Instructor Wm Jackson with Educational Technology students attending Open House
HBCU’s are Vital to Education and STEAM Careers
The importance of instruction in education and STEAM in
HBCU’s can be seen in the classrooms of Historical Black
Colleges and Universities similar to the classes at Edward
Waters College located in Jacksonville, Florida.
The students of the Educational Technology class with
instructor William Jackson who is both a teacher with the
public school system in Jacksonville, Florida and adjunct
with Edward Waters College, the oldest HBCU in the state
of Florida is showing there is a need and demand for knowledge
in the area of technology integration, content creation and
the development of thought leaders.
Students in the Educational Technology class at EWC are
learning to modify, create and enhance documents for lesson
plans, access to data using spreadsheets that show learning
gains or learning challenges, conduct presentations in
PowerPoint and build interactive and informative projects
through web based research. Students are taught how to Market
and Brand themselves using Social Media platforms to make
themselves more marketable and competitive.
Mr. Jackson has been teaching at the historic EWC for several
years, provides instruction on how to integrate technology in
the learning and business environment for students in the
Education Department, Mass Communications and other
disciplines. The Educational Technology class teaches
students the value and empowerment of technology, Social
Media content creation and the instructional and educational
elements of Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics.
Many educational surveys are showing that “teachers who
instruct American students in public, private and charter
schools find that digital technologies have become essential
to their teaching profession.” Pew Internet Research 2013
The importance of having a knowledge base and skill-sets of technology
will mean the difference in having a productive career or being
unemployable or underemployed. The internet, wireless mobile
phones, and social media have brought new challenges to teachers,
access to the latest digital technologies is important in how future
educators will be proficient and capable in educating students who
are raised from toddlers using wireless Smartphones, tablet and
laptop technologies. The students of EDU TECH 250 are learning
in real time and through hands-on learning the inclusion and infusion
of technologies in the classrooms of Duval County Public Schools.
Instructor William Jackson, at one time a STEAM educator
teaching Engineering and Technology at an elementary school and
with Black Male College Explorers program, with the permission
of the Principal of Venetia Elementary where Mr. Jackson now
teaches, his students from EWC visit and tour during Open House,
to be engaged and view instruction, modeling, and parental interaction.
Role modeling is a valuable tool for new educators and other
professionals that still have a few years to go to be graduates and
on their own.
Viewing educational professionals in their environment helps to make
connections in implementing teaching standards, benchmarks and
build classroom management strategies.
Several of the students in Edu Tech 250 are education majors, but there
are also mass communications, business, biology and even criminal
justice majors that attend the class because they realize that their skills-sets
must be strengthened with 21st century technology skills. Mr. Jackson
earned his bachelor’s degree from South Carolina State University in
education, has over 20 years of educational experience in the elementary
and higher education environment. Mr. Jackson has earned a Masters
degree in Educational Technology from Webster University and also
worked for NASA, Florida Department of Education, and Florida State
College Jacksonville, he has attended and conducted workshops and
presentations on multiple areas of study.
Having attended and presented at conferences like the Florida
Educational Technology Conference (FETC), Florida Blogging Conference
for Educators (FLBLOGCON) and even events such as Learn2Earn
Experience, Blogging While Brown and Preventing Crime in the Black
Community, the value and empowerment of education is shared,
emphasized and prioritized when spoken of and applied to careers.
Higher educational institutions like Edward Waters College are
important to provide students opportunities and support where other
institutions would not. The diversity of the nations classrooms still
shows that there is a need for institutions that work to support
learning for students that also have diverse learning, social, economic,
and political challenges and are often times forgotten, cast away and
given up on and seen as not worthy to receive a quality education.
HBCUs see investments in their students not just a student number,
this investment is achieving levels of campus diversity that will make
institutions more appealing and HBCU students competitive in the
workforce. Greg Squires, a professor of sociology and public policy
at George Washington University, said, “I think there is justification
for black schools to remain the way they were built, as vehicles for
expanding opportunity for black people and strengthening cultural
pride and achievement. “
The Educational Technology class of EWC helps students to understand
and grasp the conceptualities of diverse technologies and how to apply
and manipulate to effectively use. Some of the important areas of
instruction in Educational Technology are how impactful the Internet
and digital tools are. The impact comes in being able to access and
create content, utilize digital resources, and materials for teaching,
research and application. HBCU’s are dynamic institutions of change
and adaptability, thus working constantly to diversify their staffs with
instructors from all walks of life and professional backgrounds.
HBCU’s like Edward Waters College are not just for “Black people” as
can be seen by the diversity and cultural heritage of the student body.
Historically Black colleges and universities have done a much better job
in tending to the needs of their students than traditional colleges and
universities. There is and will continue to be arguments for the existence
of HBCU’s, looking at data and statistics HBCU’s are responsible
for the preparation of the majority of Black educators, those engaged in
STEAM / STEM careers and even students that are non-traditional
established with families.
The value of field trips in participating in Open House, or
PTO/PTA programs, allows students particularly from HBCU’s the
value of meeting educational professionals. Interacting with teachers
and administrators and importantly learning how to dialogue
with parents. These skill-sets cannot be taught just in the classroom,
but need real world experiences and interaction. Mr. Jackson has
involved his past students with the first African American Mayor in
Alvin Brown of Jacksonville; students have participated in
Chamber of Commerce meetings/networking events and other trips allowing
for maximum exposure to industry leaders in business, technology,
commerce and other important areas.
Avery Brooks of EWC meets Mayor Alvin Brown
The community must be involved even on the higher educational level to
train, instruct, challenge, mentor and involve students who will be the
future of their communities, their nation and even global influencers.
HBCU’s need to be supported not just monetarily,but through mentoring and
field trips to learn and apply learning outside of the classroom.
A great experience attending Open House at Venetia Elementary School