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Center for Excellence in Urban and Rural Education Wins U.S. Department of Education Grant

Posted: October 3, 2001
Buffalo State College's Center for Excellence in Urban and Rural Education has been awarded a three-year $425,544 U.S. Department of Education "Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology" grant.

The college's "Technology = Access: Teaching Future Urban Teachers" project targets technology as a creative resource for future teachers, current teachers and students in high-need schools, and addresses the need for teaching future urban teachers how technology empowers schools, learning and individuals. The project will partner college faculty with local urban schools through site-based teacher mentoring of technology in social studies, mathematics, art education and early childhood education.

Buffalo Public Schools, Niagara Falls Public Schools and King Center Charter School in Buffalo are the college's partners in the project that is expected to directly involve 276 pre-service teachers (92 per year) who will reach an estimated 5,000 K-12 students in 10 schools.

Diane Truscott, interim director of Buffalo State's Center for Excellence in Urban and Rural Education and project director said, "Technology has proven to enhance student achievement when teachers are proficient in using it; however, teachers routinely report their lack of preparedness for work in technology-equipped classrooms.

"Our goal is to train teachers to use technology tools to make a difference in the lives of their students," she noted.

Truscott said project partners, along with corporate partner Apple Computer, will contribute an additional $521,127 in funding to meet the total $946,671 cost of the "Technology = Access" project.

The project is expected to address significant gaps in the use of technology for teaching and learning, and narrow the digital divide between urban and suburban schools by helping some of the area's highest-need schools take advantage of technology.

At participating schools, 322 mentor-teachers will work with pre-service teachers to infuse technology into writing, language arts, art, mathematics, social studies and early childhood education. The pre-service teachers will apply technology in actual learning situations in K-12 classrooms using experiential activities, software and other technology applications.

In addition, the project will support distance education and interactive classrooms, and allow opportunities for future teachers who are not directly participating to observe classrooms via video-conferencing. The project will also assist students with disabilities through the use of adaptive and assistive technology and software.

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