PCF placed roughly 60 computers into various classroom at Emlen at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. Due to the success of our pilot program there, PCF received official permission from the Philadelphia Public School District’s IT department to roll out our Classroom Computers program to other schools.
After our successful pilot program, we are now officially
allowed to work with other schools directly!
We learned a lot from working with Emlen: the value these computers represent to teachers, how often they are being used, what they are being used for, and the things PCF needs to do to ensure ongoing success of a classroom computers program.
Above all, what we learned from Emlen is the utilization and value of placing computers into resource-strapped Philadelphia public school classrooms. They were being utilized almost as fast as we were able to install them into classrooms. And from the end of year utilization surveys, it became clear they’ve had a positive effect on student performance at all grade levels as well as an increase in computer literacy.
It also made us realize that generally speaking, supporting schools is a more effective way to support students than trying to work with families directly by placing computers into their homes.
As you can tell by our Testimonials page, the Emlen staff was very excited to receive these computers. Due to a recent computer lab upgrade at the school, the old computers were spread out throughout the rest of the school. But what made those computers unsuitable for the old computer lab did not make them of much use inside the classroom either!
From all the testimonials from Emlen, here are two that seem most descriptive of our efforts and the value of our Classroom Computers Program: