Facing History and Ourselves and the Pearson Foundation to Integrate Digital Arts within Offerings for Teachers and Students
25 June 2007
Facing History and Ourselves Joins the Digital Arts Alliance
Atlanta, GA. June 25, 2007 – The Pearson Foundation today announced that Facing History and Ourselves, which helps students find meaning in the past and recognize the need for participation in society and responsible decision-making, has joined the Digital Arts Alliance, the consortium that promotes digital arts in K-12 education through fully funded and staffed programs delivered directly to schools and community centers nationwide. The Pearson Foundation is the founding partner in the Digital Arts Alliance, and part of Pearson, the international education and information company.
The announcement was made at the opening of the annual National Educational Computing Conference (NECC).
Each year, the Digital Arts Alliance makes it possible for more than 15,000 students and their teachers to experience firsthand how laptop computers, video production equipment, and the latest mobile-phone technologies are changing the ways young people can organize, present, and share information about issues that matter to them. Alliance members believe that using technologies to enhance personal expression creates an expanded kind of literacy, often referred to as 21st Century literacy, that people – especially young people – already use in their everyday lives.
Facing History and Ourselves joins other Digital Arts Alliance members, including Nokia, Adobe, The National Academy Foundation, and the American Red Cross in supporting an extended network of teachers and students who take advantage of Digital Arts Alliance student and educator residency programs to develop proficiencies in core subject knowledge and other 21st Century skills.
Beginning this summer and extending through the 2008-2009 academic year, Facing History and Ourselves and the Pearson Foundation will provide digital-arts focused professional development workshops for teachers in regional workshops across the United States. These intensive hands-on sessions will enable teachers and administrators who have adopted Facing History and Ourselves’ innovative high school curriculum to integrate digital arts and digital filmmaking into their classroom lessons. In specific Title 1 middle and high schools, the Pearson Foundation will also supply consistent access to wireless, mobile computing labs as part of the initiative.
Teachers who participate in these workshops will be eligible to have their students take part in subsequent Pearson Foundation-hosted Digital Arts Alliance Classroom Residencies. In these week-long sessions, students making use of the same curriculum will have the opportunity to document what they’ve learned while using the latest personal computers, digital video cameras, and movie-making software. The results will be shared with teachers and students nationwide beginning later this year on the Facing History and Ourselves and Digital Arts Alliance Websites — www.facinghistory.org; www.digitalartsalliance.org.
The most intensive phase of this project will take place in the Boston Public Schools, where students and teachers will develop digital films and other projects that document the history of the Civil Rights movement. Other school districts to be served during the coming school year include Memphis, Cleveland, and San Francisco.
“Our mission is to engage students in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry,” said Howard Lurie, Director of Program Technology, Facing History and Ourselves. “Digital arts projects are an ideal way to do this. By joining this consortium of organizations, we will be able to bridge the digital divide and bring our program to Title 1schools that otherwise may not have access to this innovative way of learning.”
Mark Nieker, president of the Pearson Foundation, added, “For today’s young people, success in school and in life requires educational experiences that meet the challenges of our new century. Digital arts projects provide that kind of experience. In the Digital Arts Alliance, we strive to join with leaders in every aspect of education, media, and technology to offer exceptional digital arts programs and to foster the development of confident school leaders. Members like Facing History and Ourselves make this process even more meaningful, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be working with them to share their curriculum and to bridge the digital divide.”
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About Facing History and Ourselves
Based in Brookline, Massachusetts, Facing History and Ourselves is an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. By studying the historical development of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide, students make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives. For more information please visit www.facinghistory.org.
About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson’s commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.
Facing History and Ourselves