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WIDE World Honored by U.S. Distance Learning Association

Receives Recognition for its Innovative Online Professional Development

WIDE World (Wide-scale Interactive Development for Educators) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education has won a Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming Award at the Platinum Level, the highest level possible, from the United States Distance Learning Association. The award will be presented at USDLA's Training 2005 Fall Conference tonight in Long Beach, California.

"This is a gratifying endorsement of the quality of our WIDE World courses and our commitment to wide-scale improvement of teacher practice," commented David Zarowin, executive director of WIDE World. "We thank all of our researchers, instructors, coaches, and staff for their efforts in developing and delivering world class Web-based courses."

The award, the highest recognition in the pre-K–12 Online category, honors WIDE World for its outstanding professional development courses.

"This year the judges awarded only four Platinum awards," noted Don Lake, USDLA's awards chair. "This means that WIDE World online courses were rated as exceptional against the awards criteria which included interactivity, online design, technology, and assessment."

The annual USDLA Awards Program was created in 1999 to acknowledge major accomplishments in distance learning and to highlight those instructors, programs, and distance-learning professionals who have achieved excellence in the field.

WIDE World's goal is to improve teacher practice through online professional development. WIDE World has translated research on teacher education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education into real-life practices, offering busy educators a collegial web-based learning experience coupled with job-embedded immediate application of new strategies in the classroom. Over the past three years, more than 97 percent of WIDE World course participants claim the program generated improvement in their teaching practice.

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