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Education Author and Thinker Ian Jukes Keynotes National Network of Digital Schools Client Conference

May 02, 2010 (07:05 PM EDT)
URL: http://www.techweb.com/show-press-release/X804585/education-author-and-thinker-ian-jukes-keynotes-national-network-of-digital-schools-client-conference.html

FARMINGTON, Pa., May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Author and thinker Ian Jukes told educators at a National Network of Digital Schools conference they and their schools are at risk if they hold onto outdated ideas and methods of teaching when knowledge technology is changing at an exponential rate.

Jukes keynoted the first-ever nationwide conference of the National Network of Digital Schools (NNDS), an educational management foundation and provider of premier online curricula. Educators whose schools use the NNDS Lincoln Interactive and Little Lincoln online curriculum were invited to the "Linking Leaders in Online Education Conference" held April 28-30 at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in the scenic mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania.

His audience of 100 educators came from traditional, private, charter and online schools from Pennsylvania to Kansas. Jukes told them educational institutions are not adapting quickly enough as exponential changes in microchip and Internet technology alter not only how students learn but how they think.

The primary purpose of the conference was for client educators and NNDS staff to get to know each other and share information, said Jane Price, president of the NNDS-affiliated Avanti Management Group.

"NNDS serves K-12 schools of all types, all sizes, and in all stages of their journey toward creating effective online programs," said Price. "This is the first time we've brought them together. It has been a very exciting three days."

Some attending schools have had cyber programs for years, she said, while others are just starting. They range greatly in size and mission, from a public school district in Ohio with 15,000 students to a faith-based private foundation in Missouri with 45 students scattered across the globe.

NNDS clients represented at the conference included the 9,000-student Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. PA Cyber CEO and founder Dr. Nick Trombetta, sitting on a panel discussion, said competition has forced traditional public schools to try starting their own cyber programs. Superintendents who previously fought cyber education are either changing their minds or are being replaced by administrators who recognize the necessity and value of expanding curriculum and improving services to families by adding online programs, Dr. Trombetta said.

Panel member Dr. William Harbron, superintendent of Northern Ozaukee School District in Wisconsin, said, "Teachers have been gatekeepers of information. They're beginning to see themselves as facilitators of information."

Jukes said humans are inherently visual learners and students are "wired for multimedia," yet instruction is text-based and testing methods emphasize recall instead of problem solving and critical thinking. "We are doing a terrific job of educating kids for the year 1950," Jukes said, referring to the federal testing law as "No Child Left Untested."

A dedicated, passionate teacher remains the single most important factor in public education, Jakes told conferees, but teachers and schools as a whole have resisted changing their basic assumptions and methods.

About Ian Jukes

Ian Jukes has been a teacher, administrator, writer, consultant, university instructor and speaker. He is director of an international consulting group that provides leadership and program development in the areas of assessment and evaluation, strategic alignment, curriculum design and publication, professional development, planning, change management, hardware and software acquisition, information services, customized research, media services, and online training. Over the past 10 years, Ian Jukes has worked with clients in more than 40 countries and made more than 8,000 presentations, typically speaking to between 300,000 and 350,000 people a year.

Jukes has written twelve books, nine educational series and has had more than 100 articles published in various journals. Jukes publishes an on-line electronic newsletter, the Committed Sardine Blog, which is electronically distributed to almost 90,000 people in 60-plus countries.

About NNDS, Lincoln Interactive and Little Lincoln

The National Network of Digital Schools is a nonprofit management foundation started in 2005 to provide premium online K-12 curricular, teaching and educational management services to schools everywhere. Its premier Lincoln Interactive curriculum consists of more than 250 exciting, standards-based courses for grades 5-12, while the newly created Little Lincoln curriculum for grades K-4 utilizes cutting-edge video and interactive games that keep students engaged while teaching them to state academic standards in reading, writing, math and science. NNDS provides services to 200 schools in 12 states and three countries.

Contact Communications Coordinator Fred Miller, office 724.643.1180, ext. 1377, or cell 724.777.5918

SOURCE National Network of Digital Schools