By definition, technology is a broad concept that refers to the use and knowledge of tools and crafts, and how these tools and crafts affect our ability to adapt to our environment. In keeping with this idea, students in CPS elementary schools throughout the city are acquiring a wide variety of technology-related abilities and putting them to use in innovative and creative ways.
An exciting demonstration of this innovation and creativity was offered on Friday, May 29, when approximately 300 students from 24 elementary schools gathered at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art to participate in TechXPO, the first event of its kind in the Chicago Public Schools. TechXPO provided a forum for students to exhibit an array of multimedia pieces, and was designed to encourage students and parents to utilize technology and engage in technology-related school activities.
The participating schools are part of the Neighborhood Technology Cluster Program, a new initiative offered through Academic Enhancement, which oversees the school district’s Options for Knowledge program. The schools represented at the TechXPO included Banneker, Brunson, Burley, Claremont, Corkery, Davis, DePriest, Dulles, Dumas, Dunne, Dvorak, Evers, Falconer, Fiske, Gillespie, Goudy, Gray, Kellman, Kohn, May, Murray, Nicholson, Spencer, and Whitney.
“The entire technology program has inspired my students,” said Chandra Byrd-Wright, principal of Dunne Technology Academy. “This event, for me, helped us to dream about what the possibilities could be, as our children learn and grow as creators of technology.”
Participating schools benefit from a global initiative known as Adobe Youth Voices, which uses an integrated approach both inside and outside of the classroom to enable students to think creatively, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively.
Through this program, which was implemented at the participating schools over the course of the year, students learned such technology skills as photography, video and animation, and used these skills to create videos that addressed critical issues including violence, obesity and gentrification.
TechXPO guests–parents, CPS officials, and technology teachers and administrators–were given the opportunity to view innovative “cubes” of student work that showcased their finished videos, along with documentation of their work on the projects developed throughout the year. Ultimately, the “cube” pieces will become permanent fixtures in the hallways of the participating schools.
TechXPO guests were treated to six different student presentations, dined on an assortment of refreshments, and were given a chance to win several prizes. In addition to the TechXPO at the Museum of Contemporary Art, smaller events took place in the communities of Austin, Englewood, North Lawndale, Roseland and Woodlawn.
CPS plans to offer similar events on an annual basis. Learn more about our Technology program.