ISTE20Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Rethinking the “Classroom” for a Truly Equitable Approach to Technology Education

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Sunday, June 23, 8:30–9:30 am
Location: 109AB

Keith Davis   Tunde Onitiri  
At this engaging session, learn how non-traditional classroom settings/approaches provide an avenue to reach underserved communities with 21st century IT education. Hear how Camden Dream Freedom School delivered Cisco Networking Academy IoT and coding coursework to inner-city kids grades 3-8, by following a hackathon approach.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Teachers, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Innovative learning environments
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Administrators:
Digital Age Learning Culture
  • Ensure instructional innovation focused on continuous improvement of digital age learning.
For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
  • Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments.
For Education Leaders:
Equity and Citizenship Advocate
  • Ensure all students have skilled teachers who actively use technology to meet student learning needs.
Disclosure: The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Purpose: Demonstrate how non-traditional classroom settings and approaches can provide an avenue to expand educational access to underserved communities, engaging youth in critical STEM skills, while improving the quality of life for underserved communities.

- Build awareness across the education community (teachers, educators, nonprofits) of the diversity of ways to deliver STEM content.
- Provide a real-world, current example of how an underserved community is preparing youth with the digital skills to thrive in the future.
- Demonstrate the impact of innovative, hands-on, project-based approaches to teaching such as Camden's hackathon approach to teaching IoT and coding skills.
- Demonstrate that the development of STEM skills has many benefits for individuals and communities at large. For example, students who demonstrate both an expressed and measured interest in STEM outperformed their peers in terms of college readiness –this is consistent from year-to-year (ACT 2015).


(0-5 min) Introduction: The STEM Education + Skills gap. How can we increase STEM education in underserved classrooms?
- What is the current research on the STEM skills gap and lack of STEM skills in underserved communities?
- What knock on affect does this have on these communities?

(5-10 min) The solutions: Rethinking the classroom and diversifying where and how we teach STEM
- Alternative models to teaching STEM

(10-30 min) Case study: Camden Dream Freedom School
- History of Camden’s effort to engage youth in STEM, build digital skills for the community
- How they integrated Networking Academy curriculum into their summer enrichment program
- Teacher / Student testimonials
- The outcomes / learnings

(30-50 mins) Beyond Camden – how can this model be replicated in other underserved regions? (audience participation / discussion / Q & A)

Supporting research

STEM Education in the US: Although nearly half (48%) of ACT-tested 2017 high school graduates had an expressed and/or measured interest in STEM, achievement levels remain fairly low. Overall, just 34% of ACT-tested 2017 graduates met the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in math and 31% met the Benchmark in science. (ACT, 2017)

Lack of diversity in IT: Minority women comprise fewer than 1 in 10 employed scientists and engineers (NSF, 2017)

Importance of STEM skills: 60% of children entering primary school today might ultimately work in job types that currently don’t yet exist but it seems clear that most jobs of the future will have a technology component. (World Economic Forum, 2016)

Need for real-world/current curriculum: Practical uses of STEM jobs are difficult for students between the ages of 11 and 17 to see. 56% say knowing how STEM subjects relate to the real world would make STEM classes more interesting, 49% don’t know what kind of math jobs are out there, 47% don’t know what kind of engineering jobs are out there, 69% don’t know what accountants do, and 76% don’t know what engineers do (Randstad 2017).

STEM engagement: Interest in STEM studies dwindles as children grow older. Students 11-14 years old are 18% more likely than 15-17 year old students to consider math one of their favorite subjects (Randstad 2017).

Extended benefits of STEM: Students who demonstrate both an expressed and measured interest in STEM outperformed their peers in terms of college readiness –this is consistent from year-to-year. (ACT, 2017)

Networking Academy:

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Keith Davis, Camden Dream Center Technology Training

Keith Davis is Director, Camden Dream Center Technology Training School, a New Jersey State Approved Private Career School, that operates under auspices of New Jersey DoL & New Jersey DoE. The school is a Cisco Academy Support Center and Instructor Training Center; where they on-board and support academies at high schools, colleges, and universities. The Camden Dream Center offers professional development for instructor accreditation, to ensure teachers are able to deliver comprehensive e-learning curricula at educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. This is a carefully crafted train-the-trainer model; where students acquire IT skills essential in a global economy

Tunde Onitiri, Camden Dream Center Technology Training School

Tunde A. Onitiri, Ph.D. is the Director of IoT, Innovation & STEM Practice at the Camden Dream Center (CDC) in Camden, New Jersey. He is also responsible for the CDC’s out-of-school STEM-based programs including curriculum development and sequencing. Dr. Onitiri is the co-lead for the Camden Dream Center CTE Program management consulting services including assessment, operationalization, and governance of CTE Program portfolios for school districts. He is a member of the South Jersey STEM innovation Partnership and in this role, leads and orchestrates the STEM Ecosystem’s IoT Hackathon events in South Jersey. Dr. Onitiri holds Ph.D. ad M.Sc. degrees in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University, and a B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Western Michigan University. His passion is in broadening of STEM learning and participation in under-represented inner city of Camden.

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