2008 Qwest Foundation Teaching & Technology Grants
||Spokane Public Schools
||Valley View Elementary
||Coweeman Middle School
|Nora Strauch, Ann Chenhall, Tamara Campbell
||Pleasant Glade Elementary
||North Thurston Public Schools
||Kitsap Lake Elementary
||Olympic ESD 114
||Cascade Middle School
|Donnetta Elsasser, Guy Gregg, Debbie Ortiz
||Touchet Secondary School
|Melissa Flaget, Lynn Chambers, Angie Deishl, Justin Grillo, Stacey Northcott, Diane Peterson, Kirsten Thomsen
||North Central ESD 171
||Olympic View Middle School
||Northwest ESD 189
Lidgerwood Elementary, Spokane Public Schools, ESD 101
Tamie intends to add and expand on the standards-based music curricula and skills her students learn now by having them create their own music. Her 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-grade students will use the computer to create a collaborative class composition that integrates story and illustration. She envisions an equity of participation that engages the wide variety of learning styles she sees every day in her classes. Music composition software and hardware will make this possible. Real-world digital technologies will empower her students to add research elements and personal narrative/visual content to their music project, and then share it with their classmates.
The use of technology in the grades 1 through 6 music classroom is very exciting! Students believe that tech is cool and they are drawn to be a part of this hip environment. Being able to offer my vision to students is a great way to expand and strengthen the learning that occurs in the music classroom.
Valley View Elementary, Ellensburg SD, ESD 105
Katy knows just how challenging writing can be for a 3rd-grader but she has discovered the power of educational technology to engage her young charges and create what she terms a natural joy of learning. Her 3rd graders plan to publish a monthly school newspaper start-to-finish. She loves the technology – portable word processors – because it engages her students with the kind of tool real journalists use every day. This simple, easy-to-use tool motivates her students to write and share their work in a way that writing lessons without technology have not. Standards-based curricula will team up with the portable word processors as Katy’s students think through, develop and share their published writing projects. They will also put these easy-to-use devices into action as they describe mathematics solutions and record scientific observations.
Like all teachers, my goal is to create a sense of joy in learning for my students. I want them to love coming to school and be proud of the work they do…my students will be excited to share their published writing projects and talk about all the things they wrote about that day. They will leave my room with tools for the future.
Coweeman Middle School, Kelso SD, ESD 112
Debby actively seeks ways to integrate technology as a vital component of the standards-based learning environments she creates for her students. Communication technologies – video conferencing, email, webcasting − and an interactive white board, will make it possible for her students to conduct research online and connect with experts and peers far outside classroom walls. To demonstrate what they know and can do, these digital learners will create a multi-media learning product. Debby also plans to integrate a new formative assessment approach into her practice − interactive wireless response. Students will use remote devices to answer probing questions that will enable her to gauge the comprehension level of each child. These systems provide rapid feedback that tells a teacher when to expand on lesson elements or prompt more discussion. Debby is keen to use her new system to show her when to intervene and individualize instruction for a student struggling with a project element.
Technology fluency is not a luxury reserved for those with technology-rich homes. All students must be able to access, process and synthesize information in a wide variety of ways to be successful in today’s job market and in daily life.
Nora Strauch, Ann Chenhall, Tamara Campbell
Pleasant Glade Elementary, North Thurston Public Schools, ESD 113
This 1st- through 4th-grade teaching team envisions young learners as technology experts who grow into engaged community members, evolved global citizens and leaders for the 21st century. Equity and participation are central to this teaching and learning project, which will involve a high percentage of students from low-income households with limited access to digital technologies outside the school building. The task is to build a community oriented website. Working in groups, the students will explore, research and document the features of their neighborhoods and common areas that define the community. Two cameras – digital and document – and a projector will join paper and pencil as the students gather and evaluate data. At each stage the 4th-graders will share what they collect with their younger peers and the teaching team to get feedback and new ideas for the website. The project integrates multiple subjects and aligns with state standards for communication, writing, reading, mathematics and geography.
We believe that it is essential for our students to be able to access information through computer-based technology We want our students to be able to make wise judgments about information and to share it appropriately in a number of ways.
Kitsap Lake Elementary, Bremerton SD, Olympic ESD 114
Veronica’s standards-based lessons – communication and writing − use audio and video recording equipment to document and display what her young learners know and are able to do. Show-and-tell will go digital as Veronica’s kindergartners learn the basics of listening and communicating. She believes that using microphones will motivate her students creatively in class activities centered on drama, puppetry, story re-tells and presentations. She will introduce rich multicultural literature as a springboard to generate ideas as her young charges plan their writing projects. She will record the story re-tells, ideas, puppet plays, vignettes and presentations to play them back on an LCD TV for the whole class to discuss. On the classroom computers, Veronica’s students will write, publish and then share their individual reports, stories and cards.
