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Educators gather to develop online coursework

Monday, July 11, 2022

Take 300 educators and technology support staff, add inspiration and sweat, and what do you get? High-quality education courses that will be available to all schools in Iowa.

The gathering, which is taking place this week in Des Moines, is designed to train the educators to develop content for Iowa e-Learning Central (ILC). ILC is an online exchange for Iowa educators, students and families that supports high-quality online learning.  

The Iowa Department of Education has handed out contracts to content developers who will focus on developing elementary units (K-5) in Foundational Reading Skills, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. In addition, Middle School Health Science Service Area units will be included.

The work done this week complements the other coursework already developed for students through high school.

“The educators here today are dedicated teachers who are experts in their fields,” said Barbara Ohlund, executive officer with the Iowa Department of Education. “Seeing them come together is exciting. They will be developing quality units that educators can use anywhere in Iowa.”

The educators attending the conference are excited.

See additional photos from this workshop in this album.

“When we use technology like this with our students, they feel empowered, they feel as if they can express themselves, and subsequently they experience a deeper level of learning,” said Lisa Butler-Msyua, a teacher-librarian from the West Des Moines Community School District. “When I went to school, I didn’t have access to many subjects – I think for kids in Iowa this will provide them access to courses they otherwise would not have.”

“I’m excited because I believe in a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all students,” said Kirstin George, a secondary English/language educational support leader in the Dubuque Community School District. “By the state putting these courses out there for teachers to use is a stepping stone toward all students receiving an equitable education.” 

Iowa e-Learning Central provides flexibility to support all Iowa schools. It addresses two statewide needs vital to the success of our students, educators, and families. The first is the need for accessible, evidence-based supports and resources not only for students to be successful in their studies (whether that’s in-person or online), but for educators and families to support their students in their learning. The second identified need is access to high-quality content, regardless of a student’s location in the state.

The big-picture vision is to offer educators richer content to bring into their classrooms and expand opportunities and support for Iowa students and families.

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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on August 18, 2022 at 6:38pm.