Highlander Students Explore Expanded Learning Opportunities

Jen Bonin, PhD from RI College, discussed natural disasters and meteorology with 9th grade students in preparation for Expanded Learning Opportunities at Highlander Charter School’s High School.  This program, supported by a generous grant from the United Way of RI, will be managed by the Highlander Institute and hopes to serve as a model for other Expanded Learning Opportunity programs in the state and region.

RI’s First EdSurge Tech for Schools Summit

The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) is sponsoring a day-long conference about using technology in education entitled: “Innovation Powered by Technology: Cultivating Quality.”  With conference registration approaching 700, the conference is the first of its type in the state, is being held on Saturday, October 5th from 8:30am – 4:00pm at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

The, “EdSurge Tech for Schools Summit: Rhode Island 2013”, is a conference within the conference where edtech entrepreneurs, chosen by a panel of judges from schools and districts right here in Rhode Island, will have the opportunity to showcase their products and engage in invaluable conversations with local school personnel.  The summit, the first of its type, will be followed up by multiple EdSurge events including an event in Silicon Valley on November 5th.

Any company–for profit & nonprofit–building edtech tools was able to apply for a spot at the Summit and especially those building teacher resource tools, student facing tools, or classroom collaboration tools were encouraged to participate.  About 24 edtech companies, from 45 applicants, were selected by a panel of judges (teachers, school administrators, and school technology staff) for an opportunity to engage in conversations with teachers.  Educators will benefit by having an opportunity to test technology products without being “pitched.”

Inspired by the Education Technology Startup Collaborative in Chicago in July, Shawn Rubin, Director of Technology Integration at the Highlander Institute, and Betsy Corcoran, EdSurge Founder collaborated to put technology companies into a genuine dialogue with teachers.  They believe in the value that teachers bring–and putting them and entrepreneurs in a shared space that’s about learning.

Those selected companies will agree to make their products available for a free trial to participating Rhode Island teachers for two weeks before the conference and two weeks after the conference.