"Meaning doesn't come from data alone. Creative problem-solving depends on context, interrelationships, and experiences... And only human beings can teach the connections between things."
-- Clifford Stoll, Silicon Snake Oil

Whew! Teachers will always be needed regardless of new technologies. We never doubted that, did we? Not really. NetDays come and go and everyone is waiting for miracles, for test scores to soar. Sadly, in too many classrooms, the "screen saver" disease has settled in because teachers are not sure how to use the new tool available to them. In some classrooms "drill and kill" software simply replaces hand held flashcards. In others, students are surfing aimlessly on the WWW and not really finding anything of use because they don't know how to search for information. In some cases the information they are surfing for can be found on a bookshelf in minutes.

The presence of computers in our classrooms does not mean that learning will take place. If our students can't read, can't reason and can't see relationships the Internet will be nothing more than slow loading images. The computer is a tool but Jamie McKenzie says that the greatest tool is the human question. We've always had this tool but somewhere between Pre-K and 6th grade the "why?" questions fade into "why not?" as preteens struggle for independence. In too many classrooms teachers are asking all the questions and the students are parroting back the answers.

Our students sit for hours in front of fast moving video games that require a decision every few seconds. Do our classrooms invite that kind of involvement? Can technology make a difference in the way students engage in real world tasks?

Today we put on our garden overalls and dig in. Cultivating a learner's instinct means getting your hands dirty! We've got hard work to do. We're growing learners - perennials.

8:00 - 8:15 Welcome and Review
8:15 - 9:30 Interdisciplinary projects - A KIDLINK Day, Visit Our Playground, NASA Video Global Quest II
9:30 - 10:00 Moderating a global project
10:00 - 11:00 Technology in the writing process - John Ost, Kidwriters project - "The Oil Spill Mystery" [Barbara Schulz], Through Our Eyes [Regina Royer] Authors Mentoring Authors: a writing workshop [Carla Hurchalla] Excitement as the project draws near
11:00 - 12:00 Making simple web pages, the HTML skeleton
12:00 -12:30 lunch
12:30 - 3:30 Independent time for you to work on your projects.
  1. Defining learner outcomes for the project
  2. Creating learning experiences for the project
  3. Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects
  4. Defining assessment tools: performance-based, self assessment, observation, tests [team discussions on assessment -page 1, page 2, page 3]

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