Pittsburgh Teams Up on Tech-Infused Education
Erie’Onna Seaster, 3, and other children at the Crescent Early Learning Center in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood use an app-based activity to support “high-quality talk” among children, parents and teachers. –Jeff Swensen for Education Week
Pittsburgh is quietly being hailed as a national model for supporting outside-the-box digital learning efforts, especially for young children. The city’s focus is on getting unlikely partners – a classroom teacher and a university robotics lab, for example, or early-childhood advocates and a neighborhood barbershop – to work together.
Last week, staff writer Benjamin Herold took an in-depth look at what’s happening in Pittsburgh. Among the projects he featured was Message From Me, a new iPad app for young children and their caregivers that is being piloted in the city’s economically-devastated Homewood neighborhood.
Photographer Jeff Swensen was also on the ground in Pittsburgh. Here’s his look at the people, places, and technology that are making the Steel City a digital-learning hub.
Demayah Clark, 4, right, and Anyjah Franklin, 4, work with tablets at the Crescent Early Learning Center in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood. –Jeff Swensen for Education Week
Community-outreach specialists Cynthia Battle and Brandon Phillips, both sitting, of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, with barbers Ron Hankins, Greg Powe and John Turner at Willy Tee’s Barbershop in Homewood. The neighborhood shop is a central location in the ‘Raising Readers Parents Club,’ and provides a safe meeting facility to help children learn. –Jeff Swensen for Education Week
Overhead mirrors reflect the space inside Willy Tee’s barbershop. –Jeff Swensen for Education Week
Among the leaders of Pittsburgh’s cross-sector efforts to promote new approaches to education are, from left, Jennifer Beagan, Allegheny Intermediate Unit; Jane Werner, Pittsburgh Children’s Museum; Cathy Lewis Long, Sprout Fund; Audrey Russo, Pittsburgh Technology Council; Marilyn Russelll, Carnegie Museum; Rick Fernandes, Fred Rogers Center; Mary Frances Cooper, Carnegie Library; and Sue Polojac, Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children. –Jeff Swensen for Education Week
Marilyn Russell of The Carnegie Museum, center, chats with Jennifer Beagan of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, during a photo shoot in the Hall of Architecture at the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh. In the background are Mary Frances Cooper of the Carnegie Library, left, and Sue Polojac of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children. –Jeff Swensen for Education Week
Abdullah Haseeb, 4, works with “circuit blocks” in the MakeShop at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. The blocks are the result of a collaboration between a local teacher, a resident artist, and a robotics lab at Carnegie Mellon University. –Jeff Swensen for Education Week
An art project done by children streams from the ceiling at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. –Jeff Swensen for Education Week