PA Classrooms for the Future (CFF) Score High Marks - Tech Learning

PA Classrooms for the Future (CFF) Score High Marks

Three years, 144,000 laptops, and 447 schools later, what’s the takeaway from Gov. Edward Rendell’s innovate Classrooms for the Future (CFF) initiative?  According to researchers, not only has CFF increased the standards of learning across the state, but it has also improved students’ enthusiasm for their studies. Click through for more detail:
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The annual evaluation, conducted by researchers at Penn State University, Ohio University and Towson University, indicates that CFF is changing student learning by shifting to student-centered classrooms, increasing use of project-based learning and improving student instructional pace and quality of student work.

Classrooms for the Future, launched in 2006 by Gov. Edward Rendell and PDE, is a three-year program designed to engage high school students in their studies and make learning more responsive to the economic challenges presented by globalization. At the end of the 2008-2009 school year, the state will have about 140,000 laptops and other instructional technology in schools around Pennsylvania. CFF also provides extensive professional development and support to teachers and administrators to ensure that teachers seamlessly integrate the technology into their classrooms. As a primary contractor for CFF, CDW-G manages the technology implementation and professional development for schools that select the PC platform. CDW-G worked closely with PDE to develop the CFF professional development program, including integrating the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) standards into the content.

The annual evaluation indicates that CFF schools are making the shift towards student-centered classrooms, teachers are increasing the use of project-based learning, and students are increasing their instructional pace and improving the quality of their work.

The research also revealed:
—Traditional lecture-based teaching is giving way to a more collaborative, learner-centered approach, with students working in groups, contributing to discussions, and researching topics in real time, rather than working alone at their desks
—Almost two-thirds of teachers (64%) either agreed or strongly agreed that with CFF they can expect the highest quality of work from their students
—CFF is changing how students are evaluated. While tests still have a place in the instructional process, teachers are placing more emphasis on oral reports, presentations, projects, and group work, with the increased use of standardized rubrics to assess project work

“The teachers and students in the CFF classrooms are part of a paradigm shift in secondary education – from desk-based learning to collaborative, student-paced education enabled by technology tools,” said Bob Kirby, senior director, K-12 education, CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G).

For more information about Classrooms for the Future, please visit http://www.pde.state.pa.us/k12/site/default.asp.

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