Beginning with a study of “two-way audio and visual” distance learning technologies in 1993, we have examined the ways in which information and communication technology can ensure full participation for all students in classrooms and other learning environments. We’ve also found that technology is often distributed inequitably across schools and homes, and that many technological resources are developed without sufficient consideration of the requirements of students with special needs. For nearly 25 years, CCT has conducted a range of projects that focus on various aspects of the need for equitable design, distribution, and use of technology for learning. Here are some recent highlights:
• Math for All: Assessing the Efficacy of a Professional Development Program for Elementary School Teachers
In collaboration with Bank Street College of Education, ICF, Indiana University, and Teachers College, Columbia University, we are conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test the efficacy of the Math for All (MFA) professional development program. MFA was developed by EDC|CCT and Bank Street College of Education, with funding from the National Science Foundation. MFA prepares grade K–5 teachers to help students with diverse strengths and needs—including those with disabilities—who are being served in general education classrooms achieve high-quality, standards-based learning outcomes in mathematics.
This study is designed to investigate the impact of the MFA professional development (PD) on teachers’ knowledge, skill, and classroom practice, and on student academic achievement in mathematics. It will be carried out with a sample of fourth- and fifth-grade teachers and students from Chicago public schools, using an RCT design, and will assess teacher and student performance both at baseline and after completion of the PD to assess the impacts of MFA.
• iDesign—Developing Technological Fluency Through Culturally Relevant Game Design
A collaborative, NSF-funded research and development effort led by Hofstra University, the iDesign project seeks to develop technological fluency and raise interest in STEM-related activities and careers among underrepresented minority youth by supporting them in the creation of interactive, “serious” computer games that are culturally and socially relevant. Ten public secondary schools in New York City and suburban Long Island are partnering on the project, most serving high-needs, low-income communities. These schools have indicated that they are motivated to create rich new learning environments that will improve their students’ strategic thinking, communication skills, intellectual understanding, and appreciation for STEM learning.
The project’s overall aim is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and motivation they will need to participate productively in the STEM workforce. The three-year project involves hands-on, interactive after-school activities for students, a dynamic summer camp experience to train student leaders, a summer institute in which teachers will work with college faculty to acquire understanding of game-based pedagogy, and activities in which students will learn about future career paths in game design and other STEM majors.
EDC|CCT researchers manage the process, formative, and summative evaluations for the iDesign project. EDC’s responsibilities include quantitative and qualitative data collection, data management, data analysis, and reporting.