Longfellow’s Technology Programs Attract National Attention

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday April 20, 2007

Forty-two school board members from around the country paid a visit to Longfellow Arts and Technology Magnet Middle School Monday to look at what the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) is doing with technology in the middle schools. 

The school board directors were in San Francisco for the 67th annual National School Board conference. 

The group spent the day at Longfellow and interacted with students and faculty. 

“Longfellow is a model in the field of providing technological education. It is helping students bridge the digital divide by ensuring that every student is technologically literate by the end of eighth grade,” said BUSD spokesperson Mark Coplan. “Technology innovation at Long-fellow Middle School has been supported by an Enhancing Education through Technology grant which led to equipment upgrades, a full lab with industry hardware and software, professional development for staff, and the creation of a set of technology standards that articulates what students need to know.” 

The children can also choose to participate in the nationally recognized Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) Program, where they apply their technological skills to service-learning projects or in an afterschool program called GenY where they collaborate with teachers to develop technology-enriched curriculum projects.  

Students had an exciting time showing the visitors the things they have designed, from PowerPoint presentations to highly animated websites. The board members also asked the school’s technology teacher questions about the curriculum and observed classroom teacher Marlo Warburton with her students in the computer lab. 

In addition to technology, the visit also focused on the School Lunch Initiative, a collaboration with Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation, Berkeley’s Center for Ecoliteracy and Children’s Hospital Oakland, which aims to change the way schools across the country look at nutrition.