Early Childhood Technology Project Designed by School System Staff Nominated for Inclusion in Smithsonian Collection

November 11, 1999
The Montgomery County Public Schools Early Childhood Technology Literacy Project (see link below) has been nominated by Steven Jobs, founder of Apple Computer, for inclusion in the Smithsonian Institution's permanent research collection on information technology.

A description of the project will be added to the collection in the National Museum of American History through the Computerworld Smithsonian Program. This program recognizes innovative uses of technology that produce positive social, economic, and educational change. The project also will be considered for one of 50 Computerworld Smithsonian Awards.

A member of the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Chairmen's Committee, Jobs selected the project after reviewing submissions from teachers throughout the nation who had been named Apple Distinguished Educators. Dara McCormick Feldman, an early childhood instructional technology specialist with Montgomery County Public Schools who was named an Apple Distinguished Educator last February, was one of only two Apple honorees whose projects were selected for the Smithsonian collection.

The Early Childhood Technology Literacy Project was initiated three years ago after a grant co-written by Feldman and Marji Geldon, technology instructional specialist, received federal funding through the Technology Literacy Challenge program. Feldman and Bonny Chambers, early childhood instructional technology specialist, implemented the project.

The project provides opportunities for pre-kindergarten through second grade teachers, specialists and instructional assistants from 34 Title I public schools and seven private schools to develop, plan, and deliver exemplary reading and writing instruction that incorporates technology. The project is focused on increasing reading and writing achievement, supporting Maryland Reading Language Arts Outcomes and having every student read independently by third grade. Feldman and Chambers provide staff development for teachers, specialists, and assistants to develop skills needed to integrate technology into reading instruction. Last summer, for example, they trained more than 1,000 teachers on ways technology supports early literacy. The project also provides hardware, software, and connectivity to the teachers and students.

The Computerworld Smithsonian Program will hold a formal presentation of the collection at a ceremony at the Smithsonian Castle on April 3, 2000, when the materials will be officially included in the Permanent Research Collection. Feldman and other honorees will each receive a Computerworld Smithsonian Medal.

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