A Baltimore edtech startup is growing its partnership with the city’s public school system.
The City Garage–based company offers a platform that provides resources and equipment to help implement lessons that involve projects and hands-on learning in classrooms and beyond. Along with offering curriculum, the company has partnerships with hardware companies like robotics company Sphero, drone company Parrot and Makey Makey.
Workbench began working with the city’s public school system on a pilot basis last school year, according to info from the company. The startup offered a multi-day professional development workshop at Wildwood Elementary/Middle School (formerly Lyndhurst Elementary/Middle), which introduced teachers to the company’s platform, edtech resources and provided lessons in using the hardware.
In the upcoming school year, Workbench will conduct similar professional development sessions at schools include Arundel Elementary, Cherry Hill Elementary/Middle, Dorothy I. Height Elementary, Forest Park High, Ft. WorthingtonElementary/Middle, Pimlico Elementary/Middle, and Academy for College and Career Exploration.
Each of these are part of the district’s 21st Century Schools program, which aims to renovate and in some case rebuild schools to bring them up-to-date. While the platform could be implemented in any school with internet access, there are a few advantages at these schools, including use of Google Classroom and Chromebooks, Workbench VP of Sales and Marketing Becky Durana told us via email. Workbench is also providing technology to help teach coding skills.
“Today’s students need high-quality experiences using various forms of technology. To do this, we need to provide hands-on, quality training for instructional staff in the use of tech gear and how it can be used to enhance engineering challenges and other lessons in our core curriculum,” Dawn Shirey, Director of 21st Century Learning for City Schools, said in a statement.
Along with implementing skills into the curriculum like programming, design and problem-solving, Workbench’s professional development seeks to increase parent and community involvement and collaboration among teachers.-30-
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