Teachers & Technology Grants
Marion Baty, Teresa Edmiston, Kristine Fry, Kristina Wambold, Mike Walsh
Daybreak Schools, Battle Ground School District
This dedicated team of 5th-grade teachers designed a learning project around OSPI’s
Whose Rules assessment, now in field test. The assessment integrates learning goals for social studies, educational technology, and reading and writing (common core state standards) into the learning experience. Students learn the fundamentals of digital citizenship — rights, responsibilities and how to make informed decisions. Teachers will guide the learning process as students choose a public issue to research, take a stance, and present the results of their work in person, and on blogs and wikis. Each learner must be ready to discuss their position and defend its merits. Equipped with web-enabled tablet PCs that deliver video and audio recording capability, and software for content creation and presentation, students will interact online with peers and teachers. There is a plethora of downloadable applications for these devices: the e-Reader tool, for example, makes it possible to support one-to-one instruction with audio playback, translation, rich visualization, and to stimulate highly capable readers to take on complex articles and research activities.
Daybreak Schools, Battle Ground School District
Scripts tuned to the level of each grade 1 reader are the creative fodder for six and seven year olds who will practice their out-loud reading skills, video tape their best performances and, at project’s end, share their digital presentations with online pen pals in Britain and Bahrain. Course content comes from
Reader’s Theater, instructional support that focuses on comprehension and fluency skills for early readers. Ortner and Lee have set learning goals based on state standards for reading and educational technology. Students will work in groups, practicing their parts until each feels confident, then video tape each other as a tool for self evaluation. During individual conferences, teachers will watch the videos with each student and help to set new goals reading fluency. More practice follows and then students will tape final video versions of each other’s reading performance, which they’ll download to a wiki and share with peers across the world. The wiki has a dual benefit in this learning project — it provides a controlled online space in which these eager young readers can practice their writing skills and publish class work.
Carolyn Hinshaw, Denise Mann
Birchwood Elementary, Bellingham School District
Surrounding our new school is a wetland environment waiting to be explored…
So begins the description of an exciting learning project that will put grade 5 students in the field to create a Digi-Trail with QR (quick response) technology. Walkers use smart phones to photograph posted QR codes and hyperlink to student-produced online content about the area’s ecology. This is interactive technology that enables trail walkers to submit new data, such as bird counts, wildlife reports and photos. Field-level investigation and observation will lead students to key learning goals in science, writing and educational technology. Once the data collection is complete — audio, video and text-based records — Hinshaw and Mann’s students will chart, graph, create narrative content, and edit sound tracks, images and video that detail the wetland environment. Project results publish online , and students plan to present their work to the PTA, community groups and local greenway committees.
Aviation High School, Highline School District
Investigative journalism and publishing are at the core of a learning project that will transform high school students into reporters, photo- journalists, content creators, editors and publishers of a multi-media news source. The technology is dynamic — Web 2.0, cloud-based software and storage — the toolkit of today’s publishing industry. And, it’s got long-term, institutional focus. Savishinsky plans to build a sustainable base of knowledge and skills that will replicate over many years of classes to come. Industry professionals will be regular visitors to the school training students to build a secure, cloud-based production system and distribution network. Young journalists will learn first hand about the limitless world of investigative research, journalistic ethics, story creation and the realities of community interaction with the news. High on the list, too, are workshops and mentoring on good business practices and organizational management and the development of a training program for new students.
George Thornton, Kelsey Cleveland
Oroville High School, Oroville School District
Multimedia documentaries that focus on the rich history of agriculture in North Central Washington will be in production thanks to Qwest Foundation funding and the
Initiative for Rural Innovation and Stewardship. Working in small groups, students will do the research, work with the
Okanogan Borderlands Historical Society, engage the community and track down the expert knowledge they need to open up important subjects of intense interest in the Okanogan region — everything from industrial pressure on a fragile ecosystem to the role of the Pacific Northwest Trail in the area’s development. One of the project’s central goals is to turn students into high-value community partners able to document and interpret regional dynamics over time. Along the way, teachers Thornton and Cleveland will integrate state standards for communications, social studies, economics and history with a sold introduction to entrepreneurship.
Stevens Middle School, Port Angeles School District
Field trips to the Elwha River will be on the agenda for Manson’s 8th-graders this fall as they take new probeware devices to collect ecosystem data. Back in the classroom, students will design their own science experiments and ultimately build presentations that communicate new knowledge to classmates, peers and students at Peninsula College. As they download the field data, these fledgling scientists will enter the information into spreadsheets and analyze results. Throughout the learning experience, Manson will use videoconferencing to connect her students with experts at the Olympic Park Institute and at the University of Washington. New interactive software will make it possible to participate in digital simulations that depict what happens to the environment when engineers remove a dam. The rich variety of learning modalities in this project is ideal for Manson’s class of 31 where reading levels range from under first grade to over grade 15 and she is constantly shifting learning strategies to meet the needs of her young learners.
Evergreen Elementary, Shelton School District
In a class where 65% of the students are English language learners, Serrano’s project will build language proficiency and the ability to write and communicate. Students will produce a series of audio/video podcasts with content taken directly from what they are learning in science, math, social studies and language arts. Standards-based curricula drives the project. On the list of podcasts ready to hit the storyboard this fall are interviews with experts — scientists at Mount St. Helens and zookeepers — demonstrations of new math skills and how to solve problems interactively, storytelling, debates, science experiments, field trip reports, class project presentations, science experiments and much more. These creative young learners will work together and individually to study the content, plan and write scripts then put their work into production with deadlines and high expectations. Serrano is putting the state’s standards for educational technology into play as well, as students will use a variety of software, hardware and web-based resources to create content for peers, families and the local community that downloads from the school Web site.
Showalter Middle School, Tukwila School District
Content for their multimedia book projects will be on the minds of students in Fox’s grade 6, 7 and 8 classes. Equipped with iPads, these eager young authors will tackle their subjects with the help of interactive applications designed to build comprehension and fluency. The rich diversity of students at Showalter means that not all kids are at the same reading level, so Fox has chosen technology that supports multiple modalities for learning to read — audio record and play back, highly visual interactive features that engage struggling readers and the ability to write directly onto digital pages. This kind of support opens up opportunities for one-to-one differentiated instruction and expands the reading experience. The subject matter — personal biography and culture — turns every child into an expert and opens the door to meaningful personal expression. Gladys is talking about the project here on her blog —
Foster High School, Tukwila School District
Critical analysis of imagery is the inspiration for a fascinating project that will begin in September at Foster High School. Churchill’s students will use digital cameras to capture images then edit with Photoshop to change their meaning. The idea here is to analyze the ways in which an artist or photojournalist can impact the credibility of the cultural imagery we take for granted. Students will present their work on an interactive white board and lead a classroom discussion on the new meaning and emotional impact of the images. In parallel, they will analyze the work of famous photographers — fine art and controversial — whose work has entered history as iconic to the times and assess its fact-or-fiction element. Churchill designed this project to play to the strengths of an incredibly diverse student body where everyone brings an original point of view and give her students the analytical tools to evaluate the daily barrage of highly visual, screen-based media.