My students from Boston, Massachusetts attend a student-centered alternative education program. Most students commute more than an hour to an hour and a half to get to school everyday, by public transportation. Students are typically over-aged and under-credited, seeking a new start through the program. Many students spend time after school and on the weekend engaging with community-based organizations. I am always impressed by the creativity and brilliance of many of these young people, as well as their ability to self-advocate. In the past year, I worked with our seniors to present their research at two professional conferences. They created innovative workshops where the success was evident by the resounding praise of those who attended.
Our seniors are currently conducting community-based research projects, through which they create surveys and conduct interviews with community members. Students also learn skills to analyze academic articles relating to their topic, as well as critically break down and critique these sources. In addition, through a collaboration with a local community-run organization, students will be learning about cooperative economics and seeking solutions to issues that they see in their communities. Technology creates such an enormous resource in providing students with easier access to a multitude of resources.
In requesting these Chromebooks for my classroom, I see this as a means for increasing student ownership over their own learning.
Many of our students do not have laptops at home and thus, a lack of resources perpetuates the educational inequities that exist for the brilliant youth that I work with.
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