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Denver schools receive e-learning grant

schedule 27th September 2012 by Virtual College in Virtual College Last updated on 7th July 2016

US investment firm Janus has donated $2.1 million (£1.3 million) to the Denver Public Schools (DPS) district for the development of online learning.

The company has announced that it will help teachers deliver quality content while providing them with access to real-time data, allowing them to know where students are at any given time.

This is according to president of the Janus Foundation Casey Cortese, who takes care of charity grants and gifts, the Denver Post reports.

Rather than replacing teachers with technology, Ms Cortese said, the cash injection is designed to give them better access to students' skills.

PS will spend the grant money on the employment of a director of blended learning - the combination of human instruction and digital education - and will train teachers to adapt their lessons to new software.

Several schools in the region are already taking part in blended learning, including the West Generation Academy, which is one of two new buildings opened last month as part of West High School.

Tom Boasberg, superintendent for DPS, was quoted as saying: "We see tremendous potential for technology to be such an important and useful tool for teachers."

Online learning developments will include the addition of more computer software in classrooms, designed to complement the lessons delivered live by teachers.

Janus has planned to monitor the new teaching methods and software implemented around the West Generation Academy, with the expectation to take the most successful strategies to other schools across Denver.

Mr Boasberg added that if the DPS can empower students with more awareness of the online tools, they may be able to master their own learning better.

If passed, the ballot initiatives due for proposal this November will sustain blended learning after the three-year Janus grant has run out, according to Mr Boasberg.

Four years ago, the foundation gave the district $3 million - the largest donation it has ever received - for the creation of the first teacher residency scheme in the US.

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