Learning to be a contributing citizen in ones' community often means learning to make connections. In this project students investigate the idea of connectiveness to their local community. They look at the connections they will make to become contributing members, as well as looking at what connections cause people to remain in a community or move "back home". The project takes the idea of connections one step further in engaging students to create a video and/or promotional brochure about their community to help connect it to others in the world. The ultimate goal is for students' contributions to their community help their improve their community's economy.
The students in this project are 27 high school juniors who live in a small rural agricultural community in Montana along the Missouri River. The students will be divided into heterogeneous groups of 2-3 students.
This project will last for one period per day for one quarter (45 days).
Muncie Kasko of the Community Improvement Association will come to the ask the students to help the association create a video and computer kiosk presentations to promote our historically rich community. The students will be given the opportunity to help promote their community to others around the world. This would be important to the students since the economy is slowly fading in their community. Also, the students will be published on the web. This project gives students the chance to get to know the elders of the community better and bridge the generation gap that might exist.
The students will identify native community members to interview, write questions to ask them, and conduct and record oral interviews. They will use e-mail and Internet to choose information about the community's past. Students will choose pictures to document the community's history. Students will organize the information they discover into their choice of either multimedia presentations for the kiosks or video footage. The students will select topics that they have researched to post to the community history page on the community's website. They will also choose which pictures to use in documenting the events that they choose to post.
The overall or underlying task or investigation that will guide participation in this project is the students' investigations into why people feel drawn back to this community if they went away & have moved back or their investigations of the people who have felt compelled to stay in this "place" where they are born, despite a somewhat dying economy. The underlying task is also to produce a product that would be archived in the Montana Historical Society Museum and the Library of Congress
- Use tape recorders to document oral interviews.
- Use e-mail to contact experts in the area, state historians and librarians, and former residents to gather stories and documentation.
- Use scanning equipment and digital cameras.
- Use a choice of multimedia tool to create product (video or computer presentation)
- Web authoring to post articles to the web
- Two way communication for a FAQ section on the web.
- Using the web to post a model for this community-centered engaged learning project for other cooperative schools.
- Perhaps the communities of the Golden Triangle Cooperative could use this project scaffold to participate in a collaborative project investigating the stories of their elders as we all live along old Western Trails.( This would allow for replication of the project for other school districts. Being posted to the web this model would be available to schools in similar situations across the world.
One assessment that will be completed daily is a One-Minute assessment. This is a formative assessment that asks students to jot down anything they are struggling with or not understanding at the end of the classday's work. Students will record this along with a record of what they have accomplished for the day in their daily log folder on their computers. Students will also complete a tech check each day, recording the technologies used for their work each day.
One weekly assessment will be to do a K-W-L chart where the students fill in what they know (K) and what they want to know (W)at the beginning of the week and what they have learned (L)at the end of the week. This helps to focus their work and set goals for subsequent weeks' work. Another assessment done weekly will be a group evaluation form. Students will e-mail the facilitator with a weekly progress report.
Once per Project:
Students will fill out a self-evaluation technology proficiency rubric at the beginning and the end of the project to determine growth in technology proficiency. They will also complete the the Big6 project organizer upon completing their project. Students will evaluate both the process and the product using the Big6 process. Students will complete a project rubric at the end of the project.
This project will be evaluated in several ways. One evaluation will be done by students and facilitators using a web site evaluation form. Students will evaluate the project site and their own site. All participants will fill out an electronic project evaluation form and submit it via e-mail to the project facilitator. The project will also be evaluated using a project evaluation rubric.