From the NY Times opinion article “A Digital Tool to Unlock Learning” by David Bornstein (here)
…. One way to help students gain agency over their own education is through technology. Despite the Internet revolution, the field of K-12 education has been relatively slow to respond to digital media. That’s why I paid a visit last week to the site of a promising experiment in digital learning in New York: the Bea Fuller Rodgers Middle School in Washington Heights.
Last year, CFY, a nonprofit organization, provided home computers (and
arranged for discounted broadband access) to every one of the sixth grade
students in the school. (Almost all the school’s families are Hispanics who
qualify for the federal government’s free or reduced lunch program. Currently, half
of all Hispanics in the United
States lack broadband.).
In addition, CFY provided a four-hour training for the students and their parents in a free Web-based platform CFY developed called PowerMyLearning which contains 1,000 (soon to be 2,800) digital learning activities and games from across the Web that have been carefully selected and categorized by teachers and education specialists. Finally, CFY provided onsite training to the school’s sixth grade teachers in how to integrate PowerMyLearning into their classrooms (practicing what educators call “blended learning.”)
Despite a November start, the program appears to have made a big difference especially for struggling students. The school reports that the percentage of last year’s sixth graders with learning disabilities who met or exceeded standards in math (testing at level 3 or 4) increased by 36 percent, while the percentage of students who had been below standard (testing at level 1) decreased from 23 percent to zero….