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This course facilitates K-12 teachers through the process of integrating engaged learning and technology in their classrooms to support student investigations on real-world issues. The course consists of two parts. During the summer part, participants will evaluate, select and customize an online project to teach content in their existing curriculum. During the fall part, teachers try out their project with students as they reflect on the process and share feedback with the rest of the class via online chats. Because the chats are online, attendees may participate from their own home or school without traveling to Fermilab. Experienced engaged learning mentors will provide guidance during the entire process.
This is not a self-study or independent course. Each facilitator works with eight or fewer participants so there is substantial personal attention. All attendees participate in the course at the same time so there is substantial real-time discussion and collaboration with participants from all over the United States. The class sessions and discussions are held online via real-time chats, bulletin board forums, listservs, and e-mail.
We believe that the skills and strategies students need to be successful today and in the future are effectively taught through engaged learning projects. These projects are structured in such a way that students are responsible for their own learning. The projects are collaborative, student-driven, and technology-dependent. When skillfully applied, technology can enhance learning in new and powerful ways such as allowing students to reach beyond the classroom walls to collaborate with experts and students in distant locations, and to publish original work to a worldwide audience. The LInC ACT course prepares participants to implement these types of projects with their students.
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Fermilab LInC is a not-for-profit program that was created by teachers for teachers. To date, over 500 educators from 28 states have participated in LInC programs since 1994. Below are some quotes from participants of past LInC ACT programs:
[I learned] "How to incorporate a real life situation to bring kids into learning in the future; how to make them in charge of their own learning; ... wow what a positive experience with what my students and I have learned together."
"Working on the project with students at the same time I was taking the class was most beneficial; that allowed me to discuss problems and get ideas on rubrics and management issues, and then go back to school and make changes with students."
"I have a good start to a project that I am very excited about. This class opened my mind up to a whole new way of teaching, less structured, more open-ended."
"We had time to actually experience an engaged learning project ourselves; it was a very effective way to see how the process works; I enjoyed brainstorming ideas with others and building on the ideas of others."
"This was a great class; it gave me motivation and guidance as I worked through the project."
"I love watching my students go off on their own and be responsible for their own learning; they are having fun and learning; you can't beat that combination."