Re-Inventing Technology and K-12 Education in Chicago Schools

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There is a gap between technology and what we teach our children in school. This disconnect becomes even more evident when the skills needed in the labor force do not match what is being taught in schools. To address this gap, the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) has partnered with Dr. Chris Drew, professor and founder of Pocket Literacy Coach (PLC), to present a panel of education and technology leaders to identify how technology can be integrated into the K-12 classroom. The panel discussion is called Realities of Education Reinvention: Creating an Innovative Tech Education K-12.

The panel will attempt to find ways how technology can be integrated into the school curriculum. It will produce a document that will offer solutions on how to execute innovation in Chicago schools.

“A strong technology education, integrated into the curriculum, is critical to the future competitiveness of these students and our country,” says Terry Howerton, chairman of ITA and co-founder and chairman of the Chicago Tech Academy high school (ChiTech). “A technology aptitude is critical as students enter and lead the next generation work place, not just as users of technology, but developers of future advancements.”

The panel will bridge these two issues of technology and education. It will focus on how teachers, principals, education leaders and others can create the type of curricula to that of what the MacArthur Foundation and the Pearson Foundation did.

The MacArthur Foundation and the Pearson Foundation hosted the event Re-Imagining Learning in which it showcased the Digital Youth Network, YouMedia and other established hi-tech programs, schools and curricula.

“The panel of experts in education and technology has answered the ‘how’ in various aspects of curriculum development,” says Drew. “Through their experiences, and collective expertise, we will develop a roadmap for other schools to follow and improve upon. We look forward to a productive and thought-provoking discussion.”

The panel for this event includes Ryan Blitstein, executive director of SCE, Chris Drew CEO of Pocket Literary Coach, Pam Cray, director of Education Services, Integrated Education Strategies & Inaugural Academic Administrator, Chicago Virtual Charter School, CPS, April Goble, executive director of the Chicago Area KIPP Schools, Terry Howerton, co-founder and chairman of the Chicago Tech Academy, Dr. Glenn McGee, president of the Illinois Math & Science Academy and Brenda Wilkerson, IT program manager for Chicago Public.

The panel discussion will be held on October 12, 2011, 2pm to 5pm, at TechNexus, 200 S. Wacker Drive.

ITA is the driving force behind the growth of Illinois’ technology industry. It has been responsible for the development and application of technology, from start-up companies to industry leaders, leveraging the transformative nature of technology to revolutionize industries.

PLC is a parent support organization that reaches parents via their mobile device with educational activities for parents to use to build specific literacy and learning skills with their children at home.