QEA partnering with Bee Geek, Inc. to launch Pharaoh IT Academy

QEA partnering with Bee Geek, Inc. to launch Pharaoh IT Academy
April 21
14:28 2021

Quality Education Academy (QEA), is partnering with Bee Geek Inc., to launch the QEA Pharaoh IT Academy next school year. 

The partnership is designed to help onboard a curriculum for high schoolers that blends STEM and technology into the different aspects of the learning environment in an attempt to increase student engagement while also introducing students to jobs and careers in STEM and technology. When discussing the partnership during an event last Friday, April 16, Dr. Elerod Morris II, founder of Bee Geek, Inc., said, the partnership is designed to “put an end to the cycle of injustice in Title I Schools.”

Morris, who is a former educator and head of the IT Academy at Carver High School, said as technology has evolved over the years, cell phones and other smart devices have become an extension of the user, and students are no different. 

Instead of telling students to put their phones away in class, Morris said part of the Bee Geek curriculum model encourages teachers to incorporate the use of smart devices into the lesson. As an example, Morris suggested asking students to complete bell ringer assignments on Twitter or another social media platform. “Our devices have become an extension of the user. It’s literally the first thing we touch in morning and the last thing we touch before bed,” Morris said while discussing Bee Geek with QEA faculty and staff. 

“The phone is part of us,” he said. “We have all these rules and regulations where we tell students they can’t have phones in the classroom … I was one of those teachers that allowed students to have phones in the classroom. It’s unorthodox I know, but it works as long as you know how to utilize the strategies and tools of digital literacy into the classroom.”

QEA will be the first school in Winston-Salem and the second in North Carolina to partner with Bee Geek. The nonprofit has partnered with schools in  Bertie County, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Hatti, and Jamaica. Morris said through training and use of the “Smart E-Guide,” educators will learn how to use technology in the classroom effectively. After completing the entire program, seniors will also have the opportunity to graduate with up to four different certifications, along with their high school diploma.                         

QEA faculty and staff are expected to complete training for the new curriculum over the next three months and the Pharaoh IT Academy is expected to make its debut at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

Quality Education Academy is a tuition-free public school serving scholars in kindergarten – 12th grades. Tonya Bellinger, QEA’s chief executive officer, said the focus for high school students at QEA is business and entrepreneurship, so the partnerships with Bee Geek Inc., made sense because there are so many opportunities in the field. 

“There are so many areas in IT where students can branch out and have their own businesses. So we thought it was important to open that field up to our scholars so they can know what opportunities are there for them,” Bellanger said. 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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