EdTech Leaders® Online enables state departments of education, school districts, regional educational service centers, colleges and universities, and other educational organizations to develop local capacity to provide online professional development for teachers and administrators and online courses for students.
The Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands (REL-NEI) is one of ten regional laboratories and has a mission to help pre-K–16 educators use the best available evidence to make decisions leading to improved student achievement and reduced performance gaps.
Learning and Teaching Algebra (LTA) seeks to address and resolve the root causes of poor student achievement, namely, incoherence in student curricula and incoherence in teacher professional development. The LTA project focuses on teachers in urban settings who are teaching eighth-grade Algebra 1 classes.
Writers’ Express (WEX) is a year-long writing program for students in grades 3-12 and is supported through professional development for teachers and school administrators. EDC is conducting a research study to determine whether the program is effective for students in elementary schools.
In this study:
70 Massachusetts schools will be randomly selected to either implement the WEX program or use the usual grade 4 writing instruction.
EDC will evaluate the WEX curriculum, materials, instructional practices, and embedded professional development.
EDC is creating a series of online professional development course for teachers of American History. The courses will assist teachers in building their skills as historians, using primary source documents in the classroom, and making use of local historical sites and museums. Each course includes online readings, interactive activities, online discussions, assessments, and other Web-based resources. Additionally, EDC will train and support facilitators to deliver each of the courses to teachers from school districts participating in the project.
The Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program is designed to increase opportunities for students and teachers to learn about and use information technologies within the contexts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Youth-based projects that have strong emphases on career and educational paths
The New England Comprehensive Center (NECC) is one of 16 regional comprehensive centers that are federally funded to implement the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The NECC engages state education leaders in using research and best practice to meet the goals of NCLB. Our purpose is to design and deliver technical assistance services that meet education leaders’ priority needs, further the key initiatives of the U.S. Department of Education, and have the greatest potential for building states’ capacities to help districts and schools improve.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Center for Mathematics Education (CME) project is a four-year comprehensive high school mathematics program.
This problem-based, student-centered project emphasizes the development of students’ mathematical habits of mind. The curriculum is organized around the familiar themes of Algebra 1, geometry, Algebra 2, and precalculus and is published by Pearson.
The Boston Science Partnership was a five-year NSF-funded Math and Science Partnership project designed to improve science teaching and learning in Boston’s middle and high schools, enhance university-level teaching by STEM faculty, and ensure the university partners’ continued support for and faculty involvement in science education. The Boston Public Schools, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Northeastern University are the principal partners. Harvard Medical School and the College Board participate as supporting partners.
This project develops, implements, and studies a dual model of professional development that adds an online platform to traditional professional development: the Active Physics Teacher Community (APTC).
EDC will evaluate Adobe Systems Incorporated’s new signature initiative, Adobe Youth Voices (AYV), an international youth media making effort. Adobe and their program partners are training educators in five cities to lead youth media projects. The evaluation team will coordinate on-going evaluation to document the successes and challenges in implementing the initiative; and measure AYF effectiveness in meeting intended outcomes for teachers and students.
EDC has been awarded a grant from the social networking site Facebook to research schools’ efforts to prevent cyberbullying and what social networking sites can learn from local programs. The award is one of four Digital Citizenship Research Grants given by Facebook. As part of its grant, EDC will focus on cyberbullying prevention, conducting research in approximately 25 school districts in Massachusetts as they formulate and implement state-mandated bullying prevention efforts.
The Lesson Study Communities project provides two years of professional development and support to teams of middle and high school mathematics teachers who are involved in the lesson study model of professional development. The project operates in the Greater Boston area.
Enhancing knowledge of mathematics and pedagogy
Introducing teachers to lesson study
Building a community of teachers interested in lesson study
Learning how the Japanese lesson study model can be adapted to become a successful professional development model for U.S.
Think Math! is a K–5 curriculum developed, piloted, and field-tested by EDC.
Think Math! provides:
A learning-by-doing model of professional development. This model allows teachers to gain a more profound understanding of fundamental mathematics through the natural course of their daily work.
High-quality mathematics content and pedagogy for school districts. This curriculum is appropriate for school districts that want to change but need additional help and for those that have tried and rejected other models of reform.
Working with Vulcan Productions and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, EDC is developing, implementing, and evaluating a set of materials designed to help leadership teams be more effective leaders of quality instruction in their schools and districts.
The toolkit features:
A keynote video
A series of instructional modules for leadership teams
This project established a model program for developing and supporting middle-grades science mentor-teachers. The project team worked closely with a group of experienced science teachers to improve their skills, knowledge, and confidence so they can effectively support novice science teachers from 10 to 12 demographically diverse school districts. Based on this model, CSE is developing a Facilitator’s Guide and accompanying videotapes. The model has been adapted in Cleveland, Ohio, Orlando, Florida (through the University of Central Florida) and Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.
ScienceQuest was a unique after-school program that supported community-based organizations who wanted to increase staff and organizational capacity; assisted youth (ages 10–14) in learning science, technology, and literacy; and increased the youths’ positive experiences with learning. Through training in I-Search methods and ongoing in-person and electronic support, coaches lead small groups in personally relevant explorations documented through youth-designed Web sites.
EDC is developing a teenage dating violence and abuse curriculum, Love Is Not Abuse, that will be taught in grade 9 English and health classrooms. Unlike other curricula on the subject, Love Is Not Abuse’s entry into the issue is unique; it will use brief, engaging texts (e.g., poetry, short stories, excerpts from screenplays, and theatrical plays) as a springboard to build young people’s awareness of how to make healthy choices in relationships and what to do if they are in abusive ones.
With community colleges across the country, EDC is developing a common curricular framework for teaching basic information technology (core) applications in career and academic programs at community and technical colleges. Project resources include innovative approaches to instruction and assessment, including “Rubrics to Assess Basic IT User Skills,” lesson templates that interconnect the use of the “IT Core Applications” with program content for eight of the most commonly used IT applications, and a library of problem-based scenarios for each of the clusters/program areas.
In collaboration with EDC’s Division of Mathematics Learning and Teaching, this project is producing a research-based professional development curriculum focused on geometric thinking in the middle grades. It also creates a framework designed to help teachers better understand geometric thinking and how it develops in learners, a curriculum for professional development in geometry based on this framework, quantitative and qualitative studies of the curriculum’s impact, and research reports disseminating the results of this work.
The K–12 MCC provides a variety of services and products to support school districts around the country as they select and implement standards-based mathematics curricula. Implementation issues considered include transitions across grades K through 12, professional development, and building support for curriculum change. Resources include a series of seminars, print materials, (including a curriculum selection guide), case materials, and a Web site.
In collaboration with the National Institute of Out-of-School Time (NIOST), EDC’s Center for Science Education worked with six science centers around the country to introduce design-engineering activities into afterschool programming. CSE developed the curricula for the engineering projects; NIOST provided technical support for their implementation. Through monthly workshops, science centers introduced the curricula to program leaders of participating community agencies.
CSE is developing Explore It!, an out-of-school curriculum in which children explore familiar phenomena in an extended manner using simple materials to foster science learning. These investigations will provide an experiential foundation for the development of concepts aligned with the national standards addressed in formal school curricula.