Josh Gurloff’s computer lab at Duckrey Elementary School is filled with new Macintosh desktops as school kicks off for the 2016-2017 school year.
This wasn’t always the case.
When Gurloff, a computer science teacher, came to the school three years ago, he quickly realized that teaching kids computer science at his new school would be no easy task. “When I came on, we were kind of behind the ball when it came to technology… We had computers that were ten years old, laptops that were falling apart, batteries that were exploding. Nothing was really functioning well.”
Gurloff admitted that such a situation made it tough to teach kids to use web applications.
“It’s very tough to teach a kid how to learn, how to read or how to use certain web applications when its running too slow for them to actually see the results they’re actually working on.”
It not only made it hard for Gurloff to teach, but it also made it hard for his students to learn.
“Most of them didn’t work or had something wrong with them. Either the headphones didn’t work or the keys didn’t work,” said seventh grader Nadir Thomason.
That’s why Temple’s Computer Recycling Center partnered with the school.
“Temple sees the struggles that we go through because they’re here, right here, in the community with us,” said Gurloff of the partnership.
The university donated almost 200 computers to Duckrey Elementary School, along with boxes of wires, surge protectors, modems, keyboards, and mice. Although not all of desktops have been installed, the plan is to have computers installed in each classroom. Superintendent of the Philadelphia School District, Dr. William Hite, says they’ve already made a difference. “When paired with the investments that we’re making as a school district, it becomes very important in providing students with the tools they need to be successful.”
Temple’s partnership with Duckrey goes beyond new computers.
Temple’s School of Education is partnered with the elementary school to provide teaching assistance and educational enrichment for both students and staff.
“The partnership is all designed around how we can get smarter about how do we impact children and who to we instruct children better, how do we lead schools better how intervention, how we do instruction,” said Hite. “We are very excited about that partnership and we’re going to watch that because if it’s successful here, it could then be replicated in other places.”
Gurloff hopes this partnership continues…because he says it’s an important one.
“Without Temple we wouldn’t be where we are.”