In the world of today, examples of true collaboration are difficult to find. The Ozarks Educational Research Initiative (OERI) is an example of local school districts and researchers from the College of Education meeting this challenge in a very meaningful way.
In our society, we often say we value collaboration and teamwork; yet, in reality, collaboration provides a challenge that often cannot be met. OERI is a partnership of 19 school districts (including Missouri State University Greenwood Laboratory School) and Missouri State University College of Education (MSU-COE). The Superintendents of Schools from the 19 OERI schools/districts and faculty from MSU-COE serve as a network of educational researchers working for the purpose of improving educational outcomes for children and adolescents in the PreK-12 schools. This is collaboration at its best, as any effort that unifies 20 diverse, independent entities is not easily accomplished! Yet, despite all odds, OERI achieves that in a very meaningful way.
OERI was launched in 2006, and since that time has investigated the following areas of interest:
1) the impact of leadership and climate upon the academic achievement of PreK-12 students (2007-09),
2) best practices in improving skills in communication arts among middle school students with learning disabilities (2009-11), and
3) the implementation 1:1 technology within the PreK-12 setting (2011-13).
The current OERI study (2013-15) involves a continuation of the 1:1 Technology investigation, expanding beyond the logistics of establishing 1:1 systems within a district. Research questions being addressed focus on the impact of 1:1 technology upon the academic and social skill development of PreK-12 students being served within a technology-enriched, personalized learning environment.
For more information on the efforts of OERI, please check out the website at http://education.missouristate.edu/CLSE/oeri.htm, join us on Facebook at Ozarks Educational Research Initiative – SW MO, or follow us on Twitter: @OERISWMO.