Innovate to Educate Entry

Cleveland City Schools

Ben Williams, STEM/ Engineering Instructor

What innovative technology initiative or project are you most proud of, and how has it improved teaching and learning in your school/district?

We are a STEM program that, through community and global partnerships, have sent two sets of 10 laptops, each complete with global wifi hotspot, to two global areas where we are collaborating with global students internationally on projects. We are currently working with One Heart Africa and Servant's Heart Jamaica on collaborative projects that are empowering students in areas of need to develop skills in aquaponics, sustainable energy, entrepreneurship, global communication and technology fundamentals.
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What were some of the biggest challenges to your initiative, and how did you meet those challenges?

Our biggest challenge is always funding! A global initiative is rarely a cheap one. We are a proud public school who has accomplished trips and fundraising through this initiative that are rarely seen even from private schools with much better funding and connections. We have overcome these obstacles by sharing our very passionate goals with those around us in the community, as well as sharing with any interested stakeholders in a wider national and international community. A great challenge also
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What are the three biggest components that need to be in place for tech innovation to succeed are:

Infrastructure. This is not to be confused with cutting edge technology insomuch as admitting a necessity for basic devices to begin the initiative.

I believe that students are the users and stakeholders that should dictate the technology and methods for appropriate use in a classroom setting.
I believe instructors and classes must remain flexible to ebb and flow with incorporating new technology and uses for technology. The environment must allow for risks and failures, as teachers and students both strive to innovate new ways to use existing and emerging technology strategies in their classroom.

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