ConnecTeach is honored and proud to be the recipient of a one-year Dell Powering the Possible learning grant to support youth learning initiatives in partnership with Hope Foundation, Chennai, India.
Empowering the Next Generation provides tools, resources, and opportunities for teachers and students to move beyond basic technology skills and integrate digital literacy into Hope Foundation-affiliated classrooms so that children can achieve the critical 21st century learning skills to be globally competitive. Empowering the next generation requires empowering their teachers, not only with the strategies to facilitate instruction so that all students are engaged, but also with the digital literacy needed to develop student skills to be on par with those who have privileged access to education. A recent report on BBC News (Footnote 1) shows that there is an appalling 100-year gap in educational levels between students in developing countries when compared to their peers in developed countries. The intriguing question they pose is whether there is a “technological way for education systems to leap-frog a few stages forward.” We believe there is–by providing a strategic process whereby technology is viewed as a highly effective tool to complement classroom instruction, “a powerful springboard to higher-level learning”, that replaces a disconnected activity to be tacked only when time permits.
Empowering the Next Generation develops teacher instructional skills that are integrated with digital literacy. It is critically important for teachers and school leadership to increase their level of ICT competence in order for students to develop ICT skills. Incorporating teacher outcomes into this project ensures scalability and sustainability of student learning outcomes. A balanced approach to improving student achievement and youth learning ensures that all stakeholders understand and acquire the skills and knowledge to effectively use digital resources and critical thinking skills to navigate a 21st century education. This also allows for grade-level and subject area alignment of instructional strategies, which increases the opportunity for collaboration among teachers as well as ensuring long-term student success.