Newark Schools Win Award for Progress Adding Tech to Classrooms

Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for NJ.COM | Email the author | Follow on Twitter

LeiLani Cauthen, CEO and Publisher, Learning Counsel and Dr. David Kafitz, Senior VP of School Relations, Learning Counsel present Joshua Koen, Special Assistant for Technology, Newark Public Schools with the 2015 Award of Excellence for Digital Curriculum & Content Strategy

NEWARK – A national education research institute has named the city’s public school district among a list of leaders for its progress bringing digital curriculum into classrooms.

The Learning Counsel included the state-controlled district on a list of 10 who had made the greatest strides toward implementing more technology into both teaching and learning. The organization, which serves as an intermediary between districts and tech companies, revealed the list at its annual Gathering and National Awards Event in Albuquerque, N.M.

In a statement, Superintendent of Schools Christopher Cerf congratulated those officials involved with pushing the district’s use of technology forward.

“Over the past four years, the district has made extensive investments in education technology and professional development to provide our children with an excellent education,” he said. “These positive institutional changes are giving our young people the tools they need to be college and career ready.”

According to district officials, it has added 3,700 wireless access points in Newark school since May 2011, upgraded its internet network using fiber optic circuits, and recently purchased more than 11,000 Google Chromebook laptops for use by students.

Last month, it began a new partnership with Google through its recently launched program Expeditions Pioneer program, which brought its new Expeditions app to a handful of city schools.

Dr. David Kafitz, the Learning Counsel’s Vice President of School Relationships and Consulting, said he hoped other districts around the country might follow Newark’s lead.

“Newark Public Schools has been a leader in integrating technology into its curriculum in a way that will transform the way we teach our young people. We look forward to seeing how their work will inspire other districts to use digital curriculum and technology to their advantage.”

Other districts honored by the Learning Counsel included Township High School District 214 in Illinois, Union County Public Schools in North Carolina, St. Vrain Valley Schools in Colorado and Pinellas County Schools in Florida.

Dan Ivers may be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @DanIversNJ. Find on Facebook.