Teacher volunteers will attend a summer workshop to extend their knowledge of the Internet and its use in education. After improving their search techniques, they will identify web sites that would work in their classrooms. For each web site chosen, they will write up ideas for using it effectively. The culminating activity will be for the sites and use ideas to be entered into a modified version of a curriculum grid such as this.
Language Arts Math Science Social Studies K site/use link site/use link site/use link site/use link 1 site/use link site/use link site/use link site/use link 2 site/use link site/use link site/use link site/use link 3 site/use link site/use link site/use link site/use link 4 site/use link site/use link site/use link site/use link 5 site/use link site/use link site/use link site/use link
This grid will be available on the district web site. It will be a tool to increase the usefulness of the internet for the volunteers and all other staff. There will be a feedback loop built in so that the sites and use suggestions will evolve over time.
A, B and C, a fifth grade teacher, first grade teacher, and third grade teacher, respectively, are among the teachers who have signed up for a two-day summer workshop "The Internet and Curriculum", one of the summer technology classes offered annually by the Farmington Schools. The workshop description is "...to find internet sites and lesson ideas that match our curriculum..." B is a first-year teacher. A, a 12-year veteran, is an avid technology user and fits the profile of the early-adopter when it comes to change. C in his 23rd year is more fearful, and the only reason he has taken the class is to satisfy the district mandate to increase the use of technology in the classroom.
They show up on day one and find 16 other teachers and 3 facilitators, Rosemarie Simon, technology trainer, Richard Strausz, math and computer coordinator, and Lynn Lieberman, a tech consultant from the Intermediate School District. Some teachers want some additional background before they begin looking for ways to infuse the internet into the core curriculum. The participants divide into 3 groups for a mini-course.Group 1 is for those who want to learn to search more efficiently. B goes there. Others join C in group 2 to begin looking through internet collections of lesson plans for ideas. A is one of 3 brave souls in group 3, the teachers who want to learn to make their own web pages. After a few hours' work, everyone regroups and begins working by grade and/or subject levels. The hunt is on - the quarry are educationally sound web sites.
It's been a long day, and it doesn't seem like there is much to show for it. The teachers have chosen an average of 5 web sites each that hold promise as making a connection with the curriculum in language arts, math, science or social studies for his/her grade.They are sent home for the day thinking about Lynn's challenge for the next day: to make a 'roadmap' so that a non-participant would know how to use each site.
Each teacher writes plans for using his/her sites. Some are elaborate; others are sketchy. Some give another way to teach an old reliable topic. Others show ways to use the power of the internet to provide a new type of learning.
Our more technologically expert participants help us place the sites and usage ideas as links in a GRID, marked off by grade and subject. Before we leave for the day, the information has been uploaded to the district web page, and we see our work 'live'! All are excited. Even C carefully copies down the URL so his son in Cleveland can get on the web and see what he has done.
All teachers are introduced to the GRID during "Welcome Back" faculty meetings. The Media Specialists, having been trained in a 2-hour workshop the week before school started, demonstrate its use and introduce the celebrities on staff who made it. As teachers try it, they go to the link at the end of each area and give feedback and suggestions for other sites to use. The suggestions are published for the benefit of subsequent users. In this way the GRID evolves into an every-improving teachers' aid.
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