State Legislative Bodies Advance Computer Science and Technology bills for High School Graduation and new Workforce STEM Requirements

NASHVILLE, TN—Tennessee’s General Assembly reconvened January 11, 2022 and on April 14, 2022 the Tennessee Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 2406 (SB 2406) requiring their Department of Education (DOE) to adopt standards for computer science education by the 2023-2024 school year. Under the new bill, by the 2024-2025 school year all high school students in Tennessee would be required to take a full year of computer science education in order to graduate and middle schoolers would have to take at least one computer science course.

CodeCrew Code School helps connect families and young adults in Memphis, TN.
Photo courtesy: CodeCrew Memphis

SB 2406 and its companion bill in the Tennessee House of Representatives, HB 2153, stipulates Tennessee [DOE] will provide in-person and online computer science courses for public school students at no charge by the start of the 2023-24 school year. To this end, DOE would also provide a computer science education professional development program at no cost to educators. Additionally, SB 2406/HB 2153 creates new computer science requirements and stronger academic standards for K-12 students with a requirement Tennessee schools implement these standards beginning in the 2024-25 school year when enacted.

BDPA Alumni and BDPA Memphis Chapter Student Members with (L-R) Bryce Ellis, Naim Hakeem, Kareem Dasilva, Judy Lane, Melaati Jayah, Jada Thorium Mykaila Johnson. Photo: BDPA Memphis

Nebraska Advances High School Computer Science and Technology Bill

Nebraska lawmakers also approved a bill last month to ensure students receive computer science and technology education prior to high school graduation. Introduced by Senator Terrell McKinney of Omaha, LB 1112 would require every public school district in Nebraska to include computer science and technology education within legacy instructional programs of its elementary and middle schools beginning in school year 2024-25.

Nebraska’s students would be required to complete at least one five-credit high school course in computer science and technology prior to graduation. These courses can be provided across traditional in-person classroom settings or blended learning environments.

Upskilling JROTC with STEM Education and Cybersecurity Training for Workforce Pipelines  

JROTC Cadets from Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. attending BDPA-DC’s annual Community Technology Awards. BDPA photo © 2019 by Roy Lewis

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2022, Public Law 117-81, authorized $187.6 million and modifies a grant program supporting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in JROTC to include quantum information sciences. NDAA 2022 also requires the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) to submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate (SASC) and the House of Representatives (HASC) a briefing on the status of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs of each Armed Force. SECDEF’s briefing must include the following:

(1) an assessment of the current usage of the program, including the number of individuals enrolled in the program, the demographic information of individuals enrolled in the program, and the number of units established under the program

(2) a description of the efforts of the Armed Forces to meet current enrollment targets for the program

(3) If applicable, an explanation of the reasons such enrollment targets have not been met
(4) a description of any obstacles preventing the Armed Forces from meeting such enrollment targets

(5) a comparison of the potential benefits and drawbacks of expanding the program; and

(6) a description of program-wide diversity and inclusion recruitment and retention efforts

Tech Industry Certifications Before High School Graduation

In Virginia, the commonwealth’s  Board of Education has approved many exams for the purpose of awarding verified credit, specifically designated as “Student-Selected Verified Credit.” In Fairfax County, just outside of our Nation’s Capital, many  Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses prepare students for industry certification opportunities. Students who desire this professional credential must pass an industry-developed, industry evaluated exam at the end of the CTE course. Earning an industry credential demonstrates professional skill levels students and JROTC cadets have achieved while providing industry-recognized proof that students are prepared for career-related responsibilities or post-secondary education or training.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provides a broad range of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) opportunities and academic opportunities that support pathways to STEAM jobs and careers. In Fairfax County, and across the National Capital Region, the greatest job growth continues to come largely from STEAM-related professions.

Sources: Tennessee and Nebraska General Assemblies; FCPS; Code Crews; BDPA Memphis; and BDPA-DC. Cover photo credit: Charlie Perkins, National BDPA. BDPA Southern Minnesota Coding Team shown during National BDPA’s annual High School Computer Competition (HSCC).

