Every year, Virginia lawmakers work to find ways to strengthen the state's Standards of Learning (SOL) in order to make Virginia students more globally competitive. This year, legislators are encouraging educators in Virginia to incorporate digital media in their classrooms as a way to improve SOLs.
As more and more students use computers and electronic gadgets on a daily basis, this seems like a no-brainer. The challenge is to find ways to compensate teachers and corporations fairly while still making it cost-effective for the state.
"We're just trying to make sure that the guidelines that we develop work
in conjunction with the State Board of Education, not conflict with it
but work with it, so that we can make sure that they're all adopted to
the SOLs," says state Sen. John Watkins (R-Va.), chairman of the Open Education Curriculum Boad. "And hopefully, in the long run, this is the kind of thing that will reduce costs going forward."
Some SOL related digital media have already been incorporated through sources such as PBS, according to Watkins. In addition to the sources available, the board would like to see the private sector get more involved.
For parents who are interested in home schooling their children, the board is also looking at ways of providing downloadable media that meet the SOLs.