About Us

The National Urban Technology Center (Urban Tech) is a social enterprise committed to changing the game in education through social emotional learning. We create solutions for students that recognize their value to society, regardless of their social background, by providing an interactive curriculum that reflects the student’s personal experiences, ideas, and dreams. By utilizing animation, relatable language, popular music and gamification, Urban Tech is able to engage students on an unprecedented level. Students who have used Urban Technology have demonstrated improvements when it comes to social skills, emotional and physical health, digital literacy, financial education, and a variety of other subjects. Our standards-based curriculum adapts to the needs of the students and prepares them for 21st century careers while providing personal support to teachers and parents in an effort to improve student education.

Our online Youth Leadership Academy modules, developed for children K-12, are engaging programs for students to develop social, emotional, and communication skills while building 21st century digital literacy experience. We started 21 years ago in Bed-stuy, Brooklyn, and have since expanded across the nation. You can find out more about our initiative to bridge the digital divide in the links below.

Our Mission

Urban Tech is a social enterprise committed to changing the game in education by creating solutions for students that:

  • Recognize their value to society, their stories, ideas and dreams;
  • Utilize animation, their language, music and games to enrich and engage students in learning;
  • Use social skills and standards-based curriculum adapted to their needs for academic improvement;
  • Provide opportunities for improved health, digital literacy, financial education and 21st century careers;
  • Invest in their schools by providing support to teachers and parents to further support student education.

Why This Matters

The Current Crisis in Education

According to a study in 2013 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), youth and adults in the United States are far behind in proficiency areas such as literacy, mathematics, and problem solving in technology-rich environments. The study found that among 16 – 24 year olds in 20 countries, the US ranked:

  • Second to last in average literacy rates
  • Last in average proficiency in basic mathematics
  • Among the last in average youth problem solving proficiency

Among 16 – 64 year olds the United States ranked:

  • Fourth to last in literacy
  • Second to last in basic mathematics
  • Among the last in average adult problem solving proficiency

Although globalization and advances in technology have increased the capacity of our educational systems to prepare youth and adult learners for success in school, career, and life, we continue to see signs that we are not closing the gap fast enough. High school and university dropout rates continue to soar and the gaps between the “haves” and “have nots” continues to widen.

Meanwhile, forecasts by the Center for Education and the Workforce suggest that if the economy maintains then 2018 will hold more opportunities for educated workers than ever before. For example:

  • US economy will create 46.8 million job openings – 13.8 million new jobs and 33 million “replacement jobs”
  • Nearly two-thirds of these 46.8 million jobs – almost 63 percent – will require workers with at least some college education.
  • About 33 percent will require a Bachelor’s degree or better, while another 30 percent will require some college or a two-year Associates degree.

What It Means For The Future

Most of these high cognitive jobs will require high levels of analytic, critical thinking, technology and communications skills; and the gaps in social and emotional learning (SEL) and life skills that are barriers to these skills have been left out of the discussion on improving the outcomes of America’s schools. Yet, numerous studies and national surveys point to social emotional learning (SEL) as critical to student success in school, work and life.  In a new national survey, data conclusively show that “teachers across America believe that social and emotional learning is critical to student success in school, work and life,and yet current trends are working against the integration of SEL skills into academic curricula.

 


 

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National Urban Technology Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Tax ID #: 13-3826279. For more information, contact Patricia Bransford, President at (212) 528-7350 [email protected]