Currently, North Dakota is seeing yet another renaissance in education. The persons who entered our state on the coattails of wide-spread publicity from coast to coast regarding jobs in Western North Dakota’s oil fields are now, sadly, unprepared to enter the out-lying work force within the state. As a result, the North Dakota University System (NDUS) has begun and initiative called “Bakken U,” referencing the area in Western North Dakota that is the center of the oil mining. The initiative focuses on about half of the colleges–on the western side of the state–and their current programs. There is also the possibility of new programs being introduced. More information is available at: http://bakkenu.ndus.edu/.
Outside of this “renaissance,” there is growing dissension amongst the population and educators regarding Common Core. The initial Vertical Alignment collaborative has all but disbanded and more and more signs are popping up in both Bismarck and Fargo (our largest cities). While I’m not sure what is fueling the resurgence of the movement, I do know that the primary objectives of our legislators is focused away from Common Core and primarily on maintaining an educated workforce trained in a variety of skills-based careers and drawing in students from surrounding areas with materials such as that supplied by Core Technology Services.
C ore Technology Services implemented the roll-out of the Read&Write software to coincide with the start of the Fall 2015 semester for the system’s more than 47,000 students. The $600 literacyand study software has been made available to students for free and it aids reading, writing,studying and researching. Documentation of the software notes that it is perfect for coursework support, helping in writing dissertations and regular student communication. Toolbar features offerservices like Text-to-Speech, a picture dictionary, word prediction, digital highlighters and spellchecking.
– See more at: http://blog.ndus.edu/1806/ndus-students-get-access-to- readwrite/#sthash.hQxe7NCE.dpuf
The software was introduced during opening trainings for our campus (NDSCS) where it was favorably received by not only our Academic Service Center (ASC) division, but also across the disciplines by instructors who are dealing with an increased population of students with varying levels of language use and disabilities.
All in all, 2015 -2016 looks as if it will be a year of interesting changes across the state and our local educational communities.