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Alameda County Office of Education

The Alameda County Office of Education is opening a makerspace for teachers to participate in professional development workshops, improving computer science for students and teachers, and building accelerated college and career pathways for students .

State: California Number of Students: 2,753
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 68.1%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 33.2%

School Context

Communication is Key: ACOE encourages communication with districts, families, students and members of thecommunity.

Supporting Teachers: Professional development opportunities, curriculum development and technology resources areprovided by the county office.

Educating all Students: ACOE’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools, School Age Mothers Program and InfantPrograms offer educational opportunities to students not served by local school districts.

Advising School Districts: ACOE oversees 17 school districts and advises them in managing their budgets andcomplying with state and federal laws.


State of Technology

Innovation Hub: In Summer 2015, Alameda County Office of Educationopened up a makerspace called Meaning Maker Studio (MMS). Theidea for the studio was inspired by ReMake Learning, a network oforganizations such as schools, museums, libraries, nonprofits, edtechstartups and universities that work together to impact the future ofteaching and learning in the Pittsburgh area. The makerspace providesa lab where teachers can experiment with different tools and participatein experiential professional development workshops and trainings.Sometimes, a teacher might come to the space to get training on onetool and ending up exploring and tinkering with something completelynew. MMS has open making lab times when teachers, students, familyand community members can come in to gain exposure to new toolsand ideas. It also offers a lending library of STEM Maker (STEMM) kits toteachers in districts across Alameda County. These kits include lessonplans and guides for using electronics (including Arduinos, RaspberryPis, Makey Makey, LittleBits and Sony Mesh), robotics kits and tools 3Dprinters, laser cutters and soldering stations. Meaning Maker Studiois starting to offer a letter of completion for workshops and trainings.If districts are interested they can look into providing professionaldevelopment credits for certain activities.

Computer Science Takes a Front Seat: Alameda County Office ofEducation is committed to improving access to computer sciencefor students and teachers. ACOE accomplishes this goal throughpartnerships with Code.org and Google Computer Science for HighSchool (CS4HS). In April 2015, the county office entered a two-yearprofessional learning partnership with Code.org. The non-profit’s goalis to increase access to computer science and is building relationshipswith partners like ACOE that can become the computer science hub forits region. Alameda received a 2015-2016 Google CS4HS grant that hasbeen used to fuel the work happening with Code.org. As a result, theACOE core learning department has developed an 8-month program totrain secondary teachers to deliver an AP Computer Science Principlescourse. The program requires teachers to attend monthly meetings fromAugust-February 2016. Participants that attend the sessions, engagein the online learning component and complete the assignments willreceive a stipend of $800. The county office has plans to reapply for theGoogle grant, which would be used to expand to include more districtsand to increase the amount of curriculum available.

Paving New Pathways: ACOE received a Career Pathways Trust IIgrant of $14 million over the course of four years from July 2015through September 2019. The grant is being used to build out aseries of accelerated college and career pathways for students in thecounty’s alternative education program. These pathways include:Health, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, Law, Digital Media,Education including Early Childhood Education, Building and Tradesand Hospitality and Tourism. To accomplish this goal, ACOE has manypartners including secondary and postsecondary organizations,agencies, industries and technical assistance providers. The county iscurrently developing and designing a technology course that will cover3-D printing, 2-D laser cutting and robotics. It will be a six-week courseand ACOE is in the process of seeking accreditation for the courses.

*Content From 2016

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