Sunday, June 29, 2014

Collaboration between companies + school district = Connected educators

Are you gaga over Google? Do you think Microsoft is magnificent? Do you excel at using Edmodo? Do you think PBS is the perfect platform for digital media content?

Wouldn’t it be great to find others in your district using the same tools as you? Wouldn’t it be great to have a direct connection to the people who work at the companies of the very resources you are using for teaching and learning? 

As reported this week in the Wall Street Journal, Chalkbeat New York, and this press release from the NYC Department of Education's press office, this has become a reality for NYC Department of Education teachers.  

As part of Chancellor Carmen Farina’s commitment to integrate more technology into classrooms a series of innovative summer courses for teachers will be offered so that teachers are equipped to ensure students graduate from New York City public schools with the digital skills they need to succeed.

The program will connect educators who want to become power users of various resources they are already using with like-minded educators across the district as well as provide a direct company contact.  The purpose of doing this is to grow expertise across the district  in various areas. Once these “Power-Users” are developed and supported they will serve as area experts who can be visited and can provide expertise, professional development, and support to others interested in following the same journey.  

For years, educators have wanted to know who else in their district is doing what they’re doing. But there was no system in place for teachers to connect in both face-to-face and in online communities while taking advantage of what their school district and PD providers were offering.  That is no longer true at the NYC DOE where educators can now be physically and virtually connected with educators who are using the same resources.  

This program provides a combination of face-to-face and online sessions. Teachers who successfully complete the program receive a certification. Additionally, participants will gain entrĂ©e into exclusive face-to-face and online communities of fellow tech-ready teachers and be recognized as an expert in their area of specialty. 

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