Marlboro College

NewsPress Release - 4/25/2000

BRATTLEBORO, VT - Beginning in June and extending over the next year, as many as sixteen Windham County high school teachers will have the opportunity to learn how to incorporate Internet technology into one of their courses, and earn a $1,200 stipend and graduate credit while doing so.

The four-course online program, offered through The Persons School of Marlboro College and funded by the A.D. Henderson Foundation of Halifax, Vermont, and Palm Beach, Florida, will also buy about $36,000 worth of Internet technology for Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS) and Leland and Gray Union High School.

Presentations at BUHS and Leland and Gray faculty meetings have already identified a number of teachers who are interested. A special Open House at the Persons School will take place for all interested Windham County high school and middle school teachers at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, and will be repeated at the same time on Thursday, May 4.

"This is a great opportunity for everyone involved," says Will Wootton, director of institutional advancement at Marlboro College and one of the grant's authors. "The Persons School gets to develop a unique sequence of teacher-training courses, which we hope will evolve into a fully online certificate program; the participating Windham County teachers get a technology stipend and the chance to learn a whole new approach to technology use in the classroom; and the high schools themselves each get about $18,000 worth of supporting technology, computers, scanners, cameras . . . whatever they think will best support this kind of education."

Claudine Keenan, a University of Pennsylvania instructor who begins working full time as a "learning architect" at the Persons School in May, is currently a lead teacher at the Persons School who was instrumental in designing and implementing the Center's Master of Arts in Internet Teaching program. She is designing the four-course Henderson grant sequence. "At the Persons School, we have nearly three years of experience in perfecting this kind of program," Keenan says. "Our faculty are top in their fields, and the technology and facility are designed to support learners locally and at a distance. The four-course sequence is being designed to accommodate teacher's schedules -- one course this summer, one in the fall, and another over the winter, then pulling it all together the following summer."

The idea of offering a certification program designed specifically for high school teachers is a natural extension of the kind of work being offered at the master's level. The idea, says Keenan, is to enable teachers to "reshape a current, traditional course into an online course where the teacher remains in the classroom as a mentor, facilitator, and tutor."

The Open House sessions on May 3 and 4 will offer teachers a brief tour of the Persons School and a question-and-answer period with Keenan and Mary Greene, director of academic programs at the Center. There will also be an opportunity for discussion time so that teachers can articulate their own goals and expectations for the program.

The Persons School of Marlboro College is located in the Holstein building, 28 Vernon Street in downtown Brattleboro. The building is fully accessible. For more information, please contact Keenan at or call The Persons School of Marlboro College at (802) 258-9200.

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