Congratulations to May 2010 Honorable Mention winners who will each receive $120 in prizes for the classroom.


Melissa Purcell, Glynn Academy
Brunswick, GA 31520

Lesson Title: Podcasting across the curriculum to enhance service learning


Our state standards call for teachers to design developmentally appropriate learning opportunities that apply technology-enhanced instructional strategies to support the diverse needs of learners, which this grant would help meet. This project involves all students in the planning, creation, and posting of all podcasts and Web pages while involving them in the community. Research acknowledges that academic service learning:

   •   Benefits students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds
   •   Increases levels of students' understanding, retention, and academic performance
   •   Gives students a sense of ownership of their education
   •   Improves students' self-concept
   •   Fosters a sense of compassion for others and civic responsibility
   •   Increases students' motivation and interests in learning
(http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/tss_learning.aspx?PageReq=TSSLearningLearn)

In addition to working with many individual community members, grant classes will collaborate with the Glynn Academy Alumni Association, the Glynn County Schools Board of Directors, the City of Brunswick’s Office of Community Development, and the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce as they engage in academic projects and learning activities such as the following:

  • Students in social studies classes will use digital voice recorders and microphones to conduct first-person interviews about a significant local event with someone that was present during the event. The interviews will be edited to produce a digital story (using Tool Factory software) to be posted on the Internet as well as shared in Social Studies classes.
  • English classes will use brainstorming/webbing software to come up with reading promotion ideas as well as research ways to promote and encourage adults and children to read more. Students will then create a podcast of ways for parents to encourage their children to read more at home as well as a podcast to encourage students to read themselves. These podcasts will be presented at all of the elementary and middle schools in the county during a Parent/Teacher/Student Association meeting as well as posted on the Internet.
  • Social studies classes will use primary documents in the media center as well as laptops with Internet access to find resources to research the background of their historically significant school, Glynn Academy (founded in 1788, second-oldest high school in Georgia, ten individual buildings on campus with the oldest remaining original one being built in 1819). In the process students will work with the media specialist to scan or photograph any primary historical documents in the school into electronic format. Currently, most of these primary historical documents are only the paper/printed version and not archived. Students will convert their research into a digital story podcast that will be posted on the Internet to allow others to become familiar with our historically noteworthy school. All podcasts will also be shared at a monthly Glynn Academy Alumni Association meeting.
  • English classes will produce podcasts of booktalks of books that they read over the course of the year. The podcasts will be accessible to all Internet users because they will be posted on the students’ Web page and in our Destiny online public access catalog (used by all Internet users to view the resources available in our media center). This project will encourage more patrons to check out quality books from the media center by having other students produce an interesting ‘hook’ to promote their favorite books. Before creating any podcasts students will have to create a digital storyboard for their post using the worksheet station.
  • Students in all United States government classes will participate in the City of Brunswick town meetings and conduct of important issues/decisions covered in the meetings. The students will then produce podcasts about those issues. These podcasts will be posted on the Internet as well as shared with the local radio and television stations to keep everyone in the community informed of topics that affect their area.
  • Technology students will research a career of their choice, write a paper on their chosen career, find a mentor already in that career and log twenty hours with that mentor on the job, and then create a podcast to share with the class as well as post on their Web page.

As detailed above students will have multiple opportunities to create various podcasts throughout the year. Their experience will lead to multiple teams of students using their newly acquired podcasting skills to compete in the Georgia Student Media Festival (the purpose of the competition is to stimulate student interest and involvement in all types of media production), National History Day Contest (a competition judging products such as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, a podcast, or a website that students create from primary and secondary historical research), and PROMOTE Georgia competition (this contest provides students the opportunity to work in teams to perform research and develop educational Web pages and podcasts that teach others about a selected Georgia topic). A team of teachers will develop a presentation to give to other educators about their experience with the podcasting project. They will plan to give the presentation at the Georgia Education Technology Conference. This presentation, along with developed lesson plans and other products, will be made available to educators on our school Web site.

