Learning Technology Grant
Student Produced Archive of Responsive Resources and Cultural Curriculum
In 2021, the Office of Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Initiatives, in conjunction with the Instructional Technology Department, was awarded the Learning Technology Grant through New York State. This exciting opportunity allows students to foster their intellectual greatness through technology exploration.
The past few years have changed all our lives dramatically. The most obvious shift, moving education to first a distance learning model, and then to a hybrid scenario, has created a heavy reliance on digital educational materials. The struggle to keep students engaged in their education throughout this year has uncovered a need for student-driven, hands-on experiences utilizing technology. Further, while Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) has been deeply engaged in developing and implementing an Emancipation Curriculum, the work has been challenging due to a scarcity of high-quality, culturally and linguistically responsive digital resources. BPS has launched a new program entitled Student Produced Archive of Responsive Resources and Cultural Curriculum (SPARRCC), a STEAM skills development program comprised of students in grades 7-12. This program consists of students who self-select, with recruiting focused on students from traditionally underrepresented communities. Throughout participation in this program, students will engage in hands-on field experiences that directly support the NYS Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards, particularly the Impacts of Computing and Digital Literacy.
Students will use a variety of techniques and technologies to create a culturally and linguistically responsive virtual library of field trip experiences, capturing and digitizing the experiences of small groups of students, in order to make those experiences available to a wider audience. This student-created collection will include teacher-developed companions aligned to Science, Art, Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Career and Technical Education standards. Students will be challenged to apply 21st Century Skills, including creativity, cross-cultural collaborations, critical thinking, and problem-solving throughout the project. The field experiences will incorporate local and national institutions and historical sites that focus on the history and culture of historically marginalized communities of color. The resulting library of student-developed virtual field experiences and standards-aligned lessons and resources will be available for implementation in the elementary and secondary classroom settings within the Buffalo Public Schools and throughout New York State.
Goals and Objectives
The goal of this program is to provide technical learning opportunities that highlight the history and culture of African American, Latinx, Native American, and New American communities and accommodate students who are interested in the STEAM curriculum and educational experiences. It is designed to support students that are from traditionally underrepresented communities in the STEAM field.
Participants will create culturally and linguistically responsive virtual libraries of field trip experiences. These experiences will align with New York State standards in Science, Art, Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Career and Technical Education.
As students produce and create virtual field experiences, they will develop the following skills: critical thinking, cross-cultural collaborations, creativity, and problem solving. Participants in this program will incorporate local, regional, and national institutions, historical sites, and cultural events that focus on the history and culture of historically marginalized communities of color.
Scholars from the following schools:
Elementary Schools (PK-8 Buildings): #19, #31, #37, #74, #97
High Schools: #192, #197, #206, #208, #301, #305, #309
Participants will produce the following items:
- Portfolio/Notebook – Students will maintain a portfolio/notebook to document their research on the local, regional, and national histories of their selected sites
- Documentation of Artifacts – Students will collect virtual artifacts of their learning as they explore virtual field trips
- Videography and Photography – Students will learn how to create and edit digital photos and videos to document learning
- Final Project Presentation – Students will present their final virtual field trip to students and teachers
Planned field trips and opportunities for digital documentation:
- The African American Cultural Center of Buffalo
- Buffalo History Museum
- Harriet Tubman House
- The Hispanic Heritage Cultural Center
- Michigan Street Corridor
- Niagara Arts and Cultural Center
- The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center
- Seneca Iroquois National Museum
Artifacts for SPARRCC
- 2022-2023 - Will be posted by June 2023
- 2023-2024 - Will be posted by June 2024
Primary Contact for this program:
Dr. Fatima Morrell, Chief
Office of Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Initiatives
Buffalo Public Schools
2008 City Hall
Buffalo, New York 14202
Phone: (716) 816-3584
Fax (716) 851-3746