Infrastructure

Award Recognizes W.Va.’s Web Portal

By Christina A. Samuels — September 30, 2008 1 min read

West Virginia’s comprehensive—and clutter-free—education Web portal has won an award from a group that provides consulting services on educational information technology.

The site, which can be accessed through www.wv.gov/education, provides a central source of information on K-12 education, community colleges, four-year colleges, and adult education in West Virginia.

It also provides resources for job seekers, such as a “career matching assistant” questionnaire and information on completing General Educational Development tests.

That combination of information all under one “roof” made the Web site stand out, said Marina Leight, the vice president for education for the Center for Digital Education.

“They were pulling in different resources from all around the state,” said Ms. Leight, whose organization is a division of e.Republic Inc., based in Folsom, Calif.

The redesigned state Web site, up since May, won both the organization’s 2008 Digital Education Achievement Award and a Best of the Web Special Award.

Ms. Leight said her organization was also impressed with how West Virginia included job resources. Too often, such explicit connections are a missing element from education Web sites, she said.

“It’s critical that initiatives like this are taking place, because the Web is where everyone is going for information,” Ms. Leight said.

Kyle Schafer, the chief technology officer for West Virginia, said the 4-month-old revamped Web site grew out of the work of the 21st Century Jobs Council, a consortium of education and business leaders from around the state.

“We hope that for the general public, when they go out to look for a very specific thing, they’re going to see that there are other opportunities out there,” he said.

Through the state’s main Web site, visitors ultimately can reach 900 different educational resources, Mr. Schafer said.

As the site evolves, he added, it will also include more career-recruitment information.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 2008 edition of Education Week

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