Disrupting the entrenched education system is daunting. There are 7.2 million teachers in the U.S., 76 million students, and more than 98,000 public schools, according to a government census (as of 2008).
So what’s the most effective way to unshackle the current archaic system from ineffective tactics that no longer work in the digital age?
Google, the world’s go-to for answers, has an idea for the most impactful place to start. Last week, the company’s educational overseers organized the Google Faculty Institute, to which they invited the faculty from California State University (CSU) schools of education. The mission: to show those who teach teachers the most effective, useful, and helpful digital tools.
Why the focus on CSU teachers? Simple math — 60% of teachers in California and 10% of teachers in the U.S. — are trained through the CSU system.
“We want to make California a model for the rest of the country,” said Maggie Johnson, director of education and university relations for Google. “We wanted to find a mechanism for talking about education technology and all the ways of using it in transformational ways — not just ways to support teaching as it’s always been done.”
Over the course of three days, the 39 attendees — mostly faculty who teach at the CSU schools of education — were tasked with coming up with proposals that would demonstrate the use of technology in new and inventive ways. They had to show how the proposal could be scaled and how it could go viral. For its part, in addition to hosting the event and providing experts and resources at the workshop, Google will donate $20,000 to each group, which has six to nine months to implement their ideas.
Here’s what they came up with:
- The Math of Khan: Documenting, testing and disseminating the process by which a teacher can flip their classroom using Khan Academy videos.
- Making Teachers ‘Appy’: Encouraging a “maker” philosophy with pre-service educators (teachers-in-training) by teaching introduction to programming in an educational technology course. Continue reading