Bridgeport Middle School (BMS) is one of 50 schools joining the pilot year of the Dynamic Learning Project, a national program supported by Digital Promise, EdTech Team, and Google, aimed at improving education equity by empowering teachers to leverage technology in more powerful ways.
“This is huge for our teachers,” said Jonathan Colvin, principal of BMS.
BMS, with a student population of 140, was the smallest school to be chosen. It was selected for the program by Digital Promise based on need measured by percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch, existing technology infrastructure, and innovative leadership committed to helping their teachers succeed.
“We at BMS are thrilled to join with Digital Promise, Google, and EdTech Team in the Dynamic Learning Project,” said Colvin. “We are honored to have been recognized for our efforts to lead the way in education motivation. This partnership will allow our teachers to grow and develop in ways that would not be possible otherwise. BMS is committed to being a local, state, and national leader in the implementation of technology in the classroom, and our selection to participate in the Dynamic Learning Project will move our school closer to that goal.”
The Dynamic Learning Project is designed to help deliver on the promise of technology by investing in a school’s greatest asset, which is the teachers. It is more than just access to the technology. It is about how prepared teachers feel to meaningfully use the technology in their classrooms. It empowers teachers by providing the support and tools needed to use the technology available to them.
BMS teacher Shannon McClain is the coaching fellow chosen for her school. She is sponsored by and has been trained by the Dynamic Learning Project. During this next school year, McClain will provide personalized, tech-based coaching to help the teachers at her school leverage technology in transformative ways.
Upon her return from training at Google in California, McClain said, “I am super excited about what this project will mean to our students at BMS. I especially like how it focuses on problem solving via the utilization of technology. Everyone agrees that technology should be integrated into the academic curriculum, but is shouldn’t be a box that’s checked off in a list of things a teacher or students does. It should be used as a toll in a meaningful way to solve a specific problem that’s been identified by the instructor. Used in that manner, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
“I am blessed to work alongside an exceptionally talented team of teachers who are dedicated to ensuring our students are college and career ready,” added McClain. “This project will provide a support system for teachers and students alike that addresses the goal of becoming college and career ready.”
Colvin is excited to have McClain in this position. She will be available to assist the teachers throughout the day. “We are both extremely excited about this opportunity,” said Colvin. “We want to make technology more relevant to the kids and their world.” They plan to encourage an environment where teachers are open to new ideas, flexible with the technology, and have a positive attitude. They were told at the training to not be afraid to fail in front of their peers. This goes for the adults as well as the students.
As a part of this pilot program, Colvin and McClain will work with teachers to apply best practices in the powerful use of technology for teaching and learning. They will promote a culture of openness, personalized professional development, and continuous improvement between faculty and administration, and engage with other coaching fellows and their principals to share knowledge and build community of support.