News and Speeches

City of New York Launches New Digital Learning Initiative to Help Prepare Public High School Students for College and Successful Careers

10/17/2013

NYC Digital Releases Update to the Digital Roadmap with 100% of the Objectives Achieved, Digital Education Programs Have Impacted over One Million New Yorkers

New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver and Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot today announced Digital Ready, an intensive professional development and technology expansion program designed to help participating NYC public high schools use technology and student-centered learning to improve their students’ readiness for college and careers. Digital Ready introduces strategic digital teaching tools and connects students with New York City’s vibrant technology community to help them develop the professional skills and technology competencies that equip them for success in the new digital economy through partnerships with technology and media leaders. NYC Digital also released New York City’s Digital Leadership: 2013 Roadmap, which reflects that 100% of the 40 initiatives in the City’s digital growth plan, across areas of infrastructure, education, open data, engagement and industry, are now complete. It also details the recent Digital Cities Symposium and introduces new ideas for future goals. The announcement took place at Brooklyn International High School, one of the schools participating in Digital Ready.

“The Digital Ready program is a forward-thinking and beneficial addition to our school system,” said Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “Through the use of technology and strong partnerships with outside organizations, Digital Ready provides our students enhanced classroom experiences and real-world learning opportunities that will support them on the path to success in college and careers.”

“It is essential to equip young New Yorkers with the skills they’ll need to pursue careers after they’ve finished their education,” said Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “Digital Ready will help bridge the gap between lessons learned in the classroom with the valuable hands-on experience they’ll acquire through collaboration with our partners in the media and technology industries.”

“From kindergarten to senior centers, digital literacy programs in Mayor Bloomberg’s administration have impacted over one million New Yorkers, and this investment in education is crucial to the City’s Digital Roadmap,” said Rachel Haot, New York City’s Chief Digital Officer.  “Digital Ready illustrates the commitment of New York City’s thriving technology community to support the next generation of engineers by providing students with an invaluable opportunity to learn firsthand from local startups. In addition, I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg for his leadership and vision, as the 2013 Roadmap illustrates that 100% of the 40 initiatives introduced in 2011 to help realize New York City’s digital potential are now complete. To continue to raise the bar, the Roadmap also identifies opportunities to build on this progress in the areas of infrastructure, education, open data, engagement and industry.”

Digital Ready supports innovative educational practices in participating schools in order to improve students’ college and career readiness and help them to become digital citizens. Teachers build digital resources into their lesson plans, use new media tools to engage their students in deeper learning and work with partners to expose students to careers that rely on knowledge of digital technology. Students in participating schools develop essential digital literacies and skills, engage in high-quality learning and enhance their college and career readiness by participating in expanded learning online and outside of school. The program has launched in 10 high schools in fall 2013, and will expand in the following year to 10 additional schools, including middle and high schools. The 10 schools in Digital Ready for the 2013-2014 school year are:

  • Academy for Innovative Technologies
  • Bronx Academy for Software Engineering
  • Bronx Compass High School
  • Brooklyn International High School
  • City As School
  • Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School
  • Frederick Douglass Academy VII
  • Hillcrest High School
  • Hudson High School for Learning Technologies
  • Satellite Academy High School

As part of Digital Ready, teachers are trained and supported in the use of a wide range of technology-based tools and resources. Digital Ready also includes collaboration with external partners in the digital industry to create pathways for students and their future. Tech companies have the opportunity to mentor students, offer internships and contribute to the learning experience in a variety of ways. Partners involved with Digital Ready include: the American Museum of Natural History, Apple, Artsy, Beam Center, BRIC Arts Media, Brooklyn College Community Partnership, Eyebeam, Dream Yard, Global Kids, Google, Iridescent, the LAMP, Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network, Museum of the Moving Image, NPower, NYC Salt, Scenarios USA, ScriptEd, Skillfeed and Tribeca Film Institute, among others.

