Friday was the first session of our 2011-2012 Boeing Grant professional development. Martha Bogart and Stephanie Madlinger are working with a group of middle school science teachers. This is the fifth year of the Boeing Grant; this year, the focus is using technology in the middle school science classroom.
Ten lucky high school teachers in the St.Louis area are spending the day with Bernajean Porter, national & international collaborative staff developer. Today’s workshop is part of the ARRA Grant written by CSD‘s Virtual Learning Center staff. Five history teachers from each district, Ritenour & Ferguson Florissant are creating digital stories. This morning teachers are empowered to critically look through magic glasses at the 6 elements of a good digital story.
As part of the grant, the participants will be creating digital stories with one of their classes next semester. Each teacher has also provided 3 lesson plans that integrate technology. These plans have been evaluated using several criteria including the Grappling’s Technology & Learning Spectrum, MO 4th Cycle MSIP, DOK, and McRel’s Researched-Based Instructional Strategies. One of the goals of the grant is that there will be improvement of understanding and implementation of each of these areas.
Part of New Links to New Learning membership is that we give free demos on videoconferencing- what it is, what New Links to New Learning is, what it does, who I am, etc. Yesterday I connected to a couple dozen teachers, techs and administrators in the Ritenour School District to talk about videoconferencing. Ritenour has just set up a really great distance learning room at the high school. So far this school year, we’ve connected a science teacher’s class to AIMS for a General Cadaver Demo videoconference. We’re working on getting a Forensic Autopsy from AIMS for his classes, too.
Back to yesterday- where the participants had an opportunity to hear me talk and also play with the remote a bit. The zig-zagging of the camera distracted me a bit at times, but I hope that wasn’t too evident! I am glad they took the opportunity to hold the remote and see what it can do. I showed them a clip of author Carolyn Lesser interacting with elementary students to give them an idea of what an Author Visit is like. We discussed bandwidth, ISDN vs. IP, and content providers. I’m looking forward to getting more and more Ritenour students participating in videoconferences. Call me!