Thank you for attending Beyond the App! We look forward to continuing the conversations! Stay Tuned for more!
WHAT IS Beyond the App?
Beyond the App gives underserved teachers tools of collaboration and learning to reduce the gender gap in education. This professional development program focuses on improving participants’ critical literacy pedagogy. Critical literacy skills allow learners to center their own lived experiences and cultural knowledge in reading, speaking, listening and writing contexts making learning inclusive and personally meaningful, and allowing for the development of understandings of complex social issues. BTA allows teachers to co-construct critical literary pedagogy and educational experiences with their peers, literacy professors, and gender equity experts from around the globe.
The genesis of Beyond the App was during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020) and was organized by The American University in Cairo (AUC) and the State University of New York, Cortland (SUNY) to assist teachers to use technology to increase literacy learning, specifically the important topic of guiding students’ learning when learning remotely. The conference event was conducted in Arabic and in English with expert speakers and translators, who presented, facilitated, and co-constructed solutions as COVID-19 forced educators around the world to adopt and adapt digital learning. The sessions took place from November 5th to November 7th , 2020 and included attendees from 12 countries. The comments and overall feedback of teachers and invited speakers showed that the Beyond the App Cause achieved its goals. Participants shared positive comments on materials, resources, presenters’ expertise, and on their own learning. In contrast to many professional development activities (where experts share their knowledge with attendees but the interaction between attendees and the expert is minimal), Beyond the App participants co-constructed approaches to teaching students aged 9 to 15 with colleagues around the globe and engaged in dialogic conversations about such practices. Because of the positive outcome of this work, we plan to offer this Cause in the 2021 academic year and beyond focusing on teacher professional development for both health education and literacy.