FCEDA

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FCC To Launch $7.17 Billion Connectivity Fund Program

New Program Provides Funding to Schools and Libraries Critical to Closing the Homework Gap

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted final rules to implement the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This $7.17 billion program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will enable schools and libraries to purchase laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and broadband connectivity for students, school staff, and library patrons in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Far too often, students, teachers, and library patrons lack the access they need to broadband and connected devices. This need has become even more apparent during these unprecedented times,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chairwoman of the FCC. “Between this Emergency Connectivity Fund Program and the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, we are investing more than $10 billion in American students and households. These investments will help more Americans access online education, healthcare, and employment resources. They will help close the Homework Gap for students nationwide and give so many more households the ability to connect, communicate, and more fully participate in modern life.”

The Report and Order adopted today establishes the rules and policies governing the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The new rules define eligible equipment and services, service locations, eligible uses, and reasonable support amounts for funding provided. It designates the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) as the program administrator with FCC oversight, and leverages the processes and structures used in the ERate program for the benefit of schools and libraries already familiar with the E-Rate program. It also adopts procedures to protect the limited funding from waste, fraud, and abuse.

Recent estimates suggest there may be as many as 17 million children struggling without the broadband access they need for remote learning. The Acting Chairwoman has long made closing the Homework Gap a priority during her tenure at the Commission.

— Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Top photo: GettyImages


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A new generation of Black male teachers starts its journey in partnership with Apple

AUSTIN, TX — For more than 100 years, teaching has run through Hillary-Rhys Richard’s family. Growing up in Katy, Texas, Rhys, as he’s known to his friends, listened to his mother, Astrya Richard, tell stories of her ancestors — four generations of educators who saw teaching as a calling, and learning as a tool for change.

By the end of high school, Rhys had never had a Black male teacher, and that absence, along with his family’s deep connection to education, helped steer him to follow in their footsteps.

This week, Rhys, 18, will complete his freshman year remotely as part of the inaugural class of the African American Male Teacher Initiative at Huston-Tillotson University. The first-of-its-kind program was created in partnership with Apple as part of the company’s ongoing and deep commitment to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Apple’s multiyear partnership with Huston-Tillotson complements other engagements the company has established through its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, working alongside the HBCU community to develop curricula and provide new learning and workforce opportunities.

At Huston-Tillotson, Apple is providing scholarships for the program’s students, called Pre-Ed Scholars, as well as hardware, software, and professional-development courses for students and faculty. 

“Every student should have the chance to be taught by someone who represents them,” Rhys wrote in his application essay to Huston-Tillotson. “In order to build strong children, we need strong male teachers to forge a path through being the example for students. The baton has to be passed for us to continue pushing forward. I stand ready to run my leg of the race.

Rhys Richard practices the tuba alongside iPad Pro and MacBook Pro.
Rhys Richard plays four instruments and one day aspires to teach music.

Currently, only 2 percent of all US teachers are Black men, something the program at Huston-Tillotson seeks to change. When Black students are taught by a Black teacher, they are significantly more likely to graduate high school and consider attending college.

Huston-Tillotson President Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette has witnessed the power of that relationship firsthand. Her son had a Black male teacher in the fifth grade, and it transformed his education.

“It just really did something magical for him,” says Dr. Burnette. “So this is personal for me because of my own experience raising an African American male. It’s my mission to be able to get these young Black men in classrooms, so they can pour into other vessels like themselves because they have shared experiences. And there’s nothing like being taught by someone who has a shared experience.

”It’s the reason Dr. Burnette prioritized the creation of the African American Male Teacher Initiative, and sought out a partner in Apple.

I want to be the teacher I never had, the teacher every student deserves. And it all begins here.

Rhys Richard, student at Huston-Tillotson University

“There’s an African proverb: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,’” says Dr. Burnette. “So to have a partner like Apple that is best in class for innovation and its commitment to excellence — it’s a natural match. We’re investing in a mission with education as the great equalizer and giving people opportunities to be the best they can be.”

When Rhys graduates from the program, he’s going to teach music. He currently plays four instruments, including the tuba, which is his favorite. His freshman music classes are taught by Dr. Samuel Rowley, who is Rhys’s first Black male teacher. “He’s very positive,” says Rhys. “And he’s a perfectionist with his work, which is sort of like me. So I see myself in him.”

