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The following is an excerpt from an article on EdNC by Yasmin Bendaas. For the full article, click here.

For the past four years, Rowan-Salisbury Schools has undergone a digital conversion with a focus on bridging learning and technology. As a 1:1 district, all students have laptops or iPads, and with teacher-centered partnerships like the Digital Scholars Initiative, educators are very much part of the digital conversion process, too.

Cue the Educators’ Playground.

“We allow companies to place their products in this playground, and our teachers go in and essentially play and learn about these new technologies,” said Andrew Smith, Chief Strategy Officer of Rowan-Salisbury Schools. “You can imagine a space where we ask adults to act kind of like kids, and we ask them to vet potential products.”

Considered part technology procurement and part professional development, the Educators’ Playground is in its first year. The purpose of the playground is to allow ed-tech companies to partner with those closest to students — teachers — in the design of their products, while at the same time letting teachers test new technology before buying it. 

“Teachers, when they have input on product design, there’s an amazing power to that,” said Smith.

For the full article, click here.