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Pittsfield Schools Announces New Innovation Classrooms

By Joe Durwin
Pittsfield Correspondent
04:57PM / Saturday, March 01, 2014
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The School Committee heard an update on the district's technology initiative to create innovative classrooms.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The launch of a project aimed to create new "innovation" learning spaces at each of the city's eight elementary schools was unveiled to its Public School Committee on Wednesday.
"We're very excited about this," Deputy Superintendent of Schools N. Tracey Crowe told the committee.  "We think it's going to be an incredible boost for our elementary schools."
The initiative, funded through Race to the Top grant money, is designed to create "an incubative classroom for 21st century teaching and learning."
These new "innovation classrooms" will be outfitted with digital projectors and high-end document cameras, and each one will have its own ChromeBook cart, among other technological tools for learning.
Each school will have one innovation classroom instructor, who were selected using a demanding criteria of attributes, according to Crowe.  
"They will be risk takers, they will be pioneers in technology," said Crowe.
Crowe said the innovation teachers will be focusing on the "4Cs of 21st Century learning": Critical thinking & problem solving, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity in innovation.
"This provides us an opportunity to get technology through this funding and into the hands of students now," he told the committee.
Three principals have been chosen to coordinate the program across the eight elementary schools: Lisa Buchinski  of Williams Elementary, Aaron Dean of Stearns, and Candy Jezewski of Capeless.
These educators will undergo some specialized training to begin their transition into the new experimental program, beginning with a pre-conference in Worcestor next week.
Crowe said the project was a unique brainstorm of Pittsfield administrators and not particularly modeled on any other district's program.  She referred to this as "Phase 1" of a program that will be added to each year.
"We would like every classroom to be a 21st century learning site," said the deputy superintendent.

Tags: education grant,   Race to the Top,   technology,   

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