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ASU launches award-winning online learning environment


December 13, 2006

Developed by the Applied Learning Technologies Institute (alt^I) at ASU, the proposed Integrated Data to Enhance Arizona's Learning (IDEAL) program provides parents, students and teachers with a single resource to meet their educational goals and needs.

In collaboration with the Arizona Department of Education, ASU has created IDEAL to be the next-generation online learning environment designed specifically for every K-12 student and certified teachers throughout the state of Arizona .

Students will benefit from IDEAL in a variety of ways. Parents can use the site to answer questions or to find instructional videos and educational tools for their children, while older students can enroll in advanced placement courses such as environmental science, English and history. They also can practice taking the AIMS test.

Over the next year, IDEAL will become an environment which provides a wide range of tools and resources that students and teachers can access throughout their educational careers.

“IDEAL encourages and supports a lifelong learning model,” says Samuel DiGangi, associate vice president of the University Technology Office, director of alt^I and associate professor with ASU's College of Education . “IDEAL establishes a dynamic, sustainable partnership and communication between ASU, the community and the K-12 school system.”

Teacher resources available through IDEAL include:

• Course and curriculum content.

• Access to educational materials.

• Professional development training to enable teachers to meet requirements of educational initiatives, such as the No Child Left Behind act.

Teachers also can generate their own exams using validated test banks, and the formative assessment tool lets teachers create individual student assessments using questions certified to evaluate specific standards.

“Enhancing education, through every means available is our priority and commitment,” says Angel Jannasch-Pennell, co-director of IDEAL. “Our students and educators deserve – and need – the best possible tools and resources.”

IDEAL recently received two awards: the 2006 WOW Award from the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET), which recognized IDEAL as an outstanding use of technology in higher education, and e.Republic's Best of the Web Digital Education Achievement Award, which identified IDEAL as the top K-12 state Web site.

IDEAL will continue to expand and grow, incorporating new features and approaches as needs arise and technologies evolve. Users can expect to find subject area blogs, homework help, Web-based tools and access to university courses, to name a few.

For more information about IDEAL, visit the Web site ( http://ideal.azed.gov ) or send an e-mail to DiGangi at (sam@asu.edu).

James Vito Palazzolo, jamesvito@asu.edu
480-276-3274