In what may become a national model of how to teach instructors of disadvantaged students ways to effectively integrate technology into their classrooms, the U.S. Department of Education has approved a $9 million grant to launch the Maryland Teaching and Learning with Technology Consortium. Hopkins will play a key role in this path-breaking alliance.
The School of Continuing Studies' Graduate Division of Education and its Center for Technology in Education have joined with several other partners for the five-year professional development program for middle and high school teachers.
Funding comes from a federal technology innovation challenge grant. The MTLT is one of only 20 such projects to be funded nationwide. Plans for the program include a summer technology academy, professional development and distance learning.
The primary target of the initiative is teachers working in middle and high schools in Montgomery County with large numbers of students who are educationally disadvantaged as a result of poverty, limited English proficiency or disability. The majority of the professional development activities will involve hands-on use of advanced telecommunications technologies.
Other partners in the project include Montgomery County Public Schools, which will act as the lead agency; the school districts of Baltimore and Prince George's counties; the Maryland State Department of Education; Maryland Public Television; and several business partners, including Microsoft and Simon & Schuster.
For its part in the program, Hopkins will implement TeamTech Learning, its new system for integrating technology into classrooms and curriculum. TeamTech is a program created by CTE, a partnership of Hopkins' Division of Education and the Maryland State Department of Education that was founded in 1986 to promote the use of technology to improve the lives of children with disabilities.
TeamTech can be used by teachers in any grade and in virtually any discipline. In Harford County, middle school teachers use it to teach math. And in Baltimore City, it is used with specially developed CD-ROMs in cross-disciplinary programs in participating high schools to teach students school-to-work skills.
Hopkins' efforts in this grant will be led by Jackie Nunn, CTE director and chair of the Division of Education's Department of Technology for Educators. CTE TeamTech creators Lynne Mainzer and Betsy Lowry will implement the project.
Web-based learning communities will permit teachers to exchange ideas, lesson plans and other information and to receive coaching and mentoring throughout the school year.
In this new project, Hopkins' Division of Education also will have the opportunity to expand its highly successful Technology for Educators graduate program. Qualified participants from schools participating in the grant will be able to work toward a JHU graduate certificate.
The MTLT Consortium is the second CTE technology innovation challenge grant. CTE is also a major partner in Baltimore Learning Communities, which began in 1995. For that grant, CTE works with Baltimore City Public Schools and Arnold Packer and his staff at Hopkins' Institute for Policy Studies. Teachers in six Baltimore City high schools are learning to integrate technology into cross-disciplinary, project-based learning that prepares students for the successful transition from school to work.