“Artsy is thrilled to partner with NYC Digital to enable students in New York City high schools to discover art from museums and galleries around the world,” said Carter Cleveland, CEO and Founder, Artsy. “Education is fundamental to Artsy’s mission, and we’re excited to be a part of the City’s vital initiatives around tech education and provide students with the tools to learn about art.”

“Thanks to Digital Ready, students from Brooklyn International High School will learn programming, carpentry, metalwork and digital storytelling skills while building a giant interactive sculpture as part of our BeamWorks Project,” said Brian Cohen, Co-director, Beam Center. “We think this kind of mentor-driven collaboration enables teens to discover the value of meaningful work and passionate interests of their own. It’s incredible that Digital Ready and the Department of Education are making the opportunity possible.”

“BRIC is dedicated to integrating the artistic process to digital practices to inspire students to be creators with technology for the 21st century,” said Jackie Chang, Director of Education, BRIC.

“Brooklyn College Community Partnership has been delivering quality social justice, arts and college access programs to underserved youth in Brooklyn for over 20 years,” said Steve Ausbury, Deputy Director, Brooklyn College Community Partnership. “This year, we are excited to partner with the Digital Ready program to introduce youth from NYC public school to our experience-based College-to-Career program at Brooklyn College. The Digital Ready program will allow BCCP to build relationships with three tech-savvy high schools and offer their students a closer look into a bright future in college.”

“Mozilla Hive NYC is committed to creating transformative learning experiences for young people, and through our collaboration with Digital Ready educators and technologists from 11 non-profit organizations in our network will introduce essential 21st century skills to youth, teachers and schools throughout NYC,” said Leah Gilliam, Project Director for Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network. “We’re excited to deepen our work with the Department of Education’s Office of Post-Secondary Readiness, by bridging the gap between formal and informal learning in the City and helping youth explore their interests while developing skills to shape their professional and civic identities.”

“I know that ScriptEd’s partnership with NYC Digital and the Department of Education will broaden our impact and help many more students learn the computer programming skills they’ll need to be creators, and not just consumers, of technology,” said Maurya Couvares, Executive Director, ScriptEd.

“Skillfeed is excited to be providing NYC students access to hundreds of online courses to help them hone their digital skills,” said David Fraga, General Manager of Skillfeed.

“Tribeca Film Institute is proud to support innovation in NYC schools through this innovative program,” said Beth Janson, Executive Director of TFI. “We are thrilled to be working with educators and students at Brooklyn International High School to develop student-led new media projects that help young people explore and engage in social issues that are relevant to their school environment and their communities at large.”

In 2011, Mayor Bloomberg introduced New York City’s first Digital Roadmap. Less than three years later, with 100% of objectives complete, New York City’s Digital Leadership, the latest update to the Roadmap, demonstrates the strides the City has made to date, driven by investments in infrastructure, education, open government, online engagement and technology sector support. Highlights include:

  • Enabling 300,000 low-income residents to access the Internet and adopt service since the introduction of the first Digital RoadmapLaunching over 40 digital learning programs that have served over one million New Yorkers to date, including Cornell Tech NYC on Roosevelt Island;
  • Expanding the NYC OpenData platform from 350 public data sets offered at launch to over 2,000;
  • Relaunching a groundbreaking NYC.gov website and tripling the City’s social media audience;
  • Growing the City’s technology sector to over 1,000 Made in NY technology companies.

The new NYC.gov, which recently launched, anticipates user needs based on traffic and search data, responds to requests with improved search results, serves users with improved digital customer service functionality, informs New Yorkers of important news and programs and engages visitors on any device and digital screen.

The 2013 New York City’s Digital Leadership also includes ideas and recommendations that look to the future of the City’s position as a global digital leader, including how the City can work with local companies to increase the number of women and minorities in the tech sector. These recommendations were gathered through social media, public listening sessions and presentations that took place across New York City. To read New York City’s Digital Leadership: 2013 Roadmap in full, visit NYC.gov.