Transforming education, empowering teachers, preparing students! When one reads that statement, how can you not be excited? These goals are at the core of NICERC and it is what we have been doing day in and day out for the past nine years but even more so the past 6 months.
Transforming education – NICERC is currently working with over 15 State Departments of Education and that number continues to grow. The state department partnerships focus on a state-wide, holistic approach to integrating STEM, cyber, and computer science curricula into the classroom through curricular approval and standards mapping, building state-wide professional development plans, and helping facilitate and/or participate on framework and standards committees. Recently, NICERC participated in the Governors for CS Convening in Phoenix, AZ, where we shared our experiences in helping states build their K-12 Computer Science and Frameworks.
Empowering teachers – Last year, NICERC trained over 2,400 teacher through professional development workshops – that’s well over 30,000 hours of PD for teachers! We have enjoyed meeting teachers from over 30 states and two U.S. Territories. We continue to schedule professional development workshops with school districts and are currently planning for spring and summer workshops. If you and your school/district are interested in our professional development programs, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. In most cases, these professional development workshops come with little to no cost to the school district. During our workshops, we focus on empowering the teacher to transform his or her classroom into a 21st century learning environment.
Preparing students – How many times have you asked this question to your students: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ We typically get the same responses: doctor, lawyer, dentist, police officer, etc. However, what are we doing as educators to introduce them to the jobs they don’t know about? Further, what are we doing to introduce them to the jobs that don’t even exist today? At the end of the day, our obligation as educators is to prepare a foundation of logic, critical thinking, and innovation among our students. All of this must be done in an environment where they are introduced to the context and application of today’s world. This is how one not only engages the student in new ways but also piques his or her interest in topics they would not otherwise be introduced to.