Superintendent's Memo #291-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

December 3, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Partial Reimbursement Mini-Grants for High School Purchase of NBC Learn Archives on Demand

The NBC Learn Archives on Demand is a collection of video resources, primary sources, images, and text resources designed for use in the K-12 classroom and higher education. Educators and students will have access to thousands of video clips, including news footage of historic events, critical analysis, current events and mini-documentaries supporting classroom instruction. In addition, the archives bring together a collection of resources from partners such as The Washington Post, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and other content providers. Features include daily current events and breaking news updates; robust search, browse and filtering tools to aid research and inquiry-based discovery; useful tools for teacher professional development, and teacher playlists that are personalized by the individual teachers and that can be shared.

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has been working with NBC News over the past year to create an opportunity to provide Virginia classrooms easy and affordable access to this extensive collection. The custom-designed collection includes correlations to the Virginia Standards of Learning for English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Health and Physical Education, and Special Collections, as well as to Virginia's Economics and Personal Finance Standards of Learning.

As a part of this opportunity, the VDOE has secured funds to provide a one-time grant to each high school that purchases the Economics and Personal Finance Collection for $399 from NBC Learn. The VDOE will reimburse the local school division for $300 when the local division makes the initial Economics and Personal Finance purchase and adds on the $300 package that will include English Language Arts, Mathematics, and all the other programs that are available. The entire package will cost each high school $699 and $300 of that will be reimbursed through the one-time VDOE grant. Reimbursement procedures will be distributed through a Superintendent's Memo that will be posted by February 15. An additional incentive has been offered through NBC by offering an 18-month subscription for the price of a 12-month subscription if the order is placed by February 15, 2011. This will give access for the rest of this school year and all of the 2011-2012 school year for the price of one year. There will be no financial support from VDOE after the initial subscription ends. Special discounted subscription rates also are available from NBC News for elementary and middle schools.

NBC News and the VDOE will provide FREE on-site regional workshops for instructional technology resource teachers and instructional specialists to familiarize attendees with the basic fundamentals of NBC Learn and how teachers can personalize their playlists and write meaningful lesson plans that integrate NBC Learn into their classrooms. NBC News will also offer FREE bi-weekly Webinars throughout the 2010-2011 school year that will allow additional training and free support.

Brian Williams has provided a welcome video that can be accessed through YouTube. Ordering information and the required order form for Virginia schools are available online.

If you have questions about the NBC Learn Archives on Demand initiative, please contact Judith Sams, business and information technology program specialist, at Judith.Sams@doe.virginia.gov or at 804-371-0196.

PIW/JPS/sgj