STEM Innovation Hub
The STEM Innovation Hub (iHub) leverages research, practice, partnerships, and policy to advise and network education stakeholders committed to transforming student achievement through technology equity. It does this through three major program areas: Computer Science, EdTech Partnerships, and EdTech Assessments.
It is quickly becoming evident that computer science is a necessary component of students’ education to prepare them for the demands of increasingly tech-focused 21st century careers. SVEF is committed to identifying and finding solutions to computer sciences needs in San Mateo and Santa Clara County school districts. iHub uses advocacy, curriculum development, and research to develop and strengthen computer science opportunities for students.
A key partnership iHub has is with Code.org, a leader in computer science outreach and official sponsor of the nation-wide Hour of Code. Every December, iHub organizes Hour of Code and Code Night events in schools across the Bay Area.
iHub also supports teachers in computer science through Code.org professional development. We are excited to host our second computer science cohort for the 2018-2019 school year. Over 40 teachers from 28 Bay Area school districts participated in Computer Science Discoveries and Computer Science Principles training.
Applications for the 2019-2020 Code.org Teacher Cohort are now open.
SVEF is invested in increasing the effectiveness of EdTech in the classroom.
Since 2015 iHub has partnered with EdTech companies and educators to drive technology equity in schools. iHub works to provide educators with the opportunities to integrate dynamic education technology into their classrooms to help their students achieve success. At the same time, building these connections helps EdTech companies truly meet the needs of teachers and students.
Through SVEF Pitch Games, EdTech companies present products that supports student learning and district teams of teachers select one product to pilot directly in their classrooms for 4 months. Creative teachers bring this work to life as they share the new software with students. At the end of the cycle, each team provides feedback to the EdTech company. Companies we have worked with include Piper, Vidcode, Seesaw, and PenPal Schools.
In partnership with PwC, iHub conducts EdTech Assessments with school districts to determine the level of technology that is currently incorporated into classrooms throughout the district. The assessment tool is designed to assist school districts in optimizing their technology usage as well as troubleshooting possible areas of need. These assessments lead to a strengthened vision and strategy for integrating technology at the local district level.
iHub’s goal is to provide every school district in need with this opportunity. As of 2018, 28 districts in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties have participated in the EdTech Assessment program.
EdTech is growing at a rapid pace, with new options for platforms, apps, and computer programs growing daily. However, our understanding of the real use and impact of EdTech is still developing. Through the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and partnership with independent education research, development, and service agency WestEd, iHub examines how EdTech products are being used in classrooms and the impact they have on student learning and achievement.