Dr. Rowley’s life was also changed by his first Black male teacher, his high school band director. “He left a tremendous impact,” says Dr. Rowley.

“We all wanted to be music teachers just like him.” Dr. Rowley uses Clips and Garage Band on iPad in his music classes, which are all taught remotely because of the pandemic.

“If it would not have been for Apple products, I would not have been able to connect with my students all around the country,” says Dr. Rowley, who is a recognized Apple Teacher after completing professional learning courses offered through the free online Apple Teacher Learning Center. He’s guiding Rhys and his fellow Pre-Ed Scholars through the courses as well, so they will also be recognized Apple Teachers when they graduate.

“I’m really excited about learning more about Apple technology with the Apple Teacher program,” says Rhys. “Especially now that I’ve been introduced to GarageBand, I want to learn more about how I can incorporate it into my classes when I’m a teacher.” That passion for sharing knowledge is something that Rhys’s mother has seen for many years.

“The way he loves music, it will make anyone love music,” says Astrya, an assistant principal who taught for many years. “And I just picture him having that type of impact on kids. I think he’s going to be an outstanding educator.” Rhys’s application essay to Huston-Tillotson closed with a commitment to the generations of students he will undoubtedly go on to inspire.“

I look forward to creating a place of open learning where ideas are exchanged and experiences are shared,” wrote Rhys. “I want to be the teacher I never had, the teacher every student deserves. And it all begins here.”

Rhys Richard with his mother, Astrya Richard, and his father, Hillary Richard Jr.
Rhys Richard’s mother, Astrya Richard, who spent her career in education, and his father, Hillary Richard Jr., deeply support their son’s journey to one day teach the next generation of students.

— Source and photos: Apple

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The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center grows rapidly in size and scope

ARMONK, NY—When IBM launched the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center last September, our goal was to collaborate with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in a way that would advance not only quantum information science, but also STEM-based opportunities for these traditionally underrepresented communities. We are proud to report that this initiative in the quantum computing field is off to a fast start, as HBCUs, students, and faculty begin to explore the Center’s vast potential.

Membership has nearly doubled in less than six months to a total of 23 HBCUs. We have created a community of students and faculty, including the start of an undergraduate research program where students are exploring quantum computation with Qiskit, and have contributed to a pre-print on arXiv that investigates the use of machine learning and quantum computing to better understand unknown quantum systems.

Expanding the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center

Today, we’ve announced a slate of new members for the Center, with 10 historically Black colleges and universities joining the Center’s 13 founding institutions. The new schools (in alphabetical order) are:

Distinguished faculty

In addition to this rapid growth, we are honored to have distinguished faculty as members of the Center, including Howard University associate professor of physics Thomas Searles, winner of the inaugural Joseph A. Johnson III Award for Excellence; Serena Eley, an assistant professor of physics at the Colorado School of Mines and head of the Eley Quantum Materials Group; and Anderson Sunda-Meya, an associate professor of physics at Xavier University of Louisiana and recipient of the 2021 American Physical Society Excellence in Physics Education Award.

Professors Eley and Searles have also received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the organization’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The program supports early-career faculty who have the potential to become academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in their department or organization.

Inclusion from the start

The Center is a multi-year investment designed to prepare and develop talent at HBCUs from all STEM disciplines. IBM’s goals are to build a sustainable quantum research and education program by increasing the number of Black students educated in Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE), strengthening research efforts of faculty at HBCUs in QISE, and providing opportunities for scholarship, fellowships, and internships for HBCU undergraduate and graduate students.

The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center’s mission is to educate, foster collaboration on joint research, and ultimately create a more diverse quantum-ready workforce for students studying everything from physics and chemistry to computer science and business. The Center’s members collaborate across their respective institutions, and are building regional interactions to strengthen both faculty and student engagement.

