Educators across the state of Tennessee will have opportunities to grow their knowledge and gain digital literacy skills through The Enterprise Center’s new Tech Goes Home Tennessee program.
With a list of 200+ interested Early Childhood Education Professionals already set to begin classes this February, Tech Goes Home (TGH) Chattanooga’s success led to the statewide expansion thanks to partnerships with Signal Centers, The Tennessee Childcare Resource & Referral Network, and TN Department of Human Services.
TGH Cha, modeled after the national, award-winning TGH program founded in Boston, provides technology as well as training to ensure participants gain the tools, education, and access required for 21st century skills development.
“As people approach technology differently, along with their varied experiences with it, we’ve learned to have a nimble approach with each class,” explained Sammy Lowdermilk, TGH Program Director. “Individuals are often reluctant to dive too deep into technology or the various resources and opportunities the internet provides, so our trainers as well as our curriculum will need to be adaptable to the learners in the room each time a class is conducted.”
What does that mean for program participants?
TGH TN aims to give educators – especially those focused on early childhood who are often viewed more as babysitters rather than entrepreneurs and important developmental teachers – the tools and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
While some simply need access to the technology provided (with a stipend, upon completion of the course), others need assistance to cross the digital divide.
“Every profession suffers if early childhood educators don’t have what they need,” said TGH TN Technology Coordinator Elle Scarbrough.
“This goes beyond equity and speaks to the viability and future of the Tennessee economy, to make sure our educators at every level have what they need to prepare our children for the rest of their lives,” agreed Lowdermilk.
So, who is eligible?
Tech Goes Home offers resources and classes to meet a wide range of needs! To find out more about the program and see how to qualify or get started with TGH Cha or TGH TN, visit The Enterprise Center’s Tech Goes Home Program page.
Meet the new Leadership Team:
Christy Finley, Tech Goes Home TN Program Manager
“I have been a TGH trainer for years and saw the need for digital inclusion in Early Childhood Education.
Early Childhood Educators are often not seen as professionals, so helping them bridge the gap to more training and higher education is important to me.
Helping our Early Childhood Educators succeed, hopefully, has a trickle-down effect on families and children and just may give them hope for their future.”
Melissa Callejas, Tech Goes Home TN Program Coordinator
“Technology has impacted my life – especially since moving away from my family in Nicaragua. Moving across the country made it difficult to communicate and keep relationships with people that meant so much to me, so having access to Skype back then and being able to teach my parents to use it was a big deal. Now with Facetime, Whatsapp, and other apps they don’t feel so far away (even when they are 1500 miles away).
My early childhood was nothing like the one we know here. When I had my first experience in the classroom It impacted me so much; seeing children playing while learning was amazing and this made me change career paths and become a teacher.
My passion is in helping children, families, my community and impacting lives. Now In this position I am able to bridge the gap 1 click at the time while supporting my fellow educators and contributing to generational impact.”
Elle Scarbrough, Tech Goes Home Technology Coordinator
“I graduated from undergrad at UTC in 2020 and am currently pursuing my masters in public administration.
Through my work with Early Matters Chattanooga, I developed a passion for empowering child care providers.
When I saw the Technology Coordinator position posted for TGH TN, I knew this would be the perfect way to use my skills and knowledge to continue empowering early childhood agencies and educators.”