Recent Group Activity
Dear Qwest 2009-10 Grant Awardee,
Please post (by January 15th per your contract) your project overview and project outcomes in the Group Blog place holder. Remember you must go to the add content block to the left of this post. Then select Blog in the drop down menu. Finally, fill in appropriate information click preview (make sure you like it) then click submit.
Thank you for posting your exciting project plan.
Project Goals and Activities
Five SMART boards will be purchased and used at neighboring LaPine Schools (La Pine Elementary and La Pine 2nd Chance School) to increase awareness of technology and student achievement with engaging hands-on learning. Additionally, project funds will be used for training and professional development of the teachers who receive the boards. Read more »
The vision of the Klamath Union High School Science Department is to create a cross-discipline project involving five teachers from three science disciplines, the school’s Media Specialist, and the local Oregon State University Extension Office, to conduct experiments that directly affect local farmers in our Klamath Basin. The goal is to use the Scientific Inquiry Method to assist farmers in choosing primary and secondary crops best suited to their land. Teams of biology students will investigate which plants grow best in various soil types, using electronic and local resources. Teams of earth science students will collect soil samples from different locations in the Basin for analysis by teams of chemistry students. Based on findings from soil and plant samples, students will match soil and crop types to make recommendations for the best use of specific pieces of land. Using the data collected through research, experiments will be conducted in the school greenhouse. Plants believed to grow best in a designated soil will be planted and results will be documented. Results from student greenhouse experiments will be sent electronically to Oregon State Extension Services to be utilized in community educational presentations and recommendations to farmers. This project lends itself well to yearly implementation, creating a sustainable use of the technology for future students.
Since we wrote our original vision, some opportunities have presented themselves and we have grabbed a firm hold of them! One of those opportunities is to work with a high school in Maryland that has an agricultural science department. Another opportunity came in the form of some equipment that our district is providing us which duplicates what we had proposed purchasing with the grant. So we tweaked our grant to allow us to purchase other equipment we'll be able to use to expand this project. A third opportunity appeared just this afternoon. We are planning on also working with the local Fish and Game office. A former employee of the local office is being assigned to us as a student teacher in the Science department! SInce we haven't met this student teacher, we have no idea what may be possible, but oh, we're excited!
International Classroom Project
The International Classroom is a timely approach that has students learning how to use technology to develop skills in geography, writing, and listening. This interactive approach utilizes a mobile lab of ten laptop computers to inspire first and second grade students to learn from the world around them, in real time, using video and audio conferencing to “exchange” cultural information. We believe that an early introduction to the skills of cultural competence, by affirming cultural similarities and appreciating cultural differences, will result in their ability to effectively communicate with people across cultures. We anticipate that geographic knowledge and cultural competence will become increasingly necessary to live and work in the 21st century’s global economy. The learning goals of the project are to:
1. Practice and apply the teaching strategies learned by participation in the Google Earth Academy by two of the team members.
2. Conveniently embed technology in our classrooms, thereby making technology more accessible to a population that is economically disadvantaged. This will make it easier for multiple students to watch video clips and perform research in either a planned fashion, or as emergent curriculum needs dictate.
3. Break the travel barrier by having students interact with others around the globe in their real world/real time setting by using video and audio conferencing by joining the Skype community. This may be a classroom in another country, a professional in the field, an imbedded professional, or an American teacher or student on exchange.
4. Increase cultural competence and decrease prejudice leading to future cooperation and collaboration among diverse people as citizens’ geographic mobility increases and they move more readily around the planet.
5. Have students take responsibility for their own learning by formulating high interest questions, then interviewing a cyber guest. Asking questions corresponds with attentive listening, which is enhanced when a student is seeking information that is rich and relevant to his/her interest in food, culture, customs, climate, schooling, and other ways that distinguish one place from another.
6. Develop geographic knowledge by using Google Earth to not only research countries and habitats, but also to create and publish their own projects, titled What the World Taught Me, in Google Earth.
7. Build a network of international schools, businesses, professionals, and agencies that are Skype compatible and willing to participate in a cultural exchange with our classrooms through audio/video conferencing.
The teaching team believes that educators are at the forefront of using technology and innovative teaching strategies to bridge cultures. We embrace this challenge.
Innovative Use of Technology with Students
According to the resource guide, Maximizing the Impact of Technology in Education, “Twenty-first century learning environments promote interactive learning, higher level thinking skills and student engagement,...” Additionally it advocates that computers not be stuck in the back of the classroom “solely for enrichment”, but be used to “change teaching practices, involve students in their own learning, and further the home to school connection...” This International Classroom supports that approach with the use of Computers on Wheels containing ten MacBooks for students to use at their desks or tables to tailor their learning.
