and other resources. All are attached to the memo below. We intend for Hathaway Day to be an annual event that grows each year!

Over the past year, the WDE has engaged stakeholders in discussions about how to improve the Hathaway Scholarship program requirements. Suggestions were presented recently to the Joint Education Committee and ranged from improved access to the scholarship by CTE students to a new, advanced tier. No decisions were made at the meeting. I’ll continue to advocate for changes that accommodate our CTE concentrators and trades-bound students better.

HS-StdLogo_Pos

This week, a team from Wyoming and out-of-state visitors traveled to several schools and communities to see CTE programs and career pathways. It was an absolute thrill to have Wyoming schools showcase their programs, partnerships, teachers, and students. Thank you for welcoming us into your schools! A few takeaways:

  • The most renowned schools of innovation in the U.S. have nothing on us in Wyoming.  
  • The “right people on the bus going the same direction” is key.
  • Challenges are overcome with persistence and a stubborn aversion to the word, “no.”
  • Scaling career pathways across the state, especially in remote areas, is still a challenge.
  • Schools are taking advantage of Perkins dollars and state demo grants.
  • The WDE can support this type innovation even better (percolating).
  • We didn’t see any coding or computer science pathways and I’d like to see more.
  • Great physical space is, well, great, but not necessary to creating pathway programs for students.

I anticipate our out-of-state visitors will be talking about Wyoming for months. I look forward to the follow-up conversations. Thank you again for the great week!

Students from Rawlins High School stand in a home they are constructing and describe the project to State Superintendent Jillian Balow and CCSSO Executive Director Chris Minnich.
Home construction site in Rawlins–students explaining their work and progress

Memos to be released Monday, November 7:

Jillian

Digital Learning Plan Released

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education has released the final draft of the 2017 Digital Learning Plan. The plan provides guidelines for the incorporation of effective data and technology use in curriculum and instruction, as well as strategies to boost technology infrastructure within schools.

“This comprehensive five year strategic plan was written around the importance of incorporating digital learning and education technology into the classroom and addresses the need for equitable access to educational opportunities for all students,” said State Superintendent Jillian Balow. “It provides another way for us to ensure that all Wyoming students will be college, career, and military ready when they leave school.”

Wyoming’s Digital Learning Plan provides a vision for student success that includes goals and recommendations for educators to incorporate technology in curriculum and instruction as well as ideas to increase reliable Wi-Fi access within classrooms. Wyoming has committed valuable resources to ensuring increased broadband capacity for all school districts in the state, and the plan ensures that students have access to opportunities that the internet and other digital mediums provide.

While the requirement for a statewide education technology plan is not new, the 2017-2021 plan is unique in that stakeholders from around the state were included during development. It is also the first plan to include community partnerships that will facilitate more involvement at the local level.

The final draft of the 2017 Digital Learning Plan is available at edu.wyoming.gov/tech.

– END –

Media Contact:
Kari Eakins, Communications Director
kari.eakins@wyo.gov
307-777-2053

Future Ready Wyoming

Dear Superintendents,

This week the WDE announced a formal statewide partnership with the Future Ready Initiative. A number of Wyoming school districts preceded the state affiliation and we hope more follow suit. As a member of the Future Ready Initiative, we look forward to improving our infrastructure to support online education and increase students’ access to quality online education. Leveraging online education is a “no-brainer” for our remote and frontier state. However, a sense of urgency to expand the number of K-12 courses offered to students online can never overtake the priority to ensure that all instruction is aligned with standards, of high quality, and rigorous. Here are links to the WDE media release and an article in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

 A teacher guides students in a computer lab as they learn how to code.
Students learn to code in Cheyenne as part of the Coders Of the West project. High quality coding instruction is one course that can be offered online.

Next week a number of meetings will be held across the state. Of note, the Joint Education  and Select Accountability committees will meet in Casper. This marks the first discussion about ensuring Wyoming education statutes are aligned with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Here is a link to the meeting packet with draft legislation regarding accountability (tabs J and K).

