2011 Award Winners
Exploring the Future
Leslie Chausse & Heather Inverson
Students used Web 2.0 tools including online research databases, Flip cameras, video conversion tools, Google Docs, Google Forms, Glogster, Prezi, wikis and blogs to explore careers of interest to them. Research tools included the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Handbook and its online site for students. After students wrote blog entries, completed an online quiz and an online survey, teachers invited professionals representing different career fields such as a forensic scientist, a nurse, a national guardsman, a stockbroker and others from the community to meet with small groups of students. During the meetings, all students referred to the collaborative document that they made using Google Docs to participate actively. A student at each meeting also filmed the discussion. Each student shared a final multimedia project that included information from the research including current facts, statistics and data on the career, details about the meeting with the career professional, video from the meeting and a reflection on how the student will use his high school career to prepare for a field of interest.
Yin and Yang: Traditional Beliefs in Modern Chinese Life
Alysson Olsen & Jean Molloy
Seventh grade social studies students created products as part of a unit about China to demonstrate their understanding of the essential question, How do traditions influence modern life? Students watched a digital story that previewed seventeen potential research topics, which included the arts, recreation, holidays, and daily life. Students then brainstormed questions they were genuinely interested in researching and used a variety of print and electronic sources to conduct their research. Students used Noodletools to take notes, reflect on their note taking, and create a Works Cited. In order to accommodate student-learning styles, students could choose to present their learning in a variety of ways. Students then assumed the role of a contributor to an open house at a Chinese cultural center. Students created a book using Publisher, a presentation using PowerPoint or Prezi, or a digital story using Photo Story 3 that creatively exhibited how traditions continue to influence Chinese culture today. First,
Google Earth Island Project
Jane Wilson & Penny Proskinitopoulos
Students in 7th grade world geography classes created their own virtual islands and simulated their existence using Google Earth. They depicted how their islands relate to the world and to other students’ islands. Although the islands were rooted in research, students were encouraged to be imaginative, and consequently personal interests, interpretations and creativity were evident. Students chose an area of the world and created representative maps for their islands. After researching and comparing the cultural characteristics of their region, they gave their island an identity. Slides composed of summarized Information, pictures, and multimedia files were placed strategically onto their Google Earth islands. Students presented their virtual islands using a Smart Board. It was apparent that personal choices motivated the students and they were engaged throughout the project. They demonstrated understanding of curriculum concepts and the ability to use technology as a tool for learning and to convey their ideas.