Pearson Education, the global leader in educational publishing, and the Pearson Foundation today announced the launch of the Digital Literacy Fellowship Program, an initiative designed specifically to promote the use of digital technologies among teachers who serve the nation's Hispanic communities.
The announcement was made at the opening of the annual National Educational Computing Conference (NECC).
The Digital Literacy Fellowship Program is an extension of the Pearson Foundation's Digital Arts Alliance which each year makes it possible for more than 15,000 students and their teachers to experience firsthand how laptop computers, video production equipment, and the latest mobile-phone technologies are changing the ways young people can organize, present, and share information and issues that matter to them. Alliance members believe that using technologies to enhance personal expression creates an expanded kind of literacy, often referred to as 21st Century literacy, that people - especially young people - already use in their everyday lives.
This nationwide initiative will deliver digital arts training and support to teachers and students in school districts across America in conjunction with the Pearson Education Hispanic Leadership Council, a nationwide body of select state and district level administrators who lead educators serving Hispanic students - the fastest-growing population in the U.S. public education system. Teachers and administrators designated to participate in these sessions have been nominated by their districts because of their commitment to the use of digital technologies in the classroom and because they work with a large number of Hispanic and ELL (English Language Learners) students.
"I am excited that the Pearson Foundation reached out to all of us who are members of the Hispanic Leadership Council to participate in this innovative program," said Dr. Wilfredo Laboy, Superintendent of Lawrence Public Schools in Massachusetts and President of the Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (ALAS). "For many years, Hispanic and other ELL students have fallen into the digital divide. Participation in the Digital Arts Alliance is a great way to involve our teachers and students in cutting edge technologies and programs."
The Digital Literacy Fellowship Program combines leadership development for educators with classroom-based digital arts programs for students. The project launches in early July in New Orleans, with an intensive three-day digital arts workshop for educators from eight districts represented by the Hispanic Leadership Council. Teachers will review student digital movies created by other Digital Arts Alliance partner programs, and participate in hands-on sessions to learn how to help students make their own movies. Educators will also have the opportunity to apply this experience to their teaching practice by creating plans that integrate these newly-learned skills and approaches with specific themes and activities that are part of the existing curriculum. This personalized digital arts and technology training will be supported by week-long Digital Arts Alliance residencies in each district during the school year. The Pearson Foundation will also work with district administrators to host Digital Arts Alliance summer camps in select districts in 2008.
School districts participating in the program include: Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV; Kansas City Missouri Public School District, Kansas City, MO; Lawrence Public Schools, Lawrence, MA; Los Angeles County Office of Education, Downey, CA; Orange County Public Schools, Orlando, FL; San Antonio Independent School District, San Antonio, TX; Tucson Unified School District, Tucson, AZ; and Yselta Independent School District, El Paso, TX.
"When Pearson Education first created the Hispanic Leadership Council, we envisioned this group taking on a leadership role on behalf of educators striving to provide quality education services to Hispanic students," said Steven Dowling, president of the Pearson School Companies. "With that hope in mind, we are thrilled that members of the Hispanic Leadership Council accepted the Foundation's invitation to participate in the Digital Arts Alliance workshops this summer in New Orleans."
Mark Nieker, president of the Pearson Foundation said, "For today's young people, success in school and in life requires educational experiences that meet the challenges of our new century. In the Digital Arts Alliance, we strive to bring together leading organizations that are passionate about using digital arts to inspire students and foster the development of confident school leaders."
In making this program available to teachers and students in these districts, Pearson Education and the Pearson Foundation have expanded their support of the Foundation's Digital Arts Alliance, a consortium that promotes digital arts in K-12 education through fully funded and staffed programs delivered directly to schools and community centers nationwide. This effort joins similar initiatives by other Digital Arts Alliance members, including Nokia, Adobe, and the National Academy Foundation, in supporting an extended network of teachers and students who use Digital Arts Alliance programs to develop expertise in the digital arts.
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About Pearson Education
Educating 100 million people worldwide, Pearson Education (www.pearsoned.com) is the global leader in educational publishing, providing scientifically research-based print and digital programs to help students of all ages learn at their own pace, in their own way. The company is home to such renowned publishing brands as Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Addison Wesley, Pearson Allyn & Bacon, Pearson Benjamin Cummings and Pearson Longman. Pearson Education is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the international media company. In addition to Pearson Education, Pearson's primary operations include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.
About The Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at