State Superintendent Jillian Balow and WDE Chief of Staff Dicky Shanor hold up a large signed poster surrounded by 5th grade students and their teachers.
State Superintendent Balow and Chief of Staff, Dicky Shanor, talk with 5th graders this week about the U.S. Constitution and branches of government
Chief Policy Officer Lisa Weigel stands in a meeting room with district superintendents from around the state.
Chief Policy Officer, Lisa Weigel, with members of the WASA executive committee and new Wyoming superintendents

Memos to be released Monday, September 19:

Jillian

Coders of the West

Dear Superintendents,

We are excited to report a successful Coders of the West pilot that connects K-16 students with industry in a project-based computer coding “camp.” I had the opportunity to speak to the aspiring coders and one student asked the all important question, “Why did you choose coding as an education initiative?” My response was along this line:

The ability to code is a skill that indicates a student is literate in what is “behind the curtain” on our computers and smart phones. It’s a skill that is becoming more sought after by higher education, business, and industry. As Wyoming looks for ways to diversify its economy, we need look no further than our future; our students. When we equip students with skills for tomorrow’s world, like coding, diversification is organic. The work to grow technology as a viable economic sector in our state is underway with facilities and upstarts like NCAR, Microsoft, Greenhouse Data, Gannett Peak, Ptolemy, and others. Coding for all students and intensive pathways of advanced coding for some students is the goal and Coders of the West helps build the momentum around this initiative.

Coders continues this week and ten students have elected to be mentored by industry partners throughout the school year.

Students in a computer lab working on their coding skills.
Coders of the West in Sheridan

The WDE recently released the 2017 Wyoming Digital Learning Plan for public comment at http://edu.wyoming.gov/tech. The plan is designed to support districts in providing equitable education opportunities for students through the use of digital learning knowing that quality of digital learning as well as access are challenges we all face. The Plan is a culmination of input received from a statewide listening tour, digital learning readiness surveys, and focus groups. On area emphasized in the report is the need for professional development. The final plan will be released on October 1, 2016.

Additional Updates:

ACT scores will be released Monday, August 15, 2016.  Here is a link to the media announcement. Thank you to school districts and the WDE Assessment Team for successfully transitioning to the ACT Aspire test which was administered almost exclusively online in 2016.

Finally, the next ESSA virtual town hall meeting, on federal funding, will take place on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. Please take a time to review and share ESSA information posted on the WDE website at https://edu.wyoming.gov/educators/accountability/federal-school-accountability/  .

Memos to be released Monday, August 15:

Jillian

Statewide Digital Learning Plan Listening Tour

We want your input on a five-year statewide digital learning plan.

Tech shortfalls limit equal access to a quality education for some Wyoming students. A comprehensive ed tech plan can help change this. The Wyoming Department of Education will be conducting a listening tour to gather information from school, business, postsecondary, and other community members about their ed tech ideas, needs, and hopes. This is your chance to help improve education technology access and use in Wyoming.

Statewide Digital Learning Plan Listening Tour

We want your input on a five-year statewide digital learning plan.

Tech shortfalls limit equal access to a quality education for some Wyoming students. A comprehensive ed tech plan can help change this. The Wyoming Department of Education will be conducting a listening tour to gather information from school, business, postsecondary, and other community members about their ed tech ideas, needs, and hopes. This is your chance to help improve education technology access and use in Wyoming.

Statewide Digital Learning Plan Listening Tour

We want your input on a five-year statewide digital learning plan.

Tech shortfalls limit equal access to a quality education for some Wyoming students. A comprehensive ed tech plan can help change this. The Wyoming Department of Education will be conducting a listening tour to gather information from school, business, postsecondary, and other community members about their ed tech ideas, needs, and hopes. This is your chance to help improve education technology access and use in Wyoming.

Statewide Digital Learning Plan Listening Tour

We want your input on a five-year statewide digital learning plan.

Tech shortfalls limit equal access to a quality education for some Wyoming students. A comprehensive ed tech plan can help change this. The Wyoming Department of Education will be conducting a listening tour to gather information from school, business, postsecondary, and other community members about their ed tech ideas, needs, and hopes. This is your chance to help improve education technology access and use in Wyoming.

Statewide Digital Learning Plan Listening Tour

We want your input on a five-year statewide digital learning plan.

Tech shortfalls limit equal access to a quality education for some Wyoming students. A comprehensive ed tech plan can help change this. The Wyoming Department of Education will be conducting a listening tour to gather information from school, business, postsecondary, and other community members about their ed tech ideas, needs, and hopes. This is your chance to help improve education technology access and use in Wyoming.

Statewide Digital Learning Plan Listening Tour

We want your input on a five-year statewide digital learning plan.

Tech shortfalls limit equal access to a quality education for some Wyoming students. A comprehensive ed tech plan can help change this. The Wyoming Department of Education will be conducting a listening tour to gather information from school, business, postsecondary, and other community members about their ed tech ideas, needs, and hopes. This is your chance to help improve education technology access and use in Wyoming.