Bay Area Charter School Receives Gates Foundation Grant For Classroom Technology

SAN JOSE (KCBS)— A new initiative that emphasizes technology in the classroom has awarded a grant to a Silicon Valley charter school organization. The program, funded by the Gates Foundation and the League for Innovation in Community Colleges, has identified some schools where use of technology has improved outcomes.

Summit Public Schools, a charter that runs schools in San Jose and Redwood City, is being recognized for its use of technology in furthering student learning, while there are few indicators that have been developed to show whether it improves learning and eases the transition from high school to college.

Since 2003, founder and CEO Diane Tavenner, who opened two Summit High Schools in Redwood City and two in East San Jose, said having students do lessons as teachers watch in real time allows the delivery of personalized lessons very quickly.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“For example the teacher can say, ‘you five kids know this so you move on to this project; you five really need a beginning lesson on this – Let me work with you quickly’,” she said.

Summit is one of eight institutions and organizations across the country being awarded the Next Generation Learning Challenges grant of $150,000 and an eligibility to receive $300,000 more.

Tavenner said the money will help in opening another Summit school in Northern Santa Clara County next year.

“The most important piece of this is the real validation. The model we’re developing and creating is really a next-generation school model,” Tavenner said.

All those awarded grants were required to show their models serve disadvantaged student populations.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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