Students will be using a variety of digital media and environments as they collaborate with their classmates in small groups, their teachers and school technology assistants, as well as across the global community with their cyber guests in another country. Not only will our students be learning, but the nature of an exchange is that the other party will also be learning about our culture. The following digital media will be used to meet Oregon Technology Standards #2 Communication and Collaboration A and C:
• Research using Google Earth and Video Clips
Prior to audio/video conferencing with a cyber guest in another country, students will 'visit' the country using the COW to access Google Earth to gather background geographic information about location, place, habitat, and other related information. By having many computers available, several students can be watching brief video clips on various topics about the country where our cyber guest resides.
• Audio/Video Conferencing
With teacher assistance, students will use audio/video conferencing to exchange cultural information by using written and oral communication skills, as well as listening skills. The teaching team will have prearranged and established cyber guests who have agreed to the “exchange”.
Google Earth Slideshow Post Interview
Students will work in groups of two’s and three’s to produce a Google Earth slide show of 6-8 placemarks to showcase what they have learned from the cultural exchanges. They will position placemarks in the cyber guests’ locations and write about what they learned from their various sources. By doing this, they will address the Educational Technology Standard under Communication and Collaboration to “Produce original works or solve problems in a team setting”, #2D.
Effectively Communicate and Publish Student Work
Student work will be shared with the larger school community and families in two ways. The student-creators of the Google Earth slideshows, What the World Taught Me, will share their product with students in other classrooms in as learning buddies. Also, their work will be available to families on classroom blogs. This addresses the Educational Technology Standard # 2B.
T-Town Bake Down
Thurston Middle School
T-Town Bake-down is a student generated cooking program where students demonstrate how to make a specific food product using Oregon Environmental Health Safety and Sanitation standards, appropriate cooking techniques, and personal insight on how to cook as a teenager. Videos will be used to market the TMS Catering program; various products that are for sale each year will be featured. Each segment will be written and produced by 8th grade students in the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) program. This project is being facilitated by FACS teacher Rhiannon Kerr, who is a member of the Ed Tech PDC and the SPS Digital Storytelling Cadre.
Ultimately this process will provide students with a deeper understanding of cooking techniques and better speaking skills along with the experience of using social media to market a catering business by creating videos available to the public. As a result of participating in this project the teacher will learn how to use a variety of new technologies for classroom communication. This project will provide the opportunity to work with other teachers at TMS and to mentor another middle school FACS teacher in Springfield Public Schools who has attempted (unsuccessfully) to incorporate digital video projects into her program. Finally videos will be created and produced then posted on YouTube for other FACS teachers and students to use.
Background: “Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, or eMAST, is a five-year project funded by the National Science Foundation to study and implement professional development that supports the teaching of challenging mathematics and science at the elementary school level.” During the 2009-10 school year, approximately sixty-one elementary teachers were recruited to participate in the eMAST project, in which “teachers engage in a variety of activities: attending workshops, participating in small group discussions, planning and teaching lessons, reflecting on learning and teaching, and completing project evaluation materials (e.g., surveys and brief, written reflections).” Although eMAST presenters regularly request document cameras for their use during these professional development sessions as instructional tools, there was no funding for teacher participants to receive the very technology that was being used to demonstrate the teaching strategies that they are currently learning.
Project Goals: (1) developing a core team of elementary teachers (three at each grade) who will specialize in the integration of document cameras into eMAST instructional strategies, (2) plan and implement an action research project on effective uses of document cameras in math/science instruction, and (3) serve as a school-wide specialists in the implementation of document cameras in math/science instruction.
This grant will:
- provide each of the seventeen teachers on this team with a document camera that will be used to support elementary math and science instruction in alignment with their participation in eMAST;
- provide students with a way to share their work and move from the role of learner to teacher;
- allow this team of teachers to serve as school-wide specialists in the implementation of document cameras in math/science instruction; and
- result in three models at each grade level showcasing strategies for using document cameras to support math/science instruction.
The goal of our professional development series is to provide training for ORVSD Cohort II. This interdisciplinary group of teachers will learn how to use the Oregon Virtual School District content tools and integrate multimedia technology to enhance learning in Ashland High School (AHS) classrooms. AHS Technology Mentor and Spanish Teacher, Dana Rensi, will conduct the trainings. Participants will include Dana, five teachers and one student who have not yet received training using ORVSD and other multimedia tools.