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$10.5 million grant will expand vast online hub for educators, by educators
Date:2/16/2012

ore CPALMS, teachers often resorted to Google to find teaching resources, searches that yielded a haystack's worth of mostly irrelevant, ad-laden, inaccurate or inappropriate material, according to former Brevard County kindergarten teacher Christine Tarver, now a researcher with LSI.

In contrast, CPALMS can hone in on and even anticipate the pedagogical needle that meets a specific teacher's need to teach to a specific benchmark or standard with a specific group of students.

"Thanks to the new grant," Tarver said, "CPALMS will soon include 'smart' tools that learn and adapt to teachers' needs based on their past use of the system. Those tools will recommend high-quality resources and professional development modules in a timely way, just as educators need them."

The new system comes at a critical time: While the need for workers competent in the so-called "STEM" fields of science, technology, engineering and math is increasing, student performance in these subjects lags.

According to state assessments, math performance declines significantly as students move to higher grades. And the picture is even bleaker in science: Fewer than half of students in grades 5, 8 and 11 are proficient in the subject.

Improving teaching and learning in these fields is vital not only to these students' careers, said LSI director Laura Lang, but to Florida's economy, as well.

"Increasingly, STEM is where the jobs are, where the money is and where our future lies," said Lang, a co-principal investigator on the new grant. "CPALMS is doing a lot to help educators meet that challenge and, given the funded expansion, it will be able to do a great deal more."

Also on the research team are co-principal investigator Danielle Sherdan of FCR-STEM and co-investigators Young-Suk Kim and Jeanne Wanzek, both of Florida State's College of Education and the Florida Center for Reading Research, another LSI center. Project partners inclu
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Contact: Rabieh Razzouk
rrazzouk@lsi.fsu.edu
850-694-1682
Florida State University
Source:Eurekalert

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