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What's all the fuss about?
Virginia DOE official visits Botetourt Center
March 3, 2005

DALEVILLE, VA - Last year, when Botetourt County Public Schools submitted its Technology Plan to the state, it was approved and the county got the funding it needed to proceed with a brand new program, called QTL™. Botetourt was the first in the state to adopt the program that had already firmly rooted itself in North Carolina.

Pictured left to right: John Busher of Botetourt County Schools, QTL™ instructor Trevor Ruble, VDOE's Julie Mersiowsky, QTL™ CEO Dave Boliek, and Botetourt's Mike Scott, H.W. Scott, Diana Dixon.

The technology plan went to the desk of Julie Mersiowsky, Educational Technology Planning Specialist for the Virginia Department of Education. This year, Botetourt County again submitted a technology plan with QTL™ in mind, and this time Mersiowsky took notice. She called Botetourt County to ask what QTL™ is and why they keep asking for money to fund it.

This week, Mersiowsky visited the center, located on the campus of the Greenfield Education and Training Center in Daleville. When she arrived, she saw something she didn't expect.

"I'm seeing and hearing teachers talk about cross curricular working," she said. "It's not all about technology, it's about teaching and instruction."

Botetourt invited three other teachers who've already been through QTL™ to talk about their experiences with the program. Donna diSimone teaches 2nd graders and brought along some of her students' work.

2nd grade teacher Donna diSimone shows her students' work and explains how QTL™ for K-12 changed her approach to teaching.

"For years, I've been taking my students on field trips," she said. "We'd visit historic sites and I'd point them out to the kids. They yawned, we ate and they liked the fact they were outside.

"This year, we went on field trips and my students created a book and a PowerPoint on what we saw and what they learned. The books went home to the parents and they loved them. It included a scavenger hunt where they would see a picture of a historic house in town and had to find it."

Another teacher, Susan Martin, 6th grade teacher at Central Academy says her students worked on a joint project with the music teacher. They were studying the journey of Lewis and Clark. Students created a presentation with music from the Lewis and Clark era along with a historical dialog. "They did the research, created the order and even sang a song about the Missouri River. They took over their own learning."

Vanetta Alexander, principal at Central Academy, says she's seen QTL™ translate to the classroom.

"I was observing a teacher one day and started watching two (average) students who struggled with reading. The students were given a choice of reading a book or reading the material from the web. They read from the web and their attention span lasted the whole class period."

Click here to read more about what Botetourt County teachers have done in the classroom after participating in QTL™ for K-12.


For more information, contact Robin Fred via e-mail at or call him at 888.507.3800.

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