Convergence Academies (CA) is a CCAP initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund. The initiative partners closely with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to create and implement a whole-school reform model that integrates digital media arts and technology throughout two CPS schools.
We are a 2014 Cohort member of Chicago Hive. With Hive support, CCAP will fully implement and evaluate the Convergence Academies connected learning model at two Chicago Public Schools, serving 1,200 students and 56 teachers. The model connects media-integrated classroom curriculum with out-of-class learning in the Digital Atelier, a resource space in each school. The desired outcome is to gain a greater understanding of how connected learning can happen within a public school setting; students will improve media skills and literacies, and teachers will increase their capacity to bridge classroom curriculum with badging and other youth-driven learning tools.
The primary funded partners and their roles and responsibilities in this project are:
- Center for Community Arts Partnerships (CCAP) at Columbia College Chicago – will implement the Convergence Academies model, including professional development, coaching and co-teaching of curriculum units, and curating resources and programming in the Digital Atelier.
- University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Education (Dr. Nathan Phillips and Dr. Becca Woodward) – will conduct research to understand the impact of the Convergence model on students, teachers, media mentors, and collaborators.
CCAP will serve all students at Morrill Math and Science School in the Chicago Lawn community area and Tilden Career Community Academy in the New City community area. Students are 97% low-income. Morrill students are: grades K-8; 809 students total; Hispanic/Latino (54.5%), African American (44.4%); English Language Learners (ELL) 31%; special education 15%. At Tilden: grades 9-12; 348 students total; African American (68.2%), Hispanic/Latino (22.3%); ELL 8%; special education 28%. Approximately 56 teachers and instructional specialists will be served as well.