Black and Latinx students leave STEM majors at nearly twice the rate of white students, due largely to the lack of a support structure and access to resources as they pursue their academic goals, according to EAB, a Washington-based education research company. We see the need for an inclusive, supportive space where these students and their professors are able to collaborate and explore emerging technologies. This collaboration with HBCUs, which educate 27 percent of African American graduates with STEM degrees, will increase opportunities for faculty and students to identify and launch successful careers in the budding field of quantum computing.

Since IBM first put a quantum computer on the cloud almost five years ago, it has pushed the boundaries of both access and enablement for quantum computation at a global scale. One example is our Qiskit Global Summer School, which delivered an undergraduate-level course on quantum algorithms to a global audience of over 4,000 students in over 100 countries. Another example is our partnership with The Coding School expanding quantum education to high schools by educating thousands of students around the world for a full academic year.

Read more on Qiskit Medium: How Howard University Students Are Hoping to Change the Future of Quantum Computing

We know that early touch points with new technology can help increase the likelihood of capturing interest in the subject and is critical for underrepresented communities. In return, we envision quantum computing benefitting greatly from a diverse community of researchers and industry professionals that can help advance the technology and identify commercial applications.

Looking forward

As the Center continues to develop, we are measuring success on a number of metrics, including student engagement, talent and workforce development, and research capacity. We hope to apply these best practices as we build the quantum workforce, especially at community colleges and undergraduate and minority-serving institutions, which all serve traditionally underrepresented communities in STEM.

Source and photo credits: IBM | February 22, 2021 | Written by: Dr.  Kayla Lee and Benita Zazueta

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Tablets For Teens • www.tabletsforteens.org

BDPA-DC Welcomes new Training Scholarships for HBCU Seniors and Graduates Earning Industry Certifications with HOPE Project Online

WASHINGTON—The H.O.P.E. Project DMV (HOPE) is accepting applications for next semester’s online STEM certification offering of its renowned and award winning community information technology (IT) training and workforce development  program. Since 2009, HOPE has successfully launched exciting technology careers through programs uniquely designed to prepare students from ages 16-24 for mission-critical entry-level positions such as Helpdesk, Desktop, Service Management,  and Application support.

BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) in direct support of National BDPA’s mission and the association’s HBCU student member objectives, is partnering with HOPE to provide training and certification scholarships directly to HBCU students or recent HBCU graduates who are accepted into HOPE’s online training programs.  

BDPA-DC extends its “Industry 4.0” Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship  (SITES IV) portfolio to include HOPE’s CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ training, certification test preparation to compliment next summer’s STEM internship applications or college degrees for immediate entry-level opportunities across the (ICT) industry with BDPA’s mission-partners

BDPA-DC extends its “Industry 4.0” Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship  (SITES IV) portfolio to include HOPE’s CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ training, certification test preparation to compliment next summer’s STEM internship applications or college degrees for immediate entry-level opportunities across the (ICT) industry with BDPA’s mission-partners

About H.O.P.E. Project DMV

The H.O.P.E. Project (HOPE) mission is to empower students to reach their potential by providing a comprehensive information technology training program, designed for students out of high school and at least 18 years old. Since 2009 HOPE Project  has trained, coached, and mentored nearly 2,000 IT students that have an average salary of nearly $65,000 a year.  HOPE has helped students earn over 2,200 CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications.  These credentials have helped HOPE alumni build IT careers working as Cyber Security Engineers, Systems Administrators, Mobile Device Engineers, and IT Project Managers.  Visit: hopeprojectonline.com.

About BDPA-DC

The association’s global mission as outlined by National BDPA is to bridge digital divides across cyber security, information technology (IT) and telecommunications competency gaps while broadening outreach and awareness campaigns for computer, data science, and technical careers. Since 1978, BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) has successfully presented Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) projects across the National Capital Region support career development and economic development through well blended and tailored series of student programs, industry outreach, community relations, and legislative affairs primarily for urban and underserved communities.   Visit: bdpadc.org.

— Photo courtesy: HOPE Project DMV

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Free and Low Cost Online Cybersecurity Learning Content — Get Started Now

Data Science Opportunities
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GAITHERSBURG, MD — During this unusual time in our lives, many of us find we want to improve our knowledge, skills or even prepare for new career opportunities. If you are interested in cybersecurity careers, need to change careers or close technical gaps in your current resume, there are numerous online education providers to choose from. Many online courses are available from your local community college, four-year universities, even the prestigious Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) programs – please review all options.

