Monthly Archives: April 2014

Education For K-12 Students

Prerequisite To Success

In today’s global economy, a high-quality education is no
longer just a pathway to opportunity—it is a prerequisite
to success. Because economic progress and educational
achievement are inextricably linked, educating every
American student to graduate from high school prepared
for college and for a career is a national imperative.

President’s Goal

The President has articulated a goal for America to once
again lead the world in college completion by the year
2020, and all of President Obama’s education efforts aim
toward this overarching objective.

Create An Economy

To create an economy built to last, we need to provide
every child with a complete and competitive education that
will enable them to succeed in a global economy based on
knowledge and innovation. To provide a high-quality
education to all American children, President Obama has
advanced reforms around four key objectives:

Higher Standards

Higher standards and better assessments that will prepare
students to succeed in college and the workplace.

Ambitious Efforts

Ambitious efforts to recruit, prepare, develop, and advance
effective teachers and principals, especially in the
classrooms where they are most needed.

Smarter Data Systems

Smarter data systems to measure student growth and success,
and help educators improve instruction.

New Attention

New attention and a national effort to turn around our
lowest-achieving schools.

Designed  Initiatives

Since taking office, the Obama Administration has designed
and implemented several initiatives to strengthen public
education for students in every community nationwide:

Race to the Top

Race to the Top marks a historic moment in American
education. This initiative offers bold incentives to states
willing to spur systemic reform to improve teaching and
learning in America’s schools. Race to the Top has ushered
in significant change in our education system, particularly
in raising standards and aligning policies and structures
to the goal of college and career readiness. Race to the
Top has helped drive states nationwide to pursue higher
standards, improve teacher effectiveness, use data
effectively in the classroom, and adopt new strategies
to help struggling schools.

No Child Left Behind

As states move forward with education reforms, some
provisions of No Child Left Behind — the most current
version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act,
which is five years overdue for reauthorization — stand
in the way of their progress. Although NCLB started a
national conversation about student achievement, unintended
consequences of NCLB have reinforced the wrong behaviors
in attempting to strengthen public education. NCLB has
created incentives for states to lower their standards;
emphasized punishing failure over rewarding success;
focused on absolute scores, rather than recognizing growth
and progress; and prescribed a pass-fail, one-size-fits-all
series of interventions for schools that miss their goals.

Sent Congress A Blueprint

In March of 2010, the Obama Administration sent Congress a
Blueprint for Reform of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act, addressing the issues created by No Child
Left Behind while pursuing high standards and closing the
achievement gap. But because Congress has not acted to
reauthorize ESEA, the Administration moved forward in
providing states flexibility within the law – as authorized
by provisions in the law itself – to pursue comprehensive
plans to improve educational outcomes for all students,
close achievement gaps, and improve the quality of teaching.
To date, 41 states, CORE (California Office to Reform
Education) Districts, and the District of Columbia have
received ESEA flexibility.

Redesigning America’s High Schools

President Obama’s High School Redesign initiative will
encourage America’s school districts and their partners
to use existing federal, state and local resources to
transform the high school experience for America’s youth
through a whole school redesign effort. This effort will
challenge high schools and their partners to rethink
teaching and learning and put in place learning models
that are rigorous, relevant, and better focused on
real-world experiences. These reforms will incorporate
personalized learning and career and college exploration
and ensure that all students graduate with college-level
coursework or college credit, as well as with career-related
experiences or competencies.

Keeping Teachers In The Classroom

President Obama believes that our children cannot win the
future if teachers are not where they belong—in our
classrooms, teaching our nation’s children. America’s
education system has always been one of our greatest
sources of strength and global economic competitiveness,
as well as an engine of progress in science, technology
and the arts. Our nation cannot expect to train our
children for the high-skilled jobs of today, or for the
opportunities of the future, without investments in a
world-class education system. And America cannot build a
world-class education system without teachers in our

Cuts in Education Budgets

But cuts to education budgets nationwide put education jobs
at risk. These cuts force states and districts into
difficult decisions, including laying off teachers and
other school personnel, overcrowding classrooms, reducing
preschool and kindergarten programs, or even shortening the
school week and year.

President Invested In Education

That’s why the President has invested in education,
providing funding to keep hundreds of thousands of teachers
on the job over the past three years and creating a proposal
to prevent further layoffs from taking place:

Stabilization Funds Deployed

In 2009, the President effectively deployed stabilization
funds for state education budgets through the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which enabled states and
schools districts to keep approximately 300,000 educators
on the job in the face of budget cuts caused by the economic
recession. In 2010, the President signed the Education
Jobs Bill into law that provided states $10 billion in
emergency funding to keep approximately 130,000 educators
in the classroom.

