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Feds Team with Education Groups for K-12 Online Community of Practice

The federal government is teaming up with a state university and an ed tech advocacy group to launch a new online community of practice (called "epic-ed") that's designed to support "all stakeholders going through digital transition within technology-enabled learning environments."

The partnership--comprising the the United States Department of Education, the Consortium for School Networking, and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University--will launch the fully online community Aug. 22 with tools, resources, and events targeted toward education stakeholders involved in transitioning their institutions to technology-driven learning environments.

As it's described on the epic-ed site, "Digital transition is the process of gradually moving away from a teacher-centered environment to a learning-centered environment. Technology is not the focus, but rather the vehicle that enhances and extends this transition. The epic-ed community is designed to empower educators such as administrators, teachers, instructional technology facilitators, and chief technology officers as they make this transition in their schools and districts."

"Epic-ed will provide K-12 educators, district leaders and other community participants with a unique channel to get connected and develop strategies for navigating the digital transition," said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger in a prepared statement. "With increased peer-to-peer interaction and greater connectivity, epic-ed members will have an opportunity to learn from each other, share ideas and ultimately implement effective plans to help ease the transition and maximize the benefits of technology-enabled learning environments."

Resources will include:

  • Free downloads, such as frameworks, sample acceptable use policies, and tips;
  • Live events;
  • Community discussions;
  • Progress tracking; and
  • District profiles.

"Ensuring that educators have every opportunity to be connected with peers and experts who can help them be successful is critical," said Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology at ED, in a prepared statement. "Now, more than ever, we can share ideas, information and resources and more fully support teachers every day by leveraging the convening and distribution power of the Internet."

The community will launch in conjunction with Connected Educator Month with a webinar designed to guide users through the site. Additional details can be found on epiced.org.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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