Eyes to the Future Program
Technology in Support of School Reform
TERC began investigating the potential of telecommunications and the internet to enhance professional development and support communities of practice as early as 1989. Since then researchers from the Center for School Reform at TERC had been taking advantage of advances in technology to implement, facilitate, and evaluate electronic learning networks, and virtual conferences in support educational reform efforts.
This strand of work began with programs such as:
- TEECH (Teacher Enhancement Electronic Community Hall) a very early electronic network created in 1995, to foster community between NSF funded teacher enhancement grants
- LSC-Net (Local Systemic Change Network), funded in 1998 to create a resource center and a vehicle for collaboration for NSF's Local Systemic Change Program
- Sustainability of Systemic Reform virtual conferences, which provided virtual annual meetings, including interactive poster halls, panels, and keynotes, for leaders of NSF's LSC initatives
- Eyes to the Future, which provided a multi-age online mentoring program for middle and high school girls and women scientists
Lessons learned from the initiatives above have informed the design of the Center's current and largest research and development effort MSPnet, which provides the electronic infrastructure of the National Science Foundations Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program. MSPnet provides each MSP project with an interactive electronic community that enables collaboration between higher education and K-12 partners. It also provides the program at large with a mechanism for projects to learn from one another, a repository for resources and research , and a vehicle for ongoing collaboration and dissemination.