For more information on high-quality education download the following   website: 

Woody Woodchuck
“Word of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”

Prairie Dogs Prepare For K-12 Education





Grandma And Grandpa


For Grandma & Grandpa

One of Del Siegle’s ideas, a presenter at a Montana AGATE
04/15/2013 conference was to have kids create eBooks which
can be sent (via email) to their Grandma and Grandpa. Now
you’ve got a “real audience” that will motivate the kids
to do their best work.

Different Styles

Websites, eBooks & apps come in different styles that work
for various ages: the young ones, some let them color
pictures, while slightly older ones can write the words to
narrate books that already have pictures.

Different Formats And Apps

Some are formatted to allow students to insert their own
photos or digital art or text and the oldest kids may prefer
free-form ebooks to unleash their creativity. Del’s website
includes his presentations, which lists many different apps

Books In Target Language

Foreign language teachers: your students can create
children’s books in their target language. Where can you
find an audience? Is there an international school in your
area where the young ones have to learn a foreign language?

More Information

For more information just “click” on the following link
listed below, then “conference handouts”, then “eBooks”.

Woody Woodchuck
“Word of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”

     Prairie Dog Watches eBooks Creations 

For Grandma And Grandpa

grandmaSingle woodchuck looking out from hole

Virtual Learning


According to Virtual learning environment from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the following are some basic requirements  for an environment or online education curriculum to take place.

Similar terms

Computerized learning systems have been referred to as: e-learning, learning platform or Learning Management Systems used by educational institutions. The major difference is that a VLE and LMS is an application, whereas the Learning Platform share characteristics with an Operating System (or CoursePark Platform) where different educational web based applications can be run on the platform.

Range of Applications

The terms virtual learning environment (VLE) and learning platform are generically used to describe a range of integrated web based applications that provide teachers, learners, parents and others involved in education with information, tools and resources to support and enhanced educa-tional delivery and management. These terms are broadly synonymous with” managed learning environments'” MLEs) and  “managed virtual learning environments” (MVLEs).

Applications Of Online Services

The applications that form part of these online services can include web pages, email, message boards and discussion forums, text and video conferencing, shared diaries, online social areas, as well as assessment, management and tracking tools.

Term Learning Platform

The term learning platform refers to a range of tools and services often described using terms such as educational extranet, VLE, LMS, ILMS and LCMS providing learning and content management. The term learning platform also includes the personal learning environment (PLE) or personal online learning space (POLS), including tools and systems that allow the development and management of eportfolios. The specific functionality associated with any implementation of a learning platform will vary depending upon the needs of the users and can be achieved by bringing together a range of features from different software solutions either commercially available, open source, self built or available as free to use web services. These tools are delivered together via a cohesive user environment with a single entry point, through integration achieved by technical standards.

Engagement And Administration

Learner engagement and administration – managed access to learner information and resources and tracking of progress and achievement Communication and collaboration – emails, notices, chat, wikis, blogs In principle a learning platform is a safe and secure environment that is reliable, available online and accessible to a wide user base. A user should be able to move between learning platforms throughout their life with no loss of access to their personal data. The concept of a learning platform accommodates a continuously evolving description of functionality changing to meet the needs of the user.

Support For Communications,

Support for communications, including e-mail, threaded discussions, chat rooms, Twitter and other media, sometimes with the instructor or an assistant acting as moderator. Additional elements include wikis, blogs, RSS and 3D virtual learning spaces. Management of access rights for instructors, their assistants, course support staff, and students’ Documen-tation and statistics as required for institutional administration and quality control Authoring tools for creating the necessary documents by the instructor, and, usually, submissions by the students’ Provision for the necessary hyperlinks to create a unified presentation to the students.

Supporting Multiple Courses

A VLE is normally not designed for a specific course or subject, but is capable of supporting multiple courses over the full range of the academic program, giving a consistent interface within the institution and—to some degree—with other institutions using the System Justification Institutions of higher and further education use VLEs in order to: Economize on the time of teaching staff, and the cost of instruction.


Most VLEs support the Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) as a standard, but there are no commonly used standards that define how the learner’s performance within a course can be transferred from one VLE to another.

Many Environments

There are many virtual learning environments for students in grades K-12. These systems are also particularly suited for the needs of independent educational programs, charter schools and home-based education.


