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Learning Technology Grant Program Overview: CSD 7

Award Years: 2018-2021

Full Stream Ahead (FSA) is an innovative Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math (STREAM) based initiative that will impact over 28 mathematics, literacy, science, social studies, and arts teachers, as well as more than 1250 elementary and middle school students over a 3-year period. FSA will focus on three phases of planning, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of a STREAM-based curriculum in three NYC Community School District 7 schools – PS 359, PS 369 and IS 584 – and three non-public schools – Immaculate Conception, St Raymond’s High School for Boys, and Cardinal Hayes High School.  District leadership, school administrators, classroom teachers, English Language Learner (ELL) and bilingual support specialists, as well as library media, visual arts and technology specialists will develop a pathway from elementary to middle school to support the effective use of a blended learning model to improve students’ academic achievement and promote digital literacy. FSA will support the development of a comprehensive plan for STREAM-based learning with a published curriculum map of units of study that spans from elementary through high school. The goals of FSA are to create a comprehensive evidence based strategic plan for STREAM-based teaching and learning, build capacity for digital leadership, to address the academic needs of students and to publish materials and artifacts for dissemination of a STREAM-based curriculum to a broader community.

FSA will use a team-based approach to exploration and learning where students participate as designers, engineers, documenters, and strategists creating STREAM-based projects, aligned with NYS Math, Science, and ELA curriculum standards. Online tools such as Google Classroom, Nearpod AR/VR/MR, and Zulama, will provide an interactive curriculum platform, scaffolding student learning from grade to grade. For example, in elementary school, students will apply the fundamentals of game design to create board games from nonfiction texts, leading to the development of video games, at the middle and high school levels. While exploring the transition from playing games to designing games, students will engage in and exercise all the 4Cs – critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity – promoting an environment of 21st century learning across all content areas.

 FSA will include professional development and mentoring of teachers, aimed at rethinking when, where, and how students complete different components of a learning experience. Learning spaces will become laboratories for hands-on, STREAM-based project development, integrating mobile devices, digital media, cloud-based collaborative spaces, game design principles, 3D printing, and AR/VR/MR experiences. The Digital Age Learning (DAL) team will partner with district and school staff to build a cadre of 16 teachers during phases 1 and 2. In phase 3, 12 additional teachers and specialists will join the cadre, setting the table for increased capacity and scaling the program beyond the grant period. Professional development will be provided both face-to-face and online, and will be followed by in classroom support and modeling. To promote dissemination, DAL will also provide training and support for publishing program artifacts – program documents, materials, curriculum maps, and exemplary student work – on a District 7 Google Site that meets Creative Commons License standards and is accessible to individuals with disabilities. FSA will also include a comprehensive evaluation, designed by Metis Associates, to guide in the development and implementation of evidence-based tools to monitor program strengths and weaknesses during phases 2 and 3, thus maximizing opportunities for program modification.

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