HD32 - Development of a Plan to Integrate the Functions of the Longwood Institute for Teaching Through Technology and Innovative Practices in the Halifax/South Boston Continuing Education Center

Executive Summary:
The Institute for Teaching Through Technology and Innovative Practices was approved by the General Assembly during the 2000 General Assembly session and received $269,163 in general funds and two FTE positions. The Institute was to work with K-12 education. The service area of the Institute included Halifax County, the City of Danville, and Pittsylvania County.

In the 2002 General Assembly, the defined service area for the Institute was deleted from the Appropriations language. Due to budget restraints, the Commonwealth of Virginia has reduced the funding for the Institute from $269,163 to $216,313 per year in the 2004-06 budget.

The Institute works with K-12 school divisions and other entities in 22 counties in Southside Virginia to assist in identifying emerging technologies and their applicability in education and other areas. The Institute works to help improve SOL scores, particularly in math and science; to identify best practices; and, to research technology for classroom use. The Institutes' programs allow school systems (including at-risk students) to take advantage of the latest educational technologies -- such as automated telescopes, virtual reality, digital equipment and assistive technologies. Additionally, the Institute has used technology to provide literacy training. The Director of the Institute is working with faculty in the College of Education and Human Services to make them aware of the new technologies being used in today's K-12 classroom.

Since its inception, the Institute has generated more than $5 million in grant money from local, state, and federal sources. The Institute provides:

• Research and development of new educational learning models with a focus on student achievement.

• Outreach and training for area public schools.

• Distance education and telecommunications research for area public schools.

• Evaluation services to area schools desiring to know the impact of their programs and services on student achievement.

• Analysis of emerging technologies for education.

Currently, the Institute is researching and developing broadband content and applications with NASA, Discovery Communications, and several other content developers.