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The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is a partnership between government, academia, and the private sector focused supporting the country’s ability to address current and future cybersecurity education and workforce challenges through standards and best practices. The following links from NICE’s site are not endorsements, but list free and low-cost online educational content on topics such as information technology and cybersecurity. Some, not all, may contribute towards professional learning objectives or lead to industry certifications and online degrees. Please note that their site will continue to be updated as new information is gathered and edited for clarity and accuracy for your family, school, or business.

Name and Hyperlink to your Materials*Description**
CompTIAFree online training for CompTIA IT Fundamentals and other resources.
CLARK Center Plan CFree cybersecurity curriculum that is primarily video-based or provide online assignments that can be easily integrated into a virtual learning environments.
Culture of CybersecurityFree, downloadable kids activities to help your family learn basic cybersecurity concepts and defense strategies.
CybraryFree information technology and cybersecurity training portal.
EC-CouncilFree resources for the information security community in the form of webinars, blogs, online video training, and much more.
ElasticFree on-demand Elastic Stack, observability, and security courses.
Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE)Free online cybersecurity training for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government employees, federal contractors, and US military veterans.
FortinetFree access to the FortiGate Essentials Training Course and Network Security Expert courses 1 and 2.
IBM (hosted by Coursera)Free (7-day trial) suite of courses on IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity Specialization.
IBM Security Learning AcademyFree technical training for IBM Security products.
(ISC)2 Webinars and CoursesFree technical webinars and courses to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPEs).
(ISC)2 Utilizing Big DataFree course for (ISC)2 members (low cost for non-members) that provides an overview of Big Data components, architectures and applications.
NICCS Education and Training CatalogDatabase of free and for pay, online and in person courses.
Open P-TECHFree digital learning on the tech skills of tomorrow.
PluralsightFree access to 7,000+ expert-led video courses and more during the month of April.
SANSFree cybersecurity community resources and programs.
SANS Cyber Aces OnlineFree online course that teaches the core concepts needed to assess and protect information security systems.
TestOut’s 2020 K12 GrantFree TestOut courses for K12 teachers. Application process required.
UdemyHeavily discounted online courses for various certifications.

*Materials are related to coding, product training, certification preparation or general IT and cybersecurity skills development, and teacher training and curriculum.
**Some of these materials may only be free or low cost (less than $100) for a limited time.

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For more information on how to add additional information or to correct an error, please email NICE.
   →  nice.nist@nist.gov.

Source:
NICE Program Office
nist.nice@nist.gov
(301) 975-5048
100 Bureau Dr.
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

National BDPA and local BDPA Chapters have broadened outreach to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions (HBCU/MSI) to include establishing BDPA chapters with HBCU/MSIs, CAE schools, and community colleges already certified by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in research (CAE-R), cyber defense (CAE-CD), or cyber operations (CAE-CO).

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BDPA-DC/HOPE Project Tech Partnership initiative is to assist HBCU students and graduates with earning CompTIA technical certifications.  In addition to assisting with technical certification HOPE Project will assist HBCU grads with career coaching and access to our employer network. 

The program is open to any HBCU STEM Major or recent HBCU Stem Graduate.  We anticipate awarding 40 scholarships in 2021.  Candidates can select from any one of the three CompTIA certifications, A+, Network+ or Security+ • Apply now and before January 7th, 2022 with your latest resume by visiting: https://www.hopeprojectonline.com/hbcu

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To launch a new BDPA Chapter on campus, email: info@bdpa.org  today and partner with us during #BDPACon22 in Atlanta, GA August 18-20, 2022.  Visit BDPA.org to discover more . . .

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Start-Ups. Small Businesses. HBCU/MIs.
Take flight from “Grants-to-Contracts!” The United States Air Force plans to grow its venture investment substantially this year. To that end, Air Force, in partnership with National BDPA is providing step by step technology transfer workshops for start-ups, small businesses, and research institutions during this year’s Air Force STTR HBCU Virtual Collider.

