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Learning Technology Grant Winner: Albany City SD

Award Years: 2015-2018

Proposal Abstract

The CSDA will transform learning environments through the integrated use of technology to ensure effective teaching and learning in 4th and 5th grade classrooms at Delaware Community School (DCS), New Scotland Elementary (NSES), Sheridan Preparatory Academy (SPA), and three non-public schools in order to improve student academic performance.

The proposed project focuses on Google Apps for Education (GAFE), a free suite of online Google "Apps" and products to help educators communicate, collaborate, and teach. Examples of Google Apps are: Docs to type documents, Sheets to record numbers on spreadsheets, Slides to create presentations, Maps to locate geographic points, and Play to access educational learning games. To access GAFE, teachers and students will use Chromebooks, a type of laptop primarily used by connecting to the internet. Teachers will participate in a series of professional development (PD) to effectively integrate this technology in the classroom by addressing content, pedagogy, and technology. They will learn about GAFE; learn how to access GAFE through Chromebooks and other technological devices; learn how to transform the classroom learning environment by utilizing the technology; and lastly, develop lesson plans which reflect the CSDA’s ELA and math curriculum through collaborative project-based and blending learning activities. This scaffolded learning around utilizing instructional technology is intended to help teachers improve their instructional practices, foster peer collaboration, an embed technology into the culture of the classroom.

Along with a district-wide Instructional Technologist, a small "Core Team" of teachers representing each school will serve as models and experts to their 4th and 5th grade colleagues.

Establishing this Core Team will build the internal capacity of the CSDA and promote a turn-key model of PD. As a result, students will be exposed to additional learning technology in the classroom and use the technology to build 21st century skills by completing collaborative project-based and blending learning activities which meet math and ELA NYS CCLS. Also as a result of the more engaged learning, students will improve their overall academic achievement.

The three main goals of the project include: increasing school and educator knowledge about

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and Chromebooks as teaching and learning tools in the classroom; increasing student 21st Century Skills; and improving overall academic achievement of students in the program year-to-year as a result of more engaged student learning. The goals of the proposed project will ultimately increase student learning and performance by equipping teachers with additional tools and resources to engage students in learning and provide differentiated learning opportunities based on the unique needs of students and their academic achievement.

The proposed project complements the CSDA’s Instructional Technology Plan and Smart

Schools Investment Plan; and incorporates the NYS CCLS-aligned CDSA ELA and math curriculum.