Collaborate 21 - Detailed Description

Project Summary
The Collaborate 21 Project offers school teams consisting of the library media specialist, administrator, classroom teacher, and (optional) technology coordinator free summer training, online school-year training and support, and summer follow-up, as they collaborate to design, implement, and disseminate an innovative instructional project for their school.

The selected teams will attend a free Summer Training Academy at VCSU, where, guided by VCSU and ND-LEAD trainers, they will use a Professional Learning Communities model to investigate 21st Century Student Outcomes, State and National Curriculum Standards, and instructional collaboration techniques. They will select an area of focus for developing a collaborative instruction project for implementation in their school.

During the school year, teams will receive additional training and support online through a variety of distance learning and professional collaboration platforms. At the end of the school year, all team projects will be shared and disseminated during a second Training Academy meeting at VCSU. Following that session, one of the Collaborate 21 teams will be sent to present their project at a national educational conference.
Team membership
Each applying team must include three (or four) members: a School Library Media Specialist (LMS), a classroom teacher from the school building served by the LMS, the building administrator who supervises the LMS and classroom teacher. Teams may include a fourth member: the building or district-level technology coordinator.
Team Responsibilities
All members of the applying team are committing to: 1) attend the Summer Training Academy June 18 - 21, 2012, at Valley City State University, 2) participate in the online support activities during the 2012-13 school year, 3) develop and implement a collaborative instructional project during the 2012-13 school year, 4) present their instructional project at the dissemination workshop in spring, 2013. In addition, one team will be selected to present their project at a national educational conference during the following school year.
Team Rewards
The primary reward of the program is the opportunity for team members, their schools, and their students, to benefit from this opportunity to collaborate to expand instructional strategies and improve student performance.

In addition, each Collaborate 21 team member will earn 2 tuition-free credits from VCSU's Continuing Education unit which will apply toward teacher license, school librarian or administrator credential renewal requirements. Attendance at both the Summer Training Academy and spring dissemination session is free, with food, lodging, and materials provided for team members. The ongoing training and consultation with the VCSU and ND-LEAD trainers during the school year, and access to the online tools used for collaboration, will be free to all participants. The team selected for a national conference presentation will receive stipends to cover the cost of attending and presenting at the conference.
Application deadline
Application materials must be received by Monday, April 16, 2012.
Team Selection Criteria
Applications are encouraged. Any LMS/administrator/classroom teacher team from a North Dakota school may apply. (Team membership may also include the school's technology coordinator.) Funding for the 2012-13 Collaborate 21 cohort allows for a total of 30 participants (7 - 10 school teams, depending on the number of individuals on the selected teams).

Participating school teams will be selected from among the applications received at VCSU on or before Monday, April 16, 2012.

In the event that the number of applicants exceeds the number of spaces available, the terms of the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant which funds Collaborate 21 stipulate that teams from schools serving remote or underserved populations be given priority for participation. In this event, the formula used for selection will include: percentage of minority population in the school, distance from the population centers at Fargo or Bismarck, and the percentage of students qualifying for the free or reduced lunch program.

If spaces remain available after the initial selection on April 16, 2012 is completed, further applications will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis until all available spaces have been filled.
Collaborate 21 Contact Information
For information or assistance contact Collaborate 21 Director, Donna James at VCSU: donna.james@vcsu.edu