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Vail’s Beyond Textbooks honored by Center for Digital Education

The Vail School District was honored by the Center for Digital Education with the Digital Content and Curriculum Achievement Award at the International Society for Technology in Education  2014 conference in Atlanta, Georgia on June 30.

This award honors those school districts that are using technology to advance digital curriculum and content in exciting ways. The award was presented to the District for its Beyond Textbooks program.

Vail's Beyond Textbooks honored by Center for Digital Education BT-Staff-ExDirector-Kevin-Carney-at-ISTE-2014Inside

Beyond Textbooks staff members including Director Justin Chesebrough, far left, Coordinator Chelsea Scopellite, left, Executive Director Kevin Carney, right, and Coordinator Jen Strosin, far right.

The program gives access to Vail’s “instructional playbook.” It delivers curriculum digitally, as well as allowing teachers to share their best lesson plans, resources, and ideas. Beyond Textbooks is being used by 100 school districts and charters.

CDE had this to say about Beyond Textbooks: “Vail Unified School District, Ariz.’s instructional playbook “Beyond Textbooks” is being used by 90 school districts and charters across Arizona. The program gives access to Vail’s curriculum digitally, as well as allowing teachers to share their best lesson plans, resources, and ideas. State standards, rather than teaching materials, drive teaching and learning under this model. A team of teachers and administrators defines what students should do to demonstrate understanding of each state standard. Then the team develops curriculum calendars for when and how long the different standards will be taught, and determines specific materials and resources needed. A wiki serves as a digital version of the curriculum as it is developed.”

Vail was honored in the K-12 Small-­Medium District/School category.

Superintendent Calvin Baker stated, “The award once again confirms the strength of Vail’s instructional program and it is a tribute to the our staff members who provide assistance and training to partner districts.”

Kevin Carney, executive director of Beyond Textbooks stated he was thrilled to accept the award on behalf of the Vail School District, the staff of Beyond Textbooks and the many partners who make the program a success.

The Center for Digital Education is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy, and funding. CDE provides education and industry leaders with decision support and actionable insight to help effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century.