D.C. Mayor Delivers a $4.6 Million Technology Investment with 16,400 Devices to Students

#BDPA2020 | bdpa2020.com

WASHINGTON – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Public Schools (DCPS) began delivering more than 16,400 technology devices to students across all eight wards as a part of the Empowered Learner’s Initiative. The initiative is a comprehensive three-year commitment by Mayor Bowser to close the digital divide and empower DCPS students through access to state-of-the-art technology.

“Last year, our community made clear that they wanted us to invest more in technology in our schools – and we answered that call with a $4.6 million investment in new devices for our young learners,” said Mayor Bowser. “But this investment isn’t just about buying devices – it’s about ensuring our students and teachers have the programs and resources they need to help us close the digital divide in Washington, DC.”

Last year, Mayor Bowser made an initial $4.6 million investment in technology to provide every student in grades 3, 6, and 9 with a device to use at school, and students in all other grades will have a 3:1 student-to-device ratio in the classroom. After ensuring schools had the necessary technology infrastructure and providing professional development to educators, classrooms are receiving the Microsoft Surface Go to enhance teaching and learning.

dc-tablets-farabee2020“DCPS is excited to begin delivering on our commitment to close the digital divide and empower students across the district in innovative ways,” said DC Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee (above left, with students). “This year, students in grades 3, 6, and 9 will receive Microsoft Surface Go’s that will enhance their learning experience and advance college and career success. I thank Mayor Bowser for her investment in the Empowered Learner’s initiative and look forward to providing even more students with access to state-of-the-art technology over the next three years.”

After students and educators tested the Microsoft Surface Go, it was selected for its agility, durability, and long-battery life. The Surface Go has a world-facing camera for video and photography, and an inking stylus for drawing and writing.

Since the beginning of the school year, teachers, technology specialists, and operations staff engaged in professional development focused on this new technology. Students are receiving digital citizenship lessons, published by Common Sense Media, to make safe and responsible decisions online.

“We want to ensure the new technology provides the best experience for students and have been testing and optimizing to make that a reality,” said DC Chief Technology Officer Lindsey Parker. “Nearly 50 technicians are trained and ready to support students and teachers the moment the devices enter the classroom and students log-in.”

Tablets For TeensThe devices will stay in the classroom so teachers can continue to use the technology to enhance their instruction. Families can expect to see their third grade students using the devices to apply the math skills they learn to control Sphero robots; high school students enrolled in credit recovery can have full access to digital resources and assessment that will help them master the course content; and teachers can provide personalized strategies to meet every student’s individual needs through both in-person and digital instruction.

Next fiscal year, Mayor Bowser plans to make another multimillion dollar investment in technology to provide a device for every student in grades 4, 7, and 10. To learn more about the devices, families can visit the District’s Empowered Learners Initiative website.

Source and photo: Office of the Mayor
Cover photo courtesy: Debbie Truong

* Resources for DCPS parents, teachers, and students are linked here.


** Related articles on BDPA-DC’s Tablets For Teens or National BDPA’s Mobile App Showcase programs are linked here.


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Select here for exciting careers in TECH and CYBER ...

Congress Hosts HBCU Leaders for Event on Education, R&D, and Prosperity

BDPA2020 | bdpa2020.com

WASHINGTON — Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) hosted the fourth annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Fly-In event with U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.)  This annual Fly-In represented nearly 40 HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the country.

The Fly-In event featured two panels with members of Congress. One in the morning with Scott, Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). Walker hosted the second panel, which included guests U.S. Representative French Hill (R-A.R) and U.S. Representative Andy Barr (R-K.Y).

Among topics discussed were funding sources and the passage of the FUTURE Act, legislation Walker led to provide permanent resources for HBCUs and MSIs. Walker and Scott also led a robust session on the benefit of Opportunity Zones and economic policies to bridge economic and educational divides across minority communities.

Scott and Fly-In attendees honored Walker with a framed photo at the conclusion of the conference to thank him for his relentless dedication to HBCUs over the past six years. His district also includes the largest HBCU in the United States, North Carolina A&T State University.

