NYS Assemblywoman Christensen secures funding for Partnership for Better Education digital literacy project
NYS Assemblywoman Christensen secures funding for Partnership for Better Education digital literacy projectApril 29, 2008Patrick Farrellpmfarrel@syr.edu
Assemblywoman Joan Christensen (119th NYS Assembly District) has secured $23,800 for the purchase of nine digital video technology kits to be used by Syracuse City School District (SCSD) students taking part in after-school programs sponsored by the Partnership for Better Education (PFBE), a consortium of regional institutions of higher education led by Syracuse University and committed to improving teaching and learning in Syracuse public schools.
The video technology kits include high-definition camcorders and accessories, and computers and software for video editing. The kits are part of a program for Syracuse public school students to increase access to digital technology while participating in themed after-school computer clubs. The after-school program — led by Tiffany A. Koszalka, associate professor of instruction design, development and evaluation in the School of Education — is designed to help students develop technical and communication literacies as they learn and solve interesting and authentic problems in their community.
“This project centers on working with middle school students,” says Koszalka. “Our themed computer clubs are designed to help students develop digital literacy skills and knowledge in science or other subject areas in which they are interested, yet have little time to pursue during their school day. Each student uses a variety of new digital technology competencies to create a project about their interest that they showcase to peers, teachers, parents and other community members.”
“Digital literacy is essential for success in today’s world,” says Christensen. “The partnership is a wonderful vehicle for higher education institutions to become more involved in the community and with each other. The digital literacy project in particular is a great way to leverage the resources of Syracuse University to make digital technology more accessible to students in Syracuse public schools.”
The Partnership for Better Education offers new opportunities for quality instruction through a formal working partnership among the SCSD, Syracuse University, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Le Moyne College, Onondaga Community College and SUNY Upstate Medical University. The program’s goals include identifying research-based best practices in instruction and introducing those practices to SCSD teachers through professional development, data and issue analysis, and support opportunities.