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18 July 2007


Virtual Schools and 21st Century Skills

At the 2007 National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), Cable in the Classroom's Senior Director of Education Policy, Douglas Levin, had the opportunity to join Susan Patrick, President and CEO of the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL), in presenting on the intersection of two emerging educational policy innovations: virtual schooling and 21st century skills.

Cable in the Classroom, as the national education foundation of the U.S. cable industry, is a founding board member of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. The Partnership is the leading advocacy organization infusing 21st Century skills into education.

NACOL and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills collaborated on a joint position paper released late last year and this presentation [MP3, 38MB] generally follow the outline of that collaboration.

The punchline:
If we are serious about ensuring that all students master the skills they will need for life, work, and citizenship in the 21st century, the continued expansion of virtual schooling (blended and wholly online) will be required. At the same time, while virtual schools by their very nature foster some of the skills outlined by the Partnership, many will have to become more intentional in their approaches to teaching and assessing the full range of 21st century skills.
Those interested in the work of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills might also be interested in perusing the Spring 2006 edition of Cable in the Classroom's Threshold, focused on high school reform and 21st century skills.

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17 July 2007


2007 Cable's Leaders In Learning Awards Gala: Comcast on the Red Carpet

On the evening of June 6, 2007, national education leaders, policymakers, and cable industry executives all gathered at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC to honor the third class of Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards recipients.

Elena Russo of Comcast on the Red Carpet was there to share the excitement of the evening with you in this five minute video segment [M4V, 58MB] airing nationally on cable systems like yours!

The 2007 class of Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards recipients included classroom teachers, administrators, community leaders/nonprofit executives, university faculty, and policymakers. Many of their inspirational stories can be heard on our companion Leaders in Learning podcast channel. While you are there, be sure to download and listen to interviews with the 2006 class, too!

The Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards is the U.S. cable industry's annual awards program to recognize those who demonstrate vision, innovation, action and transformation in education. The objective of the awards is to promote and encourage innovative learning practices by honoring individuals who have transformed an aspect of education on a large or small scale.

Managing the awards program is a year-long activity for those of us at Cable in the Classroom and it is without question one of the most rewarding things that we do. Being able to shine a bright light on just a few of those many educators making a difference in the lives of the nation's students is truly an honor and responsibility we take very seriously.

Who knows? Maybe you can join us on stage at the 2008 gala! The application window for the fourth class of Cable's Leaders in Learning opens in mid-September 2007. Detailed instructions on how to apply will be available at

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