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8.10.21 APS Teams with Education Farm to Expand District’s Technology Integration
ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Office of Communications and Public Engagement
130 Trinity Avenue SW | Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Ian Smith, Executive Director
Seth Coleman, Director of Media Relations & Television Broadcast
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2021
Atlanta Public Schools Teams with Education Farm to
Expand District’s Technology Integration
ATLANTA – As the technology boom in Atlanta continues, Atlanta Public Schools is teaming with Education Farm (Ed Farm) to enhance the district’s already robust technology integration initiative.
The Atlanta Board of Education approved a $580,000 investment in the Ed Farm partnership at its monthly legislative meeting on August 2. Ed Farm is a non-profit organization focused on increasing educational equity, improving learning outcomes through technology, and preparing the nation’s future workforce for careers in the 21st Century.
The overall goals of the partnership are to:
- Increase equitable access to technology and provide services that prepare teachers, coaches, specialists, and learners to develop, support, and provide real-world personalized and future-ready learning experiences.
- Equip educators in the district with the skills, strategies, and confidence needed to become creative problem-solvers, hybrid learning instructional designers, and activators of learning committed to creating and nurturing an innovative learning environment, whether virtually or in person.
- Develop APS students into prepared, confident leaders of their own learning who are capable of thriving in a constantly evolving technological world regardless of their zip code, as every student deserves the learning experiences needed to be successful now and beyond.
“Through our one-to-one Digital Bridge program, where every one of our students will receive a device, this partnership with Ed Farm will help our teachers, media specialists, and educational technology specialists implement transformative teaching and learning experiences for our students in classrooms throughout our district,” APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring. “We are excited about this unique initiative that will enhance where technology intersects with teaching and learning.”
At the heart of the partnership is the Innovation Fellows program, which will equip instructional leaders throughout the district with the tools, skills, and strategies needed to create a school-wide culture of innovation and confidently lead all teachers in effectively integrating technology in both the virtual and physical classroom. This will bolster the ability of schools to focus on preparing students to prosper in the future world of work.
There will be 100 Innovation Fellows participating in the 12 month program, and each will be provided with a MacBook, iPad Pro and Apple TV, and will become Apple Teacher Certified through a badge earning process. They will receive 70 hours of professional learning, 16 hours of instructional coaching, and access to a state of the art virtual platform designed specifically for fellows. Additionally, they will attend the Future of Learning Summit in the spring of 2022 at the Ed Farm Headquarters Classroom of Tomorrow in Birmingham.
Another aspect of the partnership, the Propel Now Fellows program, will be launched later this month. It is designed to provide unique opportunities, ignite interests and equip high school students to become passionate about and prepared to attend an HBCU.
“We are excited and eager to kickoff this partnership, said Beth Sanders, Director of Learning at Ed Farm. “I am confident it is just the beginning of APS being on the forefront of embodying future-focused teaching and learning."
“At Ed Farm, our vision is to equip all people with the tools they need to fill or create the jobs of the future,” said Ed Farm President Waymond Jackson. “We are pleased to join with the Atlanta Board of Education and Dr. Herring to provide this learning opportunity to the educators and students in Atlanta Public Schools.”
The district’s instructional technology team, including media specialists, will be part of the Innovation Fellows program. Digital learning specialists will work hand in hand with Ed Farm to customize the work for APS teachers and students. APS’s Educational Technology Specialists are all certified teachers and have a comprehensive background in instruction, pedagogy and technology. They co-teach lessons, model lessons, assist teachers in the development of lesson plans, and work closely with teachers to ensure technology is infused seamlessly into the curriculum.
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About Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 51,000 students across 87 schools and five programs. The District is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 64 traditional schools, 19 charter schools, six partner schools, two alternative schools and five alternative programs. To learn more about Atlanta Public Schools, follow us on social media – Twitter (@apsupdate), Facebook (Atlanta Public Schools), and Instagram (apsupdate) – or visit us online at www.atlantapublicschools.us.
About ED Farm
Ed Farm launched in February 2020 in close partnership with Apple out of an idea to rethink and reimagine education through technology. We are proudly and intentionally headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama: a city that has, for generations, experienced educational inequity and the lasting legacy of segregation. At Ed Farm, we envision an inventive world where all people have access to the resources, skills, and opportunities they need to fill or create the jobs of the future. Our signature programming includes: Teacher Fellows, Student Fellows, Code Clubs, Pathways and Classrooms of Tomorrow.