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Oct 132017
 

EdTech Hero: State Rep. Craig Horn ‘doggedly committed’ to digital education in North Carolina

From “full-time grandparent” to state lawmaker, Horn advocates for technology-enabled learning and wireless broadband access for all.

Emily Tate
Craig Horn is a Republican representative of the North Carolina General Assembly.

Craig Horn didn’t set out to become North Carolina’s “education legislator.” An series of events unfolded over the last decade to earn the Republican state lawmaker that reputation — and the nickname.

For most of his adult life, Horn figured the apex of his education leadership had come and passed in the 1970s, when he served as PTA president for his child’s middle school in Maryland. Thirty years later, as Horn sprinkled school volunteer work on a schedule of “full-time grandparenting” in North Carolina, he realized he was itching for something more.

Now a member of the North Carolina General Assembly “doggedly committed to the cause” of education — as one colleague put it — Horn co-chairs a number of education-related committees, including one on digital education.

Horn has led an effort to make North Carolina the first state in the countryto provide wireless broadband access in every single classroom — a goal slated to be achieved in 2018. He’s also worked with the Friday Institute at North Carolina State University to create a statewide digital learning plan and drafted legislation to bring together K-12 schools and higher ed institutions in the effort to expand classroom technology.

The fourth-term state House member is now leading an effort to “fundamentally change” how North Carolina trains its educators to teach — and, hopefully, thrive — in a digital education environment, he told EdScoop.

“[Horn] is an unmatched collaborator, powerful negotiator and tireless champion for the transition to technology-enabled personalized learning for each North Carolina student,” said Julie Kowal, vice president of policy and research at education policy nonprofit BEST NC.

“He is curious and empathetic, driving his own advocacy at the state legislature by the experiences and needs of students — current and future — across the state, even though they are often quite different from his own,” added Kowal, who is a friend and colleague of Horn’s.

Read more from EdScoop’s series “EdTech Heroes: 25 State Leaders Making a Difference.”

Reach the reporter at emily.tate@scoopnewsgroup.com and follow her on Twitter @ByEmilyTate and @edscoop_news.

 Posted by at 1:13 pm

Horn gets up-close experience — The Enquirer Journal

 District 68  Comments Off on Horn gets up-close experience — The Enquirer Journal
Aug 172017
 


Rep. Craig Horn, R-68, along with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers from the western part of North Carolina and people from the University of North Carolina traveled to India last week to learn more about how the world’s most populous democracy delivers STEM education to its children.

India produces more engineers per capita than any other country in the world, Horn said. The school systems, from private schools to public schools have a heavy focus on STEM education.

India is home to about 1.3 billion people, according to the world population clock and is second in population to China. It is the seventh-largest country in area and while it has some of the most densely populated cities in the world, it also has jungles, prairies and wilderness.

It is an extremely diverse population, with numerous religions and ethnicities and more than 122 major languages.

Horn said he and the other people on the trip learned how the country is able to deliver education in all of these different environments. They visited schools in the major cities of Bangalore and Delhi and the Agastya International Foundation which works to teach kids living in poverty and children in rural areas.

The group sends two teachers in a van to teach STEM subjects to students in rural areas who otherwise may not have access to those subject areas.

“The impressive parts on the education front were the heavy emphasis on character development in their education system” and self-improvement programs, Horn said. He said many of the schools required yoga and everywhere he went the walls were full of inspirational quotes and encouragement for the students.

“They held their history in high regard,” Horn said. “They held up role models.”

He said the schools were filled with pictures of Indians and other people who contributed to technological advancements., in order to use them as an example for students.

Horn noticed that oftentimes, teachers would come to the students instead of having the students travel around schools. He also noticed that teachers often asked students questions instead of the “sage of a stage” style of learning. He said the teachers constantly challenged the students to stretch their brains.

“They emphasize creativity and initiative and to keep trying,” Horn said.

He also saw that the students get hands-on experience with various technological concepts and the sciences. The teachers work to get students to think through concepts instead of memorizing them.

The trip was organized by Go Global NC, which is part of the University of North Carolina General Administration, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, based out of Triangle Research Park.

“It was quite an experience,” Horn said of the week-long trip.

 Posted by at 12:43 pm