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TC's Center for Technology and School Change to Partner with NYC Schools

TC’s Center for Technology and School Change at Teachers College will partner with New York City to create technology instruction programs in 10 public schools. The collaboration was announced on Feb. 11 by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in her State of the City address.

“The Center is excited about this opportunity to work with teachers in New York City to harness the power of technology to advance learning experiences for all students and to innovate instruction, using technology not as an end goal, but rather as a catalyst for change,” said Ellen Meier,  Director of the Center. She also co-chairs the state's Regents' Council for Technology Policy and Practice. “We thank the Speaker for her leadership in this area.”

As director of the Center, Meier provides urban teachers with professional development on using technology to promote inquiry-based learning. She believes schools and teachers don’t just need computers; they need to teach students how to use them to solve everyday math, science or literacy problems.

“Teachers need to learn to use technology to create engaging, meaningful projects with their students—like designing water filtration devices, composing musical scores using fractions, or analyzing online weather models to predict yet another snow storm, Meier says.” At Governor Cuomo's Smart Schools symposium in Albany last July, Meier testified that computers shouldn’t be used just to digitize old lesson plans and homework assignments. She said technology can help everyone – students and teachers – work smarter and more effectively. Teachers should be trained not to “digitize the status quo,” Meier testified in Albany, but to encourage creativity and promote student understanding through inquiry-based learning. Without that, she said, teachers end up using technology to “reinforce old habits."

Meier is also involved, along with Jacqueline Ancess, co-director of the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST); TC faculty members Erica Walker and Christopher Emdin, and Elisabeth Barnett, associate director of NCREST, in a project that won a $12 million “i3” innovation grant from the U.S. Department of Education last year, to provide professional development to teachers in the STEM (science, technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines.

Published Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015


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