Southeastern Consortium Focuses on Investing in Innovation (i3)

Share Article

Tennessee's Wilson County and e4TN leads the pack

The online learning community is incredibly collaborative

Wilson County Department of Education along with the Effective Engaging E-learning Environment for Tennessee (e4TN) are in the running for the top tier of Investing in Innovation (i3), a competitive grant offered by the U.S. Department of Education. "Scale up" grants of up to $50 million will be awarded to five applicants with the most innovative plans backed by the strongest evidence of success. The Wilson/e4TN partnership will lead a consortium of seven Southeastern states and one of the largest schools districts in the nation. Their mission is to create superb STEM online curriculum aligned with the Common Core standards. "Tennessee is ideal to lead this consortium because of the excellent data systems in place for TVAAS and current teacher effectiveness measures," says Wendy Oliver, Ed.D, e4TN Coordinator.

Funding from the i3 grant will provide online courses for up to 50,000 underserved and rural students in math and science (STEM), Advanced Placement, foreign language and ACT Test Prep. Florida Virtual Schools and e4TN will contribute already developed and nationally award winning curriculum for these courses, as well as partner together to develop the ACT Test Prep. Assessments based on national and Common Core standards will provide a large database to support the central focus of the Wilson/e4TN i3 grant, called OC3. OC3 is designed to develop a research-based model for measuring teacher effectiveness in online courses. EdTech Leaders Online (ETLO) will partner with the consortium to provide nationally recognized professional development to increase the number of highly-effective online teachers in consortium states. Corporate partners include Apple, AT&T, Desire2Learn, ETLO and RANDA Solutions, who will provide the required 20% matching funds from the private sector in the form of equipment, training and services.

"The online learning community is incredibly collaborative", says Oliver. "Collaboration with key leaders will bring the common core curriculum to reality as students and teachers in rural and urban districts all have access to equally rich online curriculum and courses. We don't need to re-invent the wheel. Through collaboration, state programs can determine best practices in this new and emerging field."

About e4TN

e4TN is an innovative grant-funded program in Tennessee that creates engaging and effective online courses for public education. e4TN facilitates teachers and administrators by integrating online opportunities into a modernized education, preparing students for careers and college where online learning is necessary. The originality and creativity of the e4TN program is virtually limitless. Engaging graphic artists, software developers, subject matter experts, and Flash game designers to develop characters, e4TN writes Common Core Curriculum, and builds simulations for each course. For more information about e4TN, visit


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Brittney Carter
615 424 9988
Email >
Visit website