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Education Technology

Teaching & Technology Grants

2012 CenturyLink/OSPI Teachers & Technology Learning Projects

TEACHER NAMES SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL ESD GRADES
Linda Somerlott, Barry Warren Columbia (Stevens) Columbia Elementary 101 5-6
Mary Hall Highland Highland High School 105 11
Rebecca Fountain Kelso Carrolls Elementary 112 3
Antha Holt, Jennifer Monroe McCleary McCleary School 113 6-7-8
Tim Cruger Nine Mile Falls Lakeside High School 101 9-10-11-12
Karen Estes Othello Alternative Learning Placement Site (A.L.P.S.) 123 8-9-10-11-12
Debra Taylor, Lisa Salisbury San Juan Island Friday Harbor Elementary 189 4-5-6

Kathryn Egawa, Lisa DeBurle, Chris Lloyd, Missa Marmalstein, Patrick Wildermann

Seattle Pathfinder K-8 School 121 2-3
Daniel Calzaretta Walla Walla Pioneer Middle School 123 7

Linda Somerlott, Barry Warren
Columbia Elementary, Columbia (Stevens) School District
This September, a team of fifth-and sixth-graders from Columbia Elementary will enter the 2012 First Lego League (FLL) Challenge. This year’s theme — Senior Solutions — offers an excellent opportunity for teachers, Linda Somerlott and Barry Warren, to guide their students through the scientific research and collaborative synthesis that will provide the basis for practical, community-oriented solutions for the elderly in Hunters, Washington. This ambitious group of young learners will enter the FLL competition with a robot designed to compete on a themed playing field and a scientific report that offers ways to improve the life of senior citizens in their area. Both activities demand the kids conduct themselves according to FLL core values of friendly competition and collaborative learning. Each student must demonstrate what they’ve learned and can do with three videos — one that promotes their Senior Solutions project, one that illustrates the project development process and one of their own choice. State standards for science, math and technology structure these multi-faceted learning activities. And, on the robotics side of the project, the students will use a kit to build a programmed android that blazes the Columbia Elementary insignia at a regional championship next year. The teacher team notes in their grant application that “All of the technologies chosen (laptops, tablets and a variety of software applications) will help students improve in all subject areas, not just science and math.”

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Mary Hall
Highland High School, Highland School District
The creation of original videos that document and interpret why people migrated to the Cowiche area, northwest of Yakima, will turn Mary Hall's young students into documentary film makers.  She has built a strong research component into this culturally attuned project during which her students must gather information about why populations migrate, specifically the economic incentives and pressures that shape these life-changing decisions. Each student will select an interview subject and create a video — beginning with storyboard and script — that plots their documentary. Tablets will do double duty as video cameras to capture footage, which the kids will combine with researched information and original music. Final products will come to life in Spanish or English with subtitles. Early on, Hall will have them hone their critical eye for film on a series of YouTube videos that address similar subjects. She sees this project as a way her kids can understand something important about where they live. “Highland High School is the heart and soul of a rural orchard community…Virtually all of our students’ families moved here from some other location in order to make new lives in the fruit industry.” Standards for technology and social studies integrate with National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) developed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

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Rebecca Fountain
Carrolls Elementary, Kelso School District
Rebecca Fountain’s third-graders will write a story a month during this multi-dimensional learning project. Every month a different theme — autobiography, math and science are just a few — and every month these children will share their work with the pen pals they’ve been communicating with since second grade. The Story Buddies project is designed around writing applications, such as Story Patch, available for portable media players. These applications guide kids through story development and make it possible to add graphics and interactive elements. Fountain’s students will experiment with different kinds of writing, while the applications provide story frameworks that keep young writers on track. In the early stages of the project, Fountain’s students will work collaboratively. By the end of the school year, her students will know how to develop, edit and publish their work independently. All the stories will post to the classroom Web page where pen pals can read them, along with questions that will help these distant writing peers comprehend story meaning and theme. Standards for writing and educational technology form the core of the learning goals for Story Buddies. Says Fountain in her grant application, “Through the use of programs like Skype, webinars, email and blogs, students have the chance to talk to others in real time or through messages. This can be an invaluable tool for students to gain skills that will be applicable all their lives…a way for students to experience the world and create a personal learning network.”

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Antha Holt, Jennifer Monroe
McCleary School, McCleary School District
Two middle school teachers in McCleary Washington have designed an exciting learning project to ease their young students’ apprehensions about math. In the Know with H2O brings together state standards for math, science and technology integration into multiple activities that will demonstrate what water means to life itself and human civilization. Comparison, analysis and presentation are at the core of this project. Wifi-connected tablets will enable students to extract water quality data related to Wildcat Creek, which runs through McCleary, and compare the creek’s health to freshwater waterways worldwide. They will capture their findings and analysis — creating line plots, histograms, stem-and-leaf and box-and-whisker plots along the way — in presentations, and on blogs and classroom Web sites. Teachers, Antha Holt and Jennifer Monroe, anticipate the kids will make clear connections between science, math, art and technology, and be able to communicate what they know through interactive books, richly-designed presentations and insightful infographics. True to their passion for educational technology, Holt and Monroe note in their grant application, “We envision technology not as a separate curriculum but as an appropriate part of every curriculum at every level of instruction.”

