On November 18, 2013, Listen Edition founder Monica Brady-Myerov was featured and moderated the Education Headliners Breakfast, an event hosted by uAspire and EdVestors. This sessions topic was: The Role of Technology in Urban Education: Opportunities and Challenges. The panelists featured Jordan Meranus, CEO of Ellevation Education and Mary Skipper, Network Superintendent of Boston Public Schools (BPS).
Edvestors is a philanthropic organization, which aime to be a catalyst for change and to help identify important practices. They hold these breakfasts once every few months to gather education stakeholders, startups, and investors to learn more about the state of education and current obstacles or opportunities for schools and teachers. At the breakfast, Monica spoke with the panelists to deconstruct the role of technology in urban education, from obstacles such as a growing ELL population and their needs, to teacher buy-in to using the new tools. This discussion was a good opportunity to share what’s really on stakeholders’ minds in an off-the-record style.
Monica opened the discussion by stating that “technology is here to stay” It allows for faster assessments and a more personalized learning experience, such as through online assessment program such as Socrative and Gradeable. However, there are some issues with technology integration, namely the increasing growth and complexity of needs of the ELL population. Jordan Meranus stated that in order to have successful technology implementation, there must be communication with the individuals who are well aware of the pain points: the teachers. So for technology to partner with education, it must: “Do things right, train well, and they (teachers) will use it.” BPS Network Superintendent Mary Skipper added that there are benefits to using technology and blended learning. It can be used for remedial courses, credit retrieval, virtual learning, and online assessments. Online assessments will be difficult, but Skipper is confident that if teachers gain enough exposure to new technology through professional development and proper training, there will be buy-in.
As Monica concluded, the future of education is moveable, with new technology tools learning can happen anywhere.
Date Posted: November 22, 2013