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Scholarship Program Helps RI Educators Attend Summer Institute on Digital Literacy

Scholarship Program Helps RI Educators Attend Summer Institute on Digital Literacy

Eleven Rhode Island educators have received a $500 scholarship to attend the URI Summer Institute in Digital Literacy this July at the URI Feinstein campus in Providence.

Digital Literacy Summer Scholars Program Helps RI Educators

--Kingston, RI.  The Rhode Island Foundation is sponsoring the Digital Literacy Summer Scholars Program in order to provide the opportunity for Rhode Island educators to participate in a professional development learning experience that will help them bring digital literacy to their students and colleagues. Up to ten applicants with demonstrated need will be awarded the scholarship and the scholarship will subsidize most of the registration fee for the six-day professional development program.

The URI Summer Institute in Digital Literacy will be held on July 13 - 18, 2014 and is designed to support the continuing education needs of K-12 and college educators, school and public librarians, and media professionals with an interest in integrating digital and media literacy education aross the curriculum. Featured presenters include Joyce Valenza of Rutgers University and Kelly Mendoza of Common Sense Media.

Rhode Island K-12 teachers and librarians, media practitioners, public librarians and faculty from higher education are eligible to apply for the scholarship.  They will join educators from all over the country to expand their knowledge of how digital media and technology can transform learning to be more relevant, rigorous and innovative.  Educators will engage in sessions where they will practice using new technology tools, discuss hot topics, and participate in Design Studio, a space for collaborative creation, where educators learn to integrate digital technology into their area of interest.

"We hear from employers that digital literacy is a core component of work readiness," said Jessica David, vice president for strategy and community investments at the Foundation. "We're pleased to support teachers in helping students access technology and use it to engage in new ways."  

Recipients of the Rhode Island Foundation’s scholarship program include: 

Dana Hall, English teacher, Chariho HS; 

Susan Rose, librarian, Cranston Public Schools; 

Leah Lubman, librarian, Paul Cuffee School, Providence; 

Jillian Belanger, ELL director, Paul Cuffee School, Providence; 

Tina Brownell, teacher, Newport Public Schools; 

Beth Gorter, library media specialist, Hanaford Elementary Schoo,, East Greenwich; 

Art Searle, teacher, Exeter-West Greenwich Public Schools; 

Michelle Steever, media specialist, Chariho Public Schools;  

Gillian Buckler, teacher, Exeter-West Greenwich Public Schools; 

Cassie Souto, reading specialist, North Providence HS; and 

Amanda Murphy, social studies teacher, Westerly HS.  

"All Rhode Island educators should have the chance to participate in this premier professional development program," said Renee Hobbs, professor and founding director of the URI Harrington School of Communication and Media.  "For students to be successful and productive as citizens in today's technology rich world, teachers need the opportunity to develop their own knowledge and skills. Our partnership with the Rhode Island Foundation is a critical piece in reaching this goal."

Rhode Island educators who are selected as Digital Literacy Summer Scholars will have the option to apply the $500 scholarship award towards the $650 non-matriculating registration fee or the $990 tuition fee for current graduate students wishing to take the program as a 3-credit graduate course. Educators who choose to earn graduate course credit will complete two additional assignments before and after the Summer Institute.

Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, who was a panelist at the 2013 Summer Institute on Digital Literacy said, "Digital literacy is an important part of what students are learning.  We want our students and teachers not just to have access to technology, but to use, it, to access information, to understand information, and be able to create and share information with others."

"The Summer Institute helps educators learn how digital tools can promote critical analysis, problem-solving skills and self-expression," said Julie Coiro, Associate Professor at URI's School of Education and a co-director of the program. She said, "We are looking for Rhode Island educators and librarians who are willing and able to bring this important knowledge and skills to their own students and faculty colleagues." 

Applications will be accepted until June 1. To apply online, click here.

For more information, contact Mary Moen, Workshop Leader,  URI Summer Institute in Digital Literacy.  Email: