Sarasota County teachers have increased awareness of EdExploreSRQ, the online platform created in partnership with The Patterson Foundation that connects teachers and students to education experiences, according to a new report.
The findings, based on a 2013 survey of Sarasota County Schools teachers, highlights how teachers and schools are using the online platform to find learning experiences for students and pinpoints areas for growth as a community partnership takes over the responsibility of growing EdExplore opportunities in our region.
In just two years, EdExploreSRQ has been embraced by many "early-adopter" educators. While there is room to grow, the findings reveal that meaningful change takes time, education and persistence.
Some key accomplishments highlighted in the report are:
- EdExploreSRQ.com awareness grew from 25 percent to 50 percent of teachers who responded to the survey in the first two years.
- With support from The Patterson Foundation, the school district and key community partners built a site that is easy to use and makes experiential learning more accessible.
- There is increased use of interactive “virtual” experiences using Safari Live technology.
- A Community Partnership Agreement between the School District, providers, and foundations creates a platform for ongoing support and improvements to EdExploreSRQ.
Some challenges noted include:
- While a community partnership is a good start, sustainability will need to be addressed on an ongoing basis.
- Emphasize with teachers that experiences offered on EdExploreSRQ are more than field trips. Many virtual experiences that align with curriculum standards are offered.
- There is potential to expand EdExploreSRQ to connect students with mentoring and internship experiences.
- There is potential to focus more on opportunities in the South County region.
Read the full report.
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