Beacon Mission and History
Beacon Educator provides online courses and modules for busy educators. These courses address federal mandates, contemporary research, and national standards for professional learning.
Beacon Educator, the professional development division of Beacon Learning Center, is a self-supporting, internet-based enterprise within Bay District Schools. Beacon Educator currently offers quality educational resources for educators and support personnel in the form of:
- online professional learning courses and modules
- curriculum products
- consulting services
- face-to-face professional learning
Beacon's Mission Statement
The mission of Beacon Educator is to provide educators with standards-based resources and professional development, thus enabling them to identify, design, and implement quality education.
Beacon's History and Funding
Beacon Learning Center began in 1997, as a response to teachers' requests for high quality, standards-based resources and professional development as a means of improving student achievement.
Forming a consortium with other districts including Bay, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Gadsden, and the PAEC districts, Beacon Learning Center received the U.S. Department of Education Technology Innovation Challenge Grant (2000-2006). Other funding sources included Bay District Schools and
the Florida Department of Education through grants including the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund, (1997-2000), Florida Goals 2000 (1998-99), and other Florida Department of Education grants (2002-2003).
In 2006, Beacon Educator, the professional learning division of Beacon Learning Center, became a self-supporting enterprise of Bay District Schools. Bay is a public school system located in Northwest Florida.
Beacon's Record of Success
Beacon Educator is uniquely able to develop, host, and support online learning. Since 1997, Beacon has developed an efficient development process that results in high impact educational tools and resources. Specifically, the Beacon Educator Enterprise
- Provides a professional development system to serve the needs of thousands of educators in an interactive format, with easy navigation and collegial facilitation.
- Manages a unique learning management system.
- Offers over 80 online inservice courses and modules.
- Complies with federal mandates, contemporary research, and national standards for professional learning.
- Has developed instructional design processes that produce high quality, standards-based products with job-embedded assessments.
- Has instructional designers on staff that provide consistent support, quality feedback, and quick weblication of course content.
- Boasts over 94% completion rate of the participants who start a Beacon course.
- Has provided over 3.5 million hours of online professional development.
- Serves many of the school districts in Florida. These districts include the 4th largest school district in the United States (Miami-Dade), medium sized districts (Santa Rosa, Bay), and small districts (Citrus, Highlands).
- Customizes online courses to meet specific audiences within a school district (Miami-Dade, Bay, & Manatee).
- Offers quality training for online course facilitators.
- Has been favorably reviewed by the Florida Center for Reading Research.
- Is featured on FLDOE site, www.TeachInFlorida.com.
- Has provided the following development services to FLDOE: standards-based lesson plans (www.BeaconLearningCenter.com), GPS online course, the 3rd grade reading assessment portfolio, and websites
www.readingeducator.com and www.justsciencenow.com.