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Learning Technology Grant Winner: MLK Jr. High Tech & Computer Magnet

Award Years: 2015-2018


NextGen Fliers is a unique initiative demonstrating the potential of instructional technology to support student achievement through Next Generation Science and Blended learning initiatives. NextGen Fliers supports the professional development efforts of Next Generation Science and Technology instruction through professional learning opportunities in which students, teachers, and administrators engage in Next Generation Science course and resource development through blended and extended learning opportunities. Research verifies the potential of this approach to support student achievement as a 2009 study, U.S. Department of Education Study Finds that Good Teaching Can be Enhanced with New Technology, indicates “digitally rich educational strategies, such as blended learning experiences, are more effective than conventional face-to-face instruction.” Project design develops student content knowledge, skill, and achievement, through active student centered blended learning. Efforts support teachers, administrators, students, and families, from Martin Luther King Jr., a Priority school, Casimir Pulaski, an International Baccalaureate and district blended learning leadership school, and Orchard School/Andrus a Nonpublic School partner of grades 3 through 8. Activities include implementation of rigorous and highly engaging blended learning in support of Next Generation Science to create online course work, resources, and experiences, through escalating levels of complexity. Year 1 reflects Our Scientists, moving in year 2 to District Wings, with year 3 leveraging capacity and focused design through NextGen Fliers. Project objectives include a) high quality professional development through workshops, and coaching, provided by district staff including members of the Yonkers Online Academy blended learning teams, and the Center for Urban Studies (CURB), a research division of Sarah Lawrence College, b) engaging student centered Next Generation Science learning experiences through blended means, fostering student engagement, interest, and extended learning opportunities. Student achievement will be driven by Next Generation blended learning experiences using Moodle and web based instructional tools in support of Next Generation Science instruction. NextGen Fliers supports the New York State Regents Reform Agenda Goals #1, #2, and #3 through high quality sustained professional development supporting Development of Highly Effective School Leaders and Teachers, and Development of Student College and Career Readiness. Efforts align with New York State Learning Standards, including Common Core, and support development of lessons, units, and resources. NextGen Fliers supports the objectives of the New York State Learning Technology Plan, Standards of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and District Technology Plans as staff and students engage in scientific inquiry to demonstrate understanding and construct explanations (MS.PS1), value evidence and use technology capably to read, write, speak and listen for information and understanding (ELA.1). College and Career Readiness will be supported as students respond to varying demands of task, and audience, value evidence, while using technology and digital media strategically (CCR). Common Core Standards addressed include research projects to answer a question (W.3-8.7); gathering relevant information from multiple sources (W.3-8.8); present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically (SL.3- 8.4); enhance understanding through strategic use of media in presentations (SL.3-8.5) through blended learning student centered learning experiences.