After an intensive 12-month training program, more than 45 Atlanta Public Schools (APS) educators celebrated completing the Ed Farm Teacher Fellowship program with a certification ceremony.
The Teacher Fellows Program is part of an on-going collaborative partnership between APS and Ed Farm to bring transformative and future-focused learning experiences to students, teachers, and community members in the city of Atlanta.
“Ed Farm exists to remove barriers and close digital skills gaps,” Ed Farm director of learning Candyce Monroe said. “We help educators understand the importance of technology and teach them useful ways to integrate technology.”
This year’s fellowship was focused on educators and preparing them to use a variety of technology to enhance their classroom experience and engage with their students through technology.
“This program has not only taught this group of about 45 individuals how to use the Apple products and Apple tools, but also how to create content, create resources and tools, create engaging projects for their students in their schools and be able to take those back so their students will not just consume technology, but be producers of the technology in a creative way,” APS director of instructional technology Dr. Natasha Rachell said. “Our students are going to benefit from this because we are building the capacity of our teachers, media specialists and our tech specialists. Our students are ultimately going to be the ones prepared.”
Before being presented with their certificates, the Teacher Fellows gave a final presentation highlighting one of the projects they were most proud of working during the fellowship.
Hollis Academy’s school-based technology specialist Terran Taylor had his fourth-grade students work on develop an app that addresses the real-world problem of living in a community experiencing a food dessert after the nearby Walmart suffered arson.
Taylor challenged his students to “connect the dots on how that impacts the community,” and they began designing an app that will show how to make healthy food decisions.
“What I got out of this program was how to generate ideas to push our students toward innovative thinking, collaborating and being able to make new friends throughout the district,” Taylor said. “In the future, this fellowship will allow me to collaborate better. I can bring this to teachers in my building and give them examples of what is possible with technological integration and how it connects to their curriculum.”