2009 Qwest Foundation Teaching & Technology Grants
|Steven English, Jessica Gaddy
||Shaw Middle School
||Spokane Public Schools
||Grades 7 & 8
||Chief Kamiakin Elementary
||Beacon Hill Elementary
||Rochester High School
||Grades 9, 10, 11 & 12
||Quilcene High School
||Olympic ESD 114
||Grades 9, 10, 11 & 12
|David Steele, Nancy Noble
||Kilo Middle School
||Federal Way SD
||Grades 6, 7 & 8
|Shelly Jo Wandler
||Discovery Middle School
||Grades 6, 7 & 8
|Michelle Blackburn, Patricia Devereaux
||Wenatchee High School
||North Central ESD 171
||Grades 9, 10, 11 & 12
||Northwest ESD 189
Steven English, Jessica Gaddy
Shaw Middle School, Spokane Public Schools, ESD 101, Grades 7 and 8
This creative and resourceful teacher team will have their students answer the question: should we build a golf course on Playfair land near the Spokane River? The students will work in teams to research the impact of human activity — consumption of natural resources — relative to quality of life and the health of the ecosystem. Water quality, land use, animal habitat, encroachment, herbicide, pesticide and fertilizer use will come under close scrutiny. All the learning activities are aligned with state standards for science.
The explosion of today’s technology tools can create a highly personalized experience for students in the science classroom. Students are able to access the most current “real world” information and data in areas of study that are interesting and relevant to them. They can access text and graphics that match reading ability…Through the use of digital probes they can test and retest their own developed hypotheses…and compare their experimental results to the theoretical…students will be able to share and publish their thinking and the results of their learning in a manner that matches personal style and meets their own needs and purpose.
Chief Kamiakin Elementary, Sunnyside SD, ESD 105, Grade 5
Jessica has developed a dynamic learning project that will build on her students’ facility with the school’s Math World blog. Her learning goals are specific, designed to expand knowledge of math and communication, and build a new literacy with technology integration. Students will journal about their math activities, discuss problems and solutions, ask questions and respond online as classmates jump into the conversation. They will solve new problems through Internet research and report their findings on the blog. All class activities are designed to align with state standards for educational technology, math and communication.
At my school, 93.5% of students receive free/reduced price lunch; 39.8% have English as a second language; and 29.3% are the children of migrant workers. About half my students met reading and writing standards, as measured by the 2008 4th grade WASL and less than 18% met math standards. Their different learning styles and needs demand flexibility. Some need more time for typing and composing, which is something this project will specifically allow for. Others need extra background and scaffolding or languages resources. This project will put a tool for those needs directly into the hands of students.
Beacon Hill Elementary, Kelso SD, ESD 112, Grade 1
Sheryl designed a learning project that will open up new channels of creativity and knowledge-building among her first-graders. They will work individually, and collaboratively, as bloggers and videographers to create digital journals that chronicle what they learn about other countries. The creation of video journals, story retells, online research and word practice on phonics join a rich line-up of learning activities. In the process, her young students will learn about geography and improve their reading, writing, communication and technology skills.
Through blogging and video journaling, my students become part of the world and develop personal learning networks that will enable them to pursue their interests and passions in the way that best meets their needs...Technology, such as blogging and other Web 2.0 tools provide multiple opportunities to connect and collaborate with learners with similar interests and abilities beyond our classroom walls.
Rochester High School, Rochester SD, ESD 113, Grades 9, 10, 11 & 12
Nada will challenge her students with four dynamic learning projects that align class activities to state standards for communication, technology, writing and reading. She has created these ambitious and exciting projects within the Career & Technical Education Curriculum Framework for Broadcasting Media. Working in small groups, learners will create a five-minute video with music, stills and narration — her English language learners (ELL) will do their video in Spanish. In the second project, ELL and English speaking students will co-produce two one-minute video commercials on a student-led organization — one version in Spanish, the other in English. Another student group will develop, produce and direct a five-minute TV show. And, in the final project, students will produce and tape an eight-minute documentary.
Students learn when they are engaged…Lessons will…help specific learning disability students (poor self-concept…social skills, attention deficits and lack of motivation), students at risk and students with diverse learning styles… In a lab situation where students work in groups…diverse learning styles will be an advantage as they develop a finished product, just like real life situations. Students are so creative, and when given an opportunity, they will surpass our expectations.
