Local educators named to state "digital learning" panel
Veteran Spanish teacher Pam Benton of the Pinellas Virtual School and St. Petersburg College president Bill Law will be on a team of 30 advising the Florida Department of Education on how to move ahead in the world of digital education.
The state, already a leader in virtual schooling, is looking for the best ways to incorporate more technology and computerized materials into the classrooms. This committee is supposed to bring recommendations to the State Board of Education in May. It will meet for two days in late April at St. Petersburg College.
"Technology has changed the world we live in, the way we get our information, and the way we learn," commissioner Gerard Robinson said in a release. "Many of today's top careers did not even exist 10 years ago. Digital learning plays an important role in education in our state and it will become even more critical as we prepare students for college and challenging new 21st century careers."
Money to upgrade schools will be one critical factor. Another will be student access to the internet away from school. The Miami Herald reported only a year ago that at least three in 10 south Floridians lacked regular access to the web.
The debate isn't over on the value of technology in schools, either. Some schools still focus on teaching and learning the old fashioned way, without all the fancy gizmos. Anyone think this committee will talk about whether less is more? What direction should Florida take on digital education?