Every child has an inner voice yearning to be heard and validated. Whether that child is timid, assertive, has a disability or is deaf, we must facilitate all voices by providing age-appropriate classroom experiences enhanced by technology in order to plant the seed for life-long learning.
Cascade Middle School, Auburn SD, Puget Sound ESD
Scott’s students will measure natural phenomena with sensors, documenting and evaluating the data on laptop computers that run software applications in use today by professional scientists. Scott sees this project as a way to level the playing field for the diverse learning styles and varying levels of technological ability among his students. The entire class will have a learning curve that engages science and technology. Working in small teams, every student will be able to contribute and demonstrate what they learn. Scott plans to join his students as a co-learner and coach immersed in an exploration of real science that will, says Scott, “breathe new life into the standards.” The task – figure out if Olson Creek will support salmon habitat. Each team will develop a specific investigation, record data, share what they learned and then develop a real-world research proposal. As guide, Scott will monitor the research process; as educator, he will assess each team’s proposal.
I envision a science learning environment maximized through the use of digital observation tools, data logging and electronic sharing of ideas where learners make the real world their classroom and build concepts contextually.
Donnetta Elsasser, Jeremy McNinch, Debbie Ortiz
Touchet Secondary School, Touchet SD, ESD 123
Touchet is a small school with a three-teacher team that believes in 21st century teaching and learning. These dedicated teachers will support each other’s technology integration as they focus lesson plans around communication − communication within and across student groups, among teachers and students and from students to the world. The learning projects will involve three instructional areas − science/ESL, reading and language arts/social studies. Tablet PC’s, wireless projectors and document cameras will take classroom communication to a new level as students work collaboratively in small groups to tackle specific topics. The inquiry-based dynamics of web search and research, content bias and relevancy will come into play as students develop their narratives. Each teacher will be able to open these documents and provide critical feedback and guidance related to essential academic standards − grammar, punctuation, idea development and persuasive power. All students will be able to participate and share their work among team peers and to the larger class as they explain what they know and can do.
We believe that just-in-time learning is more valuable than just-in-case learning that you might need later. Why learn how to format a business letter to a fabricated company when those skills can come with the need to write your county commissioner about policies that affect your community?
Linda Cashman, Lynn Chambers, Angie Deishl, Justin Grillo, Stacey Northcott, Diane Peterson, Kirsten Thomsen
Waterville Elementary, Waterville SD, North Central ESD 171
Here is a team of kindergarten through grade 6 teachers who believe that technology has the power to remove the barriers of demographics, location, size and budget inherent in small, rural districts. Literate About Biodiversity is a suite of dynamic inquiry-based learning projects that integrates global positioning system technology, art, writing, communication and environmental science activities into standards-based lessons. Customized for each grade level, class activities revolve around a central question – what is the biodiversity of the Waterville plateau? Students will power up GPS units and use geographic information system technology to collect and track data, and answer specific questions. They will illustrate the interrelationships between geography and species and work together on a field guide. Alongside community planners these 21st century learners will create a walking tour of the area and build a garden that as a living example of the biodiversity they are studying.
A technology rich learning environment provides students with an opportunity to creatively convey their understanding in a different genre. Students who may be unable to express their thoughts on paper can successfully create a multimedia project that communicates the same information.
Olympic View Middle School, Mukilteo SD, Northwest ESD 189
John’s learning project places strong emphasis on the STEM standards – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – but also engages the grade level expectations for communications, writing and reading as essential elements for his young learners. Organized into student teams, his students will tackle a real-world task – design an energy efficient sustainable community that incorporates structures, energy systems and transportation. From research to layout to presentation, John’s middle school students will use software and hardware that mirror the technical components of a real-world science lab. Teams will design and construct models of bridge structures and vehicles to exact engineering standards in physical and virtual forms. Using GPS coordinates John’s students will survey their site with online satellite and gather topographical data. They will design layouts, structures and vehicles with CAD and 3D animation modeling software to produce working plans. Throughout, they will have constant access to teachers, peers and content experts. How will his students demonstrate what they know and can do? Each team must document and then present their learning for archive and distribution on DVDs, presentation software and on webcasts.
Technology must be interactive in the classroom and actively used by the students to allow them access to content, provide feedback to them on what they are learning and allow them to present evidence of their learning.