Quilcene High School, Quilcene SD, Olympic ESD 114, Grades 9, 10, 11 & 12
Jeffrey has designed an exciting series of learning projects that cross all the core subjects and integrate a wide range of digital technologies. Students will create learning artifacts that range from blog content to audio postcards and video in a series of learning activities aligned to state standards for educational technology. Here’s one. As part of a learning project that combines world literature and world history, 10th-graders will gather around an LCD monitor linked via Skype with students from a school in New Delhi India. Together they will compare the impact Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had on political protest movements.
I envision a dynamic classroom, without walls or limits, linked to other students via digital technology. My role will be facilitator, allowing my students to make connections globally — an authentic learning and sharing that only a peer-to-peer, intercultural encounter can provide…I recognize that technology will amplify the achievement of my motivated learners, but more importantly, can increase motivation and real-world relevancy for my struggling students.
David Steele, Nancy Noble
Kilo Middle School, Federal Way Public Schools, Puget Sound ESD, Grades 6, 7 & 8
Math, science and educational technology line up beautifully in a series of standards-based activities designed to teach pre-engineering skills. Students will get comfortable with terminology, construction techniques, and the basics of physics and structural engineering as they build a model bridge from cardboard. Testing comes next to figure out if the bridge is strong enough to withstand the weight and stress it must sustain. Then, learning takes on double-duty as students gain a hands-on understanding of engineering mechanics and how to design and conduct experiments. Before the final activity – build and test a formal model of the truss bridge – Nancy and David’s young students will learn how to graph data and make mechanical drawings.
In the workplace, employees are using productivity tools, such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases… Our intent is to create a learning environment where students use those same productivity tools to organize their thinking, express their ideas and publish or present the results of problem solving activities….digital resources will allow our students to chat with real life experts around the world, investigate and solve problems in the community and work with other students in the State of Washington, as well as in other countries.
Shelly Jo Wandler
Discovery Middle School, Pasco SD, ESD 123, Grades 6, 7 & 8
Shelly Jo’s students will tackle several assignments throughout the school year that cross core curricula for math, science and social studies. She has aligned lesson activities to state academic standards for each subject and will also integrate standards for educational technology. In the first learning project, students will record GPS data and convert it to measurements that plot and scale a detailed campus map. Building on these new science and technology skills, Shelly Jo will integrate social studies as the students map out a section of the Lewis & Clark trail in their area. One of the many questions her students will tackle requires scientific reasoning and study — why has their region developed in the way it has?
The world is a global economy connected to, and driven by, digital technology. Knowing the basics of reading, writing and math isn’t enough. We must keep students involved with current technology…and look to where they could take technology in the future…As an educational system, we must integrate digital technologies into our standards across the curriculum. To not do this is an injustice to our students and a detriment to our country.
Michelle Blackburn, Patricia Devereaux
Wenatchee High School, Wenatchee SD, North Central ESD 171, Grades 9, 10, 11 & 12
Two creative library-media specialists will partner with teachers in social studies to prepare students for an annual classroom-based assessment and, in the process, build an innovative multimedia tool for students to use. The librarian team will use Timeliner technology — software that enables the user to research and organize events in an easily understood visual format. Pre-loaded sources from the Internet and academic databases will enrich the learning experience as students learn how to understand historical conflicts over time and how these events inter-relate. The software is feature rich with languages, graphics, sound, video and other media, which makes it possible to integrate state standards for educational technology into lesson activities.
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.
Larrabee Elementary, Bellingham SD, Northwest ESD 189, Grade 5
Energy efficiency was not built into the portable classrooms that house Lisa Conlon’s 5th-graders. Expensive to heat and cool, she and her students will embark on an important project to conserve energy and capture the impact of conservation activities on air quality and ambient sound. Lisa’s students will design experiments to affect change in energy use and, working closely with the district’s maintenance supervisor, they will monitor, measure and evaluate the results of the project. What works will publish to a wiki they can share with kids around the world who spend their school days in portables. Lisa has designed a variety of learning activities that integrate state standards for science, math, technology, reading and writing.
Responsive educators sense the optimism and can-do spirit that children exude when given the opportunity to solve a real life problem. The teacher’s role is to provide the tools and instruction that will support collaborative student teams to plan, implement and share innovative projects…In my ideal classroom…students would learn and teach one another about the technology, and discuss ways to generate information and products that compel others to think and join in their efforts.