March 11, 2013

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1. Global Youth Summit

Some 80 high school students from about 20 high schools around Wisconsin convened last month for the first Wisconsin Global Youth Summit.

They met with international students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working together in small groups to figure out what it means to be a global citizen and identify ways students can expand global education. And, they shared what they need from their schools to prepare for their global future.

The students said they want more opportunities, especially affordable ones, for interacting with people from around the world and experiencing global education.

As a small dose of that, the summit included mini-language lessons “ranging from A (Akan-Twi) to Z (Zulu),” explains Kerry Hill on the UW-Madison blog, Wisconsin in the World.

The students’ discussions happened in a separate room from the 40 teachers and chaperones who accompanied them. These adults discussed with business representatives a proposal for a statewide Global Education Certificate similar to existing programs in the Plymouth School District and Milwaukee University High School.

The DPI hosted the summit in cooperation with Global Wisconsin Inc., International Professionals Inc., the Division of International Studies at UW-Madison, and the State Superintendent’s Statewide International Education Council, chaired by Gilles Bousquet.

The event was envisioned as the start for ongoing work, perhaps including local mini-summits. Next year’s Global Youth Summit will be February 22, 2014, in Milwaukee.

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2. Digital Learning Day: Wisconsin Shines

Wisconsin schools won a shout out by Gov. Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia during the February 6 National Town Hall webinar to commemorate Digital Learning Day.

Wisconsin was the only state to get the informal honor. According to Sara Hall, Director of Digital Learning Policy for Alliance for Excellent Education, the national sponsor of Digital Learning Day, the state merited the shout-out because of

  • percentage growth in sign-ups from last year,
  • creativity in the program design, and
  • depth and breadth of the celebrations, activities, and programs.

Digital Learning Day is a national, and statewide, celebration in the beginning of February.

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3. Kohl Fellows, Scholars Announced

This year’s group of scholarship and fellowship recipients from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation have been announced.

The $1,000 awards are being made to 100 teachers, their schools, and 187 graduating high school students.

Teacher Fellowship recipients are chosen for their superior ability to inspire a love of learning in their students, their ability to motivate others, and for their leadership and service within and outside the classroom. The fellows and their schools each receive $1,000 grants.

Students are eligible for Excellence Scholarships, honoring achievement and leadership, or for Initiative Scholarships, awarded for exceptional motivation, effort, and promise of future achievement.

Excellence Scholarship and Fellowship recipients are selected by a statewide committee representing civic leaders, education associations, and the program’s co-sponsors, including the DPI.

Initiative Scholarship recipients are chosen by their schools.

There is at least one winner of each award in every cooperative educational service agency (CESA) in the state. The complete lists are available in press releases from the foundation.

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4. Wisconsin Covenant – April 1 Deadline

The Wisconsin Covenant Program was created in 2007 to encourage and inspire middle and high school students to plan and prepare for postsecondary education. Although the program was sunsetted in the 2011-13 state budget, high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who signed the Wisconsin Covenant Pledge remain eligible for funding.

Participating high school seniors who meet all pledge requirements and submit required forms to the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) by April 1 will receive the Wisconsin Covenant Scholars Grant. If eligible, they will also receive the privately-funded Wisconsin Covenant Foundation Grant.

For almost all students, the total aid amount will range from $125 to $2,500. Exact amounts are based on the expected family contribution (EFC) toward their education, determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A chart available online provides more details.

In December, HEAB sent confirmation instructions, the Senior Confirmation Form, and the Record of Service Form to every senior participating in the program. HEAB is asking educators to remind these students about the confirmation process and the April 1 deadline. The forms are available at Also, the FAFSA must be completed by April 1. HEAB will not make exceptions.

Questions should go to Garth Beyer, Higher Educational Aids Board, (608) 267-9389.

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5. STEM Video Game Challenge

The annual National STEM Video Game Challenge invites student submissions of original video games and game designs.

Presented by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media, the National STEM Video Game Challenge, now in its third year, was inspired by President Barack Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” Campaign, an initiative promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

Entries can be created using any game-making platform such as Gamestar Mechanic, Microsoft’s Kodu, GameMaker, Scratch, or a written game design concept document.

Students in grades 5-12 may enter as teams or individuals. The deadline is April 24.

Each individual winner and each member of a winning team will receive an AMD-powered laptop computer that will include game design and educational software. The winners’ sponsoring school or an organization of their choice will receive a cash prize of $2,000.

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State Superintendent Tony Evers


1. Global Youth Summit

2. Digital Learning Day: Wisconsin Shines

3. Kohl Fellows, Scholars Announced

4. Wisconsin Covenant: April 1 Deadline

5. STEM Video Game Challenge

DPI-ConnectEd comes from the office of State Superintendent Tony Evers
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For questions about this information, contact Benson Gardner (608) 266-3374