Futurekids Expands Professional Development Role in Second Year of Pennsylvania’s ‘Classrooms for the Future’ Technology Initiative

Futurekids announced today that it is expanding its innovative professional development program to more schools in the second year of the “Classrooms for the Future” technology initiative in the state of Pennsylvania.

The Classrooms for the Future initiative, believed to be the largest program of technology integration ever undertaken by a state, allocates $200 million in funding over a three-year period for laptop computers, software, printers, interactive electronic whiteboards, professional development, technology infrastructure, support and high-speed Internet access. Futurekids was tapped to provide some professional development services for the initiative.

“We’re seeing tremendous, positive changes in the way our teachers are using technology and in the way students are responding,” Ms. Holly Jobe, Project Manager for the Classrooms for the Future commented. “Teachers are more enthused, students are more engaged and learning has become more collaborative and dynamic.”

Under the program, public school districts that are selected for the program can choose how they administer the initiative. Some schools use their funds for certain upper grade students, while other schools integrate the technology in certain classes, such as English or Science. However, the cornerstone for success in every implementation is allocating funds for Professional Development.

“The professional development aspect of the initiative is key,” commented Ms. Jobe. “You can’t just plug in computers and walk away.”

Currently, the program offers professional development on three fronts: out-of-the-box training on how to use the computers and software; a train-the- trainer model; and online courses for teachers.

Ms. Dzana Homan, President and C.E.O. of Futurekids, Inc., is a Project Manager on the initiative. “Having the professional development component is absolutely critical,” she said. “The 21st century learning environment means that students must learn how to do more, and technology provides that edge. Teachers who infuse technology into their classroom learning style are more engaging, foster greater student independence and become a facilitator instead of a lecturer.”

Ms. Homan’s company provides technology integration and professional development throughout the United States and in 65 countries worldwide.

The Classrooms for the Future has attracted strong attention throughout the national educational community.

The Classrooms for the Future initiative brings together some of the best technology companies in America, including CDW-G, Lenovo, Adobe, Futurekids, Promethean, Polyvision and Apple Computer.

About Classrooms for the Future
Classrooms for the Future is one of several innovative educational initiatives funded in the 2007-08 budget recently signed into law by Governor Edward Rendell. For more information on these efforts, please visit http://www.pde.state.pa.us/.

About Futurekids
Futurekids is the premier provider of technology teacher training solutions for schools and universities around the world. Futurekids has a 22-year record of success in technology education. Their core competency is providing technology training as it relates to teaching and learning. They have relationships and achievements with many key educational partners such as Intel, IBM and Dell.  For more information on Futurekids, please visit http://www.futurekids.com/.

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