Daphne Bradford, Educator and Certified Instructor
Educator Daphne Bradford, who helped a group of Crenshaw High School students get certifications in digital media, publish a book and get invited to the Democratic National Convention, is offering a free training to all Los Angeles Unified teachers beginning September 1, on how to apply innovative classroom techniques and bring students here into the 21st century, she said. She will teach them how to incorporate the latest technology like digital media, social media and gaming into traditional LAUSD curriculums, which she believes will “revolutionize classrooms and help students, especially minorities, compete in college and the real world.” Bradford is able to hold the sessions through a partnership with Microsoft and its Innovative Education Program.
“I’ll just be working with various principals at various schools going to the professional development meetings introducing the training that I’m going to be doing,” Bradford explained to the Sentinel in a recent interview.
“For example digital notebooks… remember the three ring binder with the sectional and all that stuff? All that’s dead and gone, over out. You can do that online…”
Bradford will hold 12 of the teacher training sessions and her goal, she said, is to train a minimum of 20 teachers per session. If she reaches that goal it could impact about 30,000 students K-12. Her first group she said, will be the teachers at Crenshaw.
“I’m happy to begin my first training here in this community serving the minority population because they’re looking for more women, African American and Hispanic males to get involved with Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM.),” Bradford said.
“A lot of times they have scholarships but there are not enough of us applying.”
She will go to any LAUSD school that signs up for the program, she said, but she is especially encouraging the inner city schools, where students are in dire need of this type of education.
“We need to come together as a people to get all of our teachers involved,” said Bradford who is a former entertainment industry insider and the current CEO of non-profit Mother of Many.
“Stop hemming and hawing because you know what, technology isn’t going to wait on [anybody] to teach it. It’s here, it’s not going anywhere…”
Upon completing the training, teachers will be able to hold biology classes for example, that involve Microsoft’s Kinect gaming, which let’s kids get a look at their skeletal system. They will learn how to get students more involved in the learning process through teaching them simple game design. And, said Bradford, they will learn how to teach lessons using a variety of digital media and software like tablets or Smart phones and Microsoft Office.
Bradford stumbled upon the program accidentally while searching for something else online. Including herself, there were only two Black educators who had signed up for the program. While there, she was able to get a glimpse of what other teachers across the country were doing in their classrooms and what she saw sparked the almost relentless determination she has now, to change things here in L.A. Unified.
“I mean they’re Skyping with kids in other countries,” she said.
“And I thought, ‘oh Lord, we’re in trouble…[because] we are so far behind. We’re not Skyping in the classroom to China, Japan, South Africa… those other teachers were doing that and these kids were in the third grade. So, I came back on fire.
“I could have flown back on my own. We have to do something because not only are the kids not able to compete, the teachers aren’t able to compete. And, this is the second largest school district in the nation.”
For more information about the teacher-training program email Bradford, firstname.lastname@example.org