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Tim Cruger
Lakeside High School, Nine Mile Falls School District
When Tim Cruger’s grade nine and 10 students hit Print to output their learning projects, they will see 3D objects emerge from an industry-standard laser engraver — objects based on their own CAD (computer-aided design) models. These hands-on learning activities will have students brainstorm and sketch solutions to real-world design problems, then model new 3D forms using CAD software. Once the kids work out the design issues and perfect their models, they will take precise measurements and, using the 3D printer, fabricate components. Assembly is next, which readies Cruger’s young engineers to begin the packaging and marketing phase of the project. Peer partners in the business and marketing program at Lakeside will integrate what they’ve learned about bringing a product to market, and guide the development of strategies for promotion and distribution. Here’s where attention to messaging and multiple audiences become key and Cruger’s students round out their new math, science and technology knowledge with writing and communication skills. Cruger wants his students to understand the design improvement process through CAD modeling and prototyping. “This activity will clearly define…the difference between invention and innovation.”

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Karen Estes
A.L.P.S., Othello School District
This three-level science project for kids in the 8th through 12th grades culminates in a community event at which students will showcase their science projects, and conduct experiments that demonstrate important insights into the local ecosystem. Field work is central. Science teacher, Karen Estes plans to invest in sensors, probeware and tablets that will give her students the tools they need to gather and analyze data from area ponds and surrounding vegetation. In the first phase — guided service learning — students will work closely with a local conservation group and deliver relevant monitoring data that adds to ongoing scientific research. Building on what they’ve learned, each student will design their own project focusing on an element of environmental science that interests them most. They must follow the rigorous disciplines of scientific investigation and meet specific learning goals around technology math and writing. The Alternative Learning Placement Site is a high school for at-risk youth where teachers believe that scholarship opens a life path with the power to create equity of opportunity for all the kids at the margins. Says, Estes, “I am mostly excited about sharing our project with the community. From the students presenting at the school board meeting to organizing and conducting a community science night, my at-risk students will show off their learning and develop the confidence of public speaking with technology as their medium when facilitating and modeling — three key workforce skills needed in the 21st century.”

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Debra Taylor, Lisa Salisbury
Friday Harbor Elementary, San Juan Island School District
Three dynamic field projects provide the frameworks for a learning adventure that partners fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders with scientists from the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs Science Outreach Program. The program teams up research scientists with students and teachers to work on a series of integrated projects designed to introduce and explore environmental science. Take a look at the project descriptions for grades four, five and six on the program Web site. Teachers Debra Taylor and Lisa Salisbury describe this project as “highly-engaging” and “real world” during which peer-to-peer instruction and direct contact with experts in the field frame many of the learning activities. State standards for science, math and educational technology are in play as are multiple ways to learn — through collaboration, technology integration and hands-on field work. Student-generated podcasts will provide opportunities for review, student-moderated forums open a communication channel among students eager to share ideas and get immediate feedback. As the project progresses, marine biology students from Friday Harbor High School will jump in as mentors for Taylor and Salisbury’s budding young scientists. Portable media players, tablets and a wide variety of software applications will support the production process as kids develop videos, podcasts and digital content for a class-created Web site that demonstrates what they know and can do.

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Kathryn Egawa, Lisa DeBurle, Chris Lloyd, Missa Marmalstein, Patrick Wildermann
Pathfinder K-8 School, Seattle School District
An exciting mapping expedition that explores the world locally and internationally awaits second- and third-graders at Pathfinder. Working with a Web-based, multi-layered mapping program — StrataLogica — these digital explorers will begin a series of geographic learning activities that will see them hunt for hidden objects on the school grounds, locate and identify state landmarks, read maps in detail, discuss the impact of geography on development and hear from an orienteer how indigenous people determined and described their location. They will even use these traditional methods — paces, steps, estimation — to navigate the school campus. The teaching team organized this multi-dimensional project around state standards for technology, geography, math, communication and reading. Online research will make its way into digital presentations and onto a large interactive map that displays the kids’ new knowledge and understanding of the world. These teachers have also designed a comprehensive formative/summative assessment system that integrates observation, guided teacher prompts/questions to help children learn through project resources and information, frequent teacher-student check-ins, student self-assessment and summative rubrics. In their grant application, the team notes, “We are committed to broadening our students’ experience with digital technologies…Two laptops and an online learning subscription per teacher is a small investment that stands to reap larger gains.”

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Daniel Calzaretta
Pioneer Middle School, Walla Walla School District
Through Our Eyes is an ambitious, video-based learning project that teacher, Daniel Calzaretta, says will show his 7th-graders how to learn, not just what to learn. First, the students must develop a project proposal (and timeline) based on an essential question — how does social change come about? Next, they embark on a period of research during which they will learn how to identify credible sources of Web-based information and track down an expert, a social activist, who will become their film subject. Scripting follows. In brainstorming sessions, his young filmmakers will focus on socially relevant issues that have personal meaning. In discussions, Calzaretta’s students will look for common elements in their subject’s stories and activities. Students will story board and script in Google docs to enable peer and teacher review of their developing work. Equipped with tablets, the kids must film and edit project footage handling the post-production work with software installed on the tablets. Calzaretta’s students will show their documentaries to the school and at a district film festival. They also plan to submit their work to the 2013 National Film Festival for Talented Youth, the world’s largest film festival for young people, 22 and under. This standards-based learning project applies learning goals for writing, social studies and educational technology. On the assessment side of this project, Calzaretta calls out self-evaluation as an important element. “Students are rarely asked to evaluate their own learning and yet this is a skill that is crucial for success in higher education and the workforce.”

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