Educators need benchmark tools to assess a virtual learning environment as a viable means of education. Walker developed a survey instrument known as the Distance Education Learning Environment Survey (DELES), which is accessible to students anywhere, examines instructor support, student interaction and collaboration, personal relevance, authentic learning, student active learning, and autonomy. approach based on training, implementation, system usage, communication, and support.

Systems Available

There are many open source and proprietary VLEs available for use [citation needed]. On-demand elearning services are also a popular choice because they can be deployed in minutes and do not require instructors and institutions to run their own servers. Many VLEs are placed on a web server. In a typical VLE there are one are more programs or languages that provides the user (Teacher-Student) interface, and which interacts with a database. For example, a VLE might use PHP as its web language/program, with MySQL as a database.

Communication Between School And Home.

The virtual learning environment supports an exchange of information between a student or a user at home with the school or learning institute he or she is currently enrolled in through digital mediums like e-mail, chat rooms, web 2.0 sites or a forum thereby helping convey information to any part of the world with just a single click.

Recent Survey

According to a recent survey parents having children specially the working professional are very much concerned about their child’s performance within the school always, but sometimes they are so busy in work that they know nothing of what their child is up to. And it is because of progress in online education or virtual learning environment that parents now remain in contact with their children, their academic performance and their faculty members as well with ease. Parents generally see their association as a key variable, by and large accomplishment and solid yearning to be more educated about in general advancement, particularly reviews, so as to absolutely affect their kid’s school execution. The study uncovered that center school is basic time for schools to give folks the chance to get more included the effect being better scholastic execution later onion secondary school. Folks see the profits of better correspondence, particularly online correspondence, as managing an understudy prior intercession to tackle issues and as a rousing component for their kid to assume more obligations regarding the conclusion of his or her scholastic execution.


Virtual learning environment (VLE) and managed learning
environment (MLE) both the two terminologies are often used and interchanged in the same context and helps promote and spread education plus learning activities on digital mediums on the web. With the advancement in technology the education sector has given a real
positive boost to online education and this is the reason that online communication in the form of exchange of information exists between the teacher, student and the faculty with ease and without hassle through virtual learning environment. In technical terms the most generic of definitions to sum up we can say that a virtual learning environment is a designed information space for education purpose.

See also: Online communication between school and home Virtual world#Education


Woody Woodchuck
“Words of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”

Prairie Dogs Participate In Virtual Online Learning


Gifted Children

Supporting The Needs Of High-Potential Learners

An estimated 3,000,000 gifted children sit in classrooms
across the U.S. today. Because learning styles and levels
vary widely, the needs of “smart kids” are far too often
overlooked in the logical quest to meet minimum standards.

Maximum Standard

But that begs the question: What is a maximum standard
and how can we shift the focus in the U.S.? For over
50 years, NAGC has worked to increase public awareness
about these key questions and to affect positive change.

Help Prepare For Gifted Students

The 8,000+ members of NAGC work on behalf of these
3,000,000 students who represent a good portion of the
oft-heralded “pipeline of talent.” Luis J. Rodriguez, an
award-winning author and Chicano activist once said
“It is not enough to prepare our children for the world;
we also must prepare the world for our children.”We owe
it to ourselves and to future generations to help prepare
the world of education for gifted students.

Invested Resources

Thus, NAGC invests all of its resources to train teachers,
encourage parents and educate administrators and
policymakers on how to develop and support gifted children
and what’s at stake if high-potential learners are not
challenged and encouraged.

Recent MT AGATE Conference

Recently, in The 2014 MT AGATE conference, teachers from
all over the state of Montana traveled to Billings to hear
Keynote speakers Bertie Kingore and Brian Housand teach
about best practices in Gifted Education at the Billings
Crown Plaza Hotel April 3 and 4, 2014.

Breakout Sessions

Teachers chose from over thirty different breakout sessions about topics such as technology, twice exceptional students, differentiation, the workshop model, problem solving and so much more! Parents of gifted students were invited to take part in many sessions as well as a panel discussion titled “An Evening with the Experts.”

Scholarship Awards Ceremony

The SAT Challenge Scholarship Awards Ceremony brought the event to a close as students from Montana were recognized for their participation in the 2014 SAT challenge and AGATE summer scholarship awards. We hope to see you next year for our 35th annual spring conference in Helena, April 9-10, 2015!

Contact us at:
National Association for Gifted Children
1331 H Street, NW, Suite 1001
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: (202) 785-4268
web page:


Woody Woodchuck
“Words of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”

Prairie Dogs Observe Different Breakout Sessions


Choice Dog