Educators and policy-makers know that personal technology and broadband access are game-changers when it comes to improving outcomes for students – but far too many of the schools they attend lack the resources to provide them.
But for students who face significant challenges in their home lives, access to technology inside the classroom can help bridge the digital divide.
It’s one of the reasons why HP, a longtime-player in education technology, announced today it will launch a long-term technology partnership with the Graham School, a program of the nonprofit Graham Windham.
HP is gifting each of the students and their teachers with top-of-the-line HP Chromebook x360 Education Edition convertible laptops and outfitting the school’s basement into a 21st Century “maker” lab with an HP Learning Studio that features a Dremel 3D printer and the innovative Sprout Pro by HP immersive workstation.
These technologies will not only help teachers improve their skills, gain time back in the classroom and draw from a wider variety of teaching tools, it’s also set to benefit the students who need the most support: the 300 at-risk students from socio-economically challenged neighborhoods the New York City metropolitan area and often have huge gaps in their education due to poverty, addiction, foster care and other hardships.
“By empowering every student and teacher with personal technology, it opens up a new possibilities for collaboration and skill-building for the future,” said Gus Schmedlen, head of HP’s education vertical. “They will be entering a workforce where to be successful, they’ll need to work collaboratively and be able to transition from the analog to the digital worlds seamlessly. This gift aims to shrink the achievement gap and offer opportunities to come out of school with these skills in hand.”
Moving the project forward
The donation from HP isn’t just a corporate “feel-good” moment for the company and the brand – HP is in it for the long haul. It has partnered with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, MRA, Intel and Digital Promise to ensure the success of the tech overhaul, including offering change management consulting, professional development and training, and ongoing support.
“They are going from a technology drought to a very rich, collaborative environment,” Schmedlen said. “This is a long-term relationship for HP.”
HP, in turn, will study the effects of the technology interventions with a rigorous longitudinal study that aims to track and report how student performance changes over time, and also determine if there are school-wide lifts in standardized test scores, graduation rates, college acceptances and other measurable improvements.
“Because each student will have a digital footprint, we can collect evidence and learn where they are strong and where they might need more help,” Schmedlen said. “By going from analog learning to digital, we can use data to create predictive intelligence to improve student outcomes.”
The Hamilton connection
“I have seen a lot of corporate donations, but this is different,” Miranda said. “The HP team has created an implementation plan that will upgrade the school’s infrastructure to support the new technology, train teachers in the software, and develop metrics that will be measured over time, in addition to the donation of the most up-to-date tech. What I see from these efforts is that HP feels that Graham Windham has as much to teach them as they have to teach the school.”
Miranda became an active supporter of Graham Windham following the strong partnership developed with the organization by his son, composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of his Broadway mega-hit, Hamilton: An American Musical.
“My hope is that one day the Graham Windham programs will not be in such need as they are now, but until then, I look forward to seeing children thrive in the program through the loving care and guidance of the teachers there, and supported by efforts of corporations like HP,” Miranda said.
In 1805, Eliza Hamilton established Graham Windham as the first private orphanage in New York City in honor of her husband, Alexander Hamilton.
“We are extremely pleased to partner with Graham Windham to help reinvent the classroom and keep Eliza Hamilton’s legacy alive,” said Lucio. “Education is a strategic and special market for HP. By studying the unique needs of students, teachers and administrators, we design education technology solutions to help schools enable the next generation of inventors, leaders, and artists. We are so grateful for this partnership with the Miranda family.”