The Learning Counsel Awards the Alabama State Board of Education's ALEX Program

Cebron Walker
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At the January 14, 2015 Alabama State Board of Education Meeting, Dr. David Kafitz, Vice President of School Relations and Consulting at the Learning Counsel awarded ALEX (Alabama Learning Exchange) for excellence in integrating digital curricula and content and their support of teachers and students of their state, giving all a common ground to learn and connect.

Present for the presentation were the following members of the board, involved in the ALEX program:

Ms. Earlene Patton - Director of Educational Technology
Dr. Shannon Parks - State Administrator | ALEX Web Portal
Ms. Hailey Ridgeway
Mr. Keith George
Dr. Richard Murphy
Eric Dorr- Alabama Supercomputer Authority

Dr. Kafitz began the presentation with a brief overview of the Learning Counsel and the digital curriculum strategy survey which brought both organizations together and lead to this significant acknowledgement of achievement in education.

How the Award to ALEX Came to Be

Following a national survey of hundreds of U.S. K-12 public schools, the Learning Counsel selected 10 schools to be honored based on their strategy elements; digital curriculum tactics and content coverage models; organizational practices and systems; successful shift in teaching; and educator and student technology provisions, training, and active use of digital curriculum.

With an estimated 50% of students nationwide using some sort of computing device for a significant portion of the school day, more and more schools throughout the nation are using all-digital curriculum and content. But through the Learning Counsel’s survey, some schools proved themselves to be head and shoulders above the rest, and these are the school districts and schools who were recognized.

But, not to let schools and school districts be the only shining star, the Learning Counsel reviewed the submission of the Alabama Department of Education’s Learning Exchange Program for consideration and believed it was most deserving of special recognition.

What is ALEX?

The Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX) is a one-stop resource for educators, parents and students that indexes and shares dozens of types of educational materials and information. The ALEX website saves already limited educational funds and provides more than 65,000 links to the highest quality digital learning resources to truly ignite learning.

Alabama’s ALEX website receives, on average, over 100,000 unique visitors per month from all over the U.S. and the world, making it a leading educational web portal. With a focus on global preparedness, students, educators, and parents can engage with interactive resources, podcasts, games, teaching strategies, and blue ribbon lesson plans, all linked to Alabama College and Career Ready Standards.

It was for this outstanding work to provide curated, high-quality learning resources to Alabama and organizations and individuals around the U.S. and the world that the Learning Counsel presented a Special Recognition to the Alabama Department of Education’s ALEX team.

This award was presented to Dr. Richard Murphy at The Learning Counsel’s annual national conference for education executives at a special ceremony, sponsored by T-Mobile, on November 3, 2014.

But on January 14th, the Learning Counsel was given the opportunity to formally present to Dr. Bice, as State Superintendent, and the Alabama State Board of Education, with a special recognition.

All on the board, and the many staff who were involved, were and are thanked for the leadership and support of such an innovative and impactful program to help ensure the highest quality of public education in the State of Alabama.

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