In the public school system, many argue there’s a disconnect between teachers, students, and technologists. Educators and students don’t have enough tech training, and those who create the technology to be used in schools don’t work closely enough with teachers and students. To close the loop, a newly launched program in Baltimore will bring together a network of students, technologists, and educators linking teacher professional development to student after-school programming.
Through Digital Harbor Foundation’s EdTech Link program, teachers will be trained by volunteer technologists, then teach their new skills to students in after-school programs. Continuing the cycle of learner-as-teacher, students who attend the after-school program will, in turn, take their own training to educators in other schools. And volunteer technologists will get to experiment with new ideas directly by working with their users.
It’s a model that Andrew Coy, co-director of the new foundation, has been piloting at Digital Harbor High School in inner-city Baltimore. Once a week after school for the past year, Coy, who’s a ninth-grade technology teacher, has been taking four of his high school students to nearby Liberty Elementary School, where the students coach teachers on how to implement their one-to-one iPad program.