Walker has been a champion of HBCUs and MSIs from the very beginning of his time in Congress, fighting for the funding and recognition they deserve. Walker also delivered welcoming remarks this week at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s (TMCF) Fly-In.

scott-hbcu_fly-in-2020b

U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) (above, center) moderates a panel with Senate colleagues (seated L-R) Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). Senator Scott and Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC) co-hosted the Fourth Annual 2020 HBCU Fly-In in Washington, D.C. This annual event featured a bipartisan, bicameral coalition of Members of Congress to celebrate America’s more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Related funding discussions with both chambers of Congress, both sides of the aisle, Professional Staff, and event follow-up requests for HBCU/MSI inclusion include, but are not limited to:

  • Increasing HBCU/MSI research and development (R&D) participation
  • Upgrading HBCU/MSI infrastructures
  • Developing and upgrading HBCU/MSI super-computing facilities, capabilities, training, and staffing
  • Increasing HBCU/MSI pipelines with robust High School and JROTC computer, cyber, robotics, and drone training with competitions from as early as 7th or 8th grades

Funding requests were submitted this quarter to the House and Senate’s respective professional staff  on Appropriations, Armed Services, or select Committees on Intelligence for the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund legislative incentives to broaden mission-partnerships and increase subcontracts for HBCU/MSIs with Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs).  FFRDCs and UARCs are not-for-profit entities sponsored and primarily funded by the U.S. government to address technical needs that cannot be met as effectively by existing government or contractor resources.

Select here to read or download this edition.Similar funding requests for HBCU/MSIs also apply to the Department of Transportation (DOT) which invests in the future of transportation and “SMART Cities” through its University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program. The UTC program awards and administers grants to consortia of colleges and universities across the United States.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), including Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), who chairs the CBC and serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Congressman Anthony Brown (D-MD), who serves as Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, also participated.

— Sources and photos courtesy BDPA-DC and the offices
of Senator Tim Scott and Congressman Mark Walker

Commemorating Women's History Month

Johnson & Johnson executive to chair National BDPA’s Education and Technology Foundation

larry-jones-JJATLANTA, GA—National BDPA’s Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) today named Larry Jones its new Chairman. Jones succeeds Earl A. Pace, Jr., Co-Founder of National BDPA.

Jones, a Johnson & Johnson executive,  is a purpose-driven leader that delivers transformational change with key principles of business process integration, agile approaches, and next generation technology solutions. As a seasoned tech executive, he has led significant programs within Johnson & Johnson across its Pharmaceuticals and Hospital Medical Device sectors.

Driven by his passion and experience in healthcare, he is CIO for one of the largest medical device companies in the world. As member of the $27B Medical Device senior leadership team, Larry’s recent success includes completion of a 3 year, $200M global digital transformation initiative to drive lean business processes, cloud-based solutions, and integrated insights. He spent over 6+ years as the multi-region, global CIO for Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Currently, he is focused on driving digital surgery connectivity solutions for the company’s surgical robotics and machine learning platforms in Oncology, Orthopedics, Cardiovascular, and general surgery.

With a strong commitment to diversity and core values, his leadership teams have driven consistently high employee engagement results and technology execution. He is an executive member of the Johnson & Johnson African American Leadership Council and J&J’s regional Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council.

Fascinated with the opportunity of transforming lives in healthcare through next generation technology, Larry serves as a Healthcare industry advisory council member for Microsoft and Verizon. Along with his efforts on non-profit boards, he is also member of the prestigious Executive Leadership Council.

In 2019, Larry was honored by ITSMF and The Harlem Fine Arts Society for African American Lifetime Achievement in Technology. He has also been nominated for InspireCIO’s NY/NJ CIO of the year for 2019.

Larry Jones has a MS / MBA in computer engineering from the University of Pennsylvania & Wharton School. He also earned a BS in Computer Science from St. Peter’s University.

BETF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, founded in 1992 to support the education and technical programs of National BDPA (founded in 1975 and formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates).

BDPA2019.com | BETF.org

Source and photos: Larry Jones/LinkedIn and J&J

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