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Release: Oct. 23, 2002

Baldus wins state technology award for AP Online Academy

Clar Baldus, Ph.D., head administrator for the Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy at the University of Iowa's Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, has won the 2002 State of Iowa Technology Leadership Award for outstanding use of technology in education.

The Iowa Technology & Education Connection (ITEC) presents the award each year to a person who has a leadership role in educational technology at the state level and who has significant involvement and influence beyond the local level. This year's award was presented at the joint
Iowa Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development/ITEC conference in Des Moines
Oct. 14-15.

ITEC promotes the use of technology in education by demonstrating to its members, other educators and the public developments in educational technology and how its appropriate use supports teaching and learning.

Baldus has headed up the Iowa Online AP Academy since its inception in 2001. Designed to offer college-level courses and exams to students in rural high schools, the academy contracts with APEX Learning Corp. to deliver course content via the Internet. The Belin-Blank Center also contracts with teachers to provide AP courses over the Iowa Communication Network.

The program has made considerable inroads over the past year.

In fall 2001, about 30 schools and 65 students participated in Iowa online AP courses. This fall, 204 schools are registered with the academy and 355 Iowa students are participating in online and ICN courses. Additionally, this past summer 100 Iowa teachers participated in the summer AP Teacher Training Institute at the UI, learning how to design and teach AP courses. The costs were paid for with federal funding under the No Child Left Behind Act.

"Our Online AP Academy is as good as any program we have ever had in this state," Belin-Blank Center Nick Colangelo said. "Clar has set a model of what is possible with technology and education."

In addition to heading up the Online AP Academy, Baldus is state coordinator of Invent Iowa, a program that encourages Iowa K-12 students to design and create inventions. Each year young inventors from across Iowa take part in a statewide invention competition, held alternate years at the UI and Iowa State University.

The Belin-Blank Center, established in 1988, specializes in programming and research to meet the educational needs of exceptionally talented children and their teachers. The center conducts an extensive roster of talent searches, precollege programs, teacher training workshops and counseling programs.

Educators and others who want more information about upcoming AP course offerings, or who want to learn how to take part in the program, may contact Baldus at 1-800-336-6463, or via
e-mail at