Classroom of the Future (CFF) convenes business, community, K-12 districts and institutions of higher education to support innovation in education. It is a catalyst for the creation of learning programs that apply proven business and technology-based practices in the school setting. CFF has become a trusted resource for school districts to promote innovation in the classroom.
The San Diego Workforce Partnership connected with CFF to learn more about how they’re helping ensure every student is prepared to pursue his or her dreams. They recently partnered to host a 2-day conference, The Future Through World of Work. Through keynote speakers and panels, the event showcased how we are uniting workforce, K16 education, non-profit and government by working together to expand new approaches to empower educators to prepare learners for a path to gainful employment.
Tell us a little about what Classroom of the Future does.
CFF has been in existence for over 22 years. Supported by the San Diego County Office of Education and the local business community, CFF’s initial focus in 1997 was to raise the capital necessary to build a regional technology hub that could shape the future of innovation in San Diego’s public schools. The Joe Rindone Regional Technology Center was completed in 2000 and quickly became the center of educator capacity building and student preparation around emerging technologies in San Diego County. Today, the center serves more than 485,000 children and 25,000 teachers.
Can you talk about some of the challenges our community faces and how you’re working to overcome them?
One of the greatest challenges in our local educational community that we see is the digital equity divide. At CFF, we’ve partnered with the nonprofit San Diego for Every Child to create the Equitable Distance Learning Taskforce where our mission is to create a San Diego County where every child has their basic needs met by ensuring all children in our region have nutritious food to eat, live in stable housing, receive adequate health care and have access to quality child care and education.
We also created our own COVID-19 Public Education Response Fund. CFF believes every student should have full access to the broadband and devices they need to continue their education from their home. This digital equity gap, worsened by the economic impact of the pandemic, will be addressed by the fund. The goal is to rapidly deploy financial assistance and products to districts to help students in need. The fund will specifically address urgent digital equity needs by:
- Providing mobile hotspots, locked down phone hotspots, devices and headsets to students in need
- Providing textbooks to students as a bridge until we can get students online
- Supporting low-cost broadband enrollment for qualifying students
- Working with internet providers to establish long-term connectivity sustainability for students, especially for those beyond the reach of cell towers
How else is Classroom of the Future impacting the community?
CFF will advance its mission over the next several years through two key initiatives:
- College & Career Pathways Initiative – We seek to lead the community in establishing more college and career pathway opportunities for San Diego students, with a focus on providing best practices, career experiences for students, educator capacity-building and fostering partnerships between school districts and businesses.
- Innovation in Education Initiative – We seek to become a go-to resource for information about innovative practices that promote personalized learning, and the effective use of technology in the classroom, with a focus on educator capacity-building and matching business expertise with the needs of schools.
How can San Diegans get involved?
We have four key methods for San Diegans to get involved with CFF. First, they can donate time by offering to volunteer at our events, assist with our programs or help with content creation and storytelling for social media. Another method is to donate funds by making a monetary donation on our website. Third, organizations or individuals can make an in-kind donation like auction items for our events or products to support our organization. Finally, local businesses can partner with CFF to help with sponsorships and equipment to drive innovation in local classrooms. For more information, please visit wp.classroomofthefuture.org/get-involved.