COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P.O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 113
August 10, 2001

INFORMATIONAL
 
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: MarcoPolo Internet Content for the Classroom Staff Development Opportunities

I am excited to announce an opportunity for teachers throughout Virginia to access free, high-quality, standards-based Internet content for the classroom and receive free professional development. This is made possible through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Education and the WorldCom Foundation.

MarcoPolo: Internet Content for the Classroom (http://marcopolo.worldcom.com) provides teachers a wealth of free resources, including dynamic lesson plans in almost every subject area and grade level, as well as links to educational sites reviewed by scholars and approved by educators. MarcoPolo is a unique public/private partnership of the WorldCom Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Council of the Great City Schools, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Council on Economic Education, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the National Geographic Society.

The companion to MarcoPolo: Internet Content for the Classroom is the MarcoPolo Professional Development Program. This train-the-trainer model is also available free of charge to teacher-trainers. The interactive hands-on train-the-trainer sessions are led by a member of the MarcoPolo cadre of trainersóall of whom are current or former classroom teachers or teacher-trainers who have extensive experience with Internet-based instruction. After Virginia field trainers complete MarcoPolo training, they will be able to make the training available to classroom teachers locally.

The Virginia MarcoPolo train-the-trainer program will be available first through the Office of Instructional Media and Training and the Governorís Best Practice Centers. Twenty-five teachers and specialists will be selected for the train-the-trainer session in each of the eight regions. Participants in these first sessions will be selected on the following criteria:

These field trainers will in turn train teachers in their school division. Each train-the-trainer session participant receives a free comprehensive trainerís kit.

Local training dates, times, and locations will be announced soon. These will be posted on the Instructional Technology Web page under "MarcoPolo Training." Registration information and deadlines will be included. Please share this information with the technology and curriculum specialists in your school division so they can take advantage of this opportunity. Please encourage appropriate members of your staff to check our Web pages often for announcements of training sessions.

Thank you for your involvement and support. If you have questions, please contact Joyce Faye White, instructional technology specialist, at (mailto:jfwhite@pen.k12.va.us).

JLD/JFW/jsg