Preparing the Soil
planting Topic seeds

A garden in the eyes of a 6 year old.
Artist: Danielle Hurchalla
G is for "garden" - Alphabet Book

Patti: Hi Team,

It is time for me to draft the B credit application and I need to know the topics you would like me to cover while I am with you in Hawaii. Can we toss some ideas around?

These were your thoughts after your March 2 meeting:

I have Joy's summary here. Now that we have been online together for over a month do you have other topics to add? We want this workshop to be meaningful and practical for you and your schools.

Hoping to hear from all of you... Pam, Sandra, Ron... your ideas? Betty, Marilyn, Jane and Joy... your thoughts? *You* know best what your teachers need and want to hear.

Global friends on our list, from your experiences in doing staff development and/or from your "newbie" perspective (Carla) what topics should we definitely include?

These are the topics that came out of the March 2nd meeting the Tech Cadre had in Hawaii:

  1. What is Kidlink?
  2. How do teachers make global connections?
  3. What is ThinkQuest?
  4. How to manage with just 1 computer.
  5. How to include parents.
  6. Examples of interdisciplinary projects.
How about other topics?

Suggested Topics
From Patti:
  1. respecting cultural diversities
  2. who controls the technology? (issues of network security and safety)
  3. will technology enhance learning in my classroom? How will I know? evaluation...
  4. a learner's instinct - characteristics?
  5. obstacles that prevent use of technology, ways to overcome
  6. instructional design - Judi Harris's "models approach"
  7. building an online support community for teachers
  8. mentoring
  9. understanding listservs
  10. creating and moderating a global project (for KIDLINK)
  11. making simple web pages
  12. technology for all. How are we using new technologies with our special needs students?
  13. Connecting with the local community
    • mentoring for students
    • mentoring your lab! <-- tech support
    • universities - working hand in hand
  14. The "Tennis Shoe" syndrome - working on a shoestring budget
    • All we have = Windows and a web browser - help!
    • The "connected" computer isn't in my room - now what?
    • creative ways of using Paintbrush and Notepad (our Delmar Circle stories and Alphabet book)
  15. Web publishing
    • Sharing the wealth of our ideas with colleagues here... and around the world
    • When students "publish" their work - boost to self esteem
  16. Comfort level?
    • When the kids know more than we do...
    • When the network is down... now what?
    • When new hardware is intimidating
    • Learning with (and maybe *from*) the kids
    • When there is little time and Internet seems like one more thing to do!
    • When we seem to waste precious time searching on the WWW
    • Handling disappointed students when their keypals don't write back
From Marilyn:
  1. How can I use technology to help my students become motivated learners?
  2. Use KidLink projects as examples of the kinds of learning that can occur as well as serve as opportunities for skill building : e.g Landmarks Game - students learn to read maps, become familiar with geography, develop global awareness, strenthen their reading comprehension by reading clues, do convergent thinking, improve their writing skills--clarity, conciseness, develop creative thinking, add to their experience bank, research skills and use of reference materials, math projects, volcano, science, geography
  3. In what ways can technology be used in performance based assessments?
  4. What are management strategies for a one computer classroom?
  5. How can teachers use the Internet to help students improve their reading skills?
  6. What strategies can be shared to help teachers with instructional reading while students are on the web?
  7. In what ways does using technology help in the writing process?
From David:

You might like to look at the outline of our "The 21st Century Schoolhouse Institute for Educators"

[David and Hannah are Technology and Curriculum Directors respectively for The 21st Century Schoolhouse Institute for Educators -Patti]

From Isamu:

At this point, there are many difficult problem on language. "Language is still our barrier. Especially for Japanese.

Comments on the topics

cultural diversity
yes, how can we get to this through working with projects with different cultures? Also, would like to see it more than respecting??? celebrating? ohh I like issues...such as does tech make a difference anyway?

It won't make a difference if we use our new tools to do the same things we have always done. Substituting one tool for another is not using our millions of dollars spent on technology very well.
New technologies bring new opportunities. What are they?

What about collaborative inquiry? What is it in my teaching that I want to change...learn more about?

Yes! Super ideas... Inquiry. Excellent. I like Jamie McKenzie's phrase:
"The question is the answer."
He acknowledges that technology is only a tool and that we have always had the greatest tool with us - the human question. Instead of lecturing the students we need to lead them to asking important questions.

How do teachers make global connections?
I have made global connections by "surfing". There are so many e-mail address out there that one often leads to another. People have been very gracious in pointing me to other leads for what I am looking for. The only problem is *time*. It takes time.

Will technology enhance learning in my classroom? How will I know?
If the children get excited about what they are learning through the use of technology, than that certainly validates the use. Also if a teacher can offer more to the students because of their searching the internet for information or setting up mentors for the students, then instruction has been enhanced. I am not sure how instruction can not be enhanced and made so much richer by the use of technology.

a learner's instinct - characteristics?
A learner is driven by his own interests. If a teacher can help develop an interest in the use of technology then a new world of discovery will open for children. I can see interest in content developing because the students get to use the internet as a tool for content discovery and problem solving!

obstacles that prevent use of technology Money, What do we do when we don't have any! ;-) How do we get computers in the hands of our teachers and their students?

... building an online support community for teachers
I think it would be wonderful to do this. I would like to see our county open web pages per grade and subject area that teachers could browse through to get ideas about their curriculum. Teachers would also be able to share their ideas on these pages. As a teacher, I learn so much from watching what other teachers do and adapting ideas to suit my students' needs.

- I am a big fan on mentoring. It is so important to team students with people who can give them more guidance then we can provide at times. Think about a child who would like to pursue a career in nuclear physics. Who better to help the child make that kind of decision than a *real live* nuclear physicist? I wish that as a child I would have had the opportunity to explore the world and communicate with people to find out exactly what was out there for careers.

making simple web pages
-This is a very important topic to explore. Web pages could be used in many different ways in the classroom.

What is internet time management? How to get the most from your search.

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Patricia A. Weeg