This is how the resources in this grant will be used to complete this project:

Tool Factory Software: The Tool Factory Software will be used for the production of all podcasted activities as detailed above. As students and teachers become familiar with the use of this software, more projects will be created within our school to utilize this exciting technology.

Digital Voice Recorders and Microphones: The digital voice recorders and microphones will be used for the recording of all material to be included in the podcasts. The portability of these items is essential in making our project a success, as they can be used throughout the school’s classrooms when conducting interviews or recording discussion and reflections. A central podcasting station will be set up in a quiet, supervised location in our school media center so students can record their scripted projects with the microphones and headphones.

Web Page Station: Without Web Page Station, posting our podcasts could not become a reality, as school server space is far too limited. The Web Page Station will host our projects which will be viewed and used by all Internet users. Our goal is to make our students proficient “web masters” so they can train our staff and students on how to effectively use Web Page Station in their podcasting endeavors.

Clip Art Station: The wealth of images provided by the Clip Art Station makes the design of our Web pages more visually appealing to our students and those who will visit our site. The Clip Art Station gets our students excited about “designing” these projects and provides our entire school with new images to be used throughout the year with technology based projects.

Worksheet Station: The worksheets available on Worksheet Station will not only enhance our podcasts, but will enforce 21st century skills and higher level thinking across the curriculum. The episode planner, timeline, and sound effect worksheets will serve as very storyboards for all podcasts.

Tool Factory Simple Guide to Podcasting: Podcasting is going to be a learning experience for most of our students and teachers because this is a new venture for our school. This guide will ensure we have exceptional podcasts for our project! Our main goal is to ensure that our students understand how to create podcasts through the use of this guide.

Tool Factory Adventures in Podcasting: This book will be used by our school to continue to create successful podcasting projects with our students. The exciting lessons in this book will not only be used in our classrooms but will spur future podcasting experiences.


Charlotte Newbold, St. Agatha School
New Athens, IL 62264

Lesson Title: Solving the Prarie State Mystery

There is a great deal of mystery and wonder about the Prairie State Energy Complex being built about 15 miles from our town. Kids see cranes sticking up from the ground and tall steel constructions during the day. At night, the glow of the lights from the complex can be seen for miles. For our 7th and 8th grade students, the mystery will turn into awe and wonder, as we learn from the people directly involved, how the idea was developed, why Lively Grove was chosen for its location, and what economic impact this project has both now in its construction phase, and when it opens in 2012 (projected date of completion). Southern Illinois is rich in coal, and students will firsthand make the connection between how the resources of an area affect all aspects of its economy.

Students will work in groups of 3 to research and conduct interviews with developers, construction workers, their families (who have moved from other states to work on the project), and members of the local community. Students will also interview local business people to learn how the project has affected them. Podcasting will bring the interviews back to the school live and as a primary source for other students in the school to gain an understanding of the project. We will also create a web page to post the progress of our project and share the information we have gathered. The information can be accessed both locally and across the country!

Our podcasts will be incorporated into a documentary-style vodcast about the Prairie State Energy Complex, to be viewed for years to come by students and community alike.

Students currently submit a monthly feature into our local community newsletter, highlighting the activities of our school. For the duration of this project, our newsletter articles will include a piece on the Prairie State Energy Complex, which will help students progress on the project from month to month.

Tool Factory Software is necessary for us to produce our podcast interviews and documentary-type vodcast. When the upper grade students learn the value and fun of this tool, they will bring the excitement of podcasting to our lower grades, not only to serve as mentors to the teachers, but they will become producers.

Clip Art Station will help students add visual components to their monthly News Brief articles, the documentary vodcast, and the web page, thus enhancing each of these elements.

Digital Voice Recorders and Microphones will be the tools in the hands of the students conducting interviews and narrating the documentary. Because the subjects of our interviews will be on the job, in their businesses, and out in the community, having portable equipment is a must.

Web Page Station will make it possible for us to host our project on the web, allowing all groups of people interested in the plant to learn about it.

Worksheet Station is a critical piece in helping us stay organized. With group work, having the parts of the project detailed gives the members within the group more ability to break up the project into assignable pieces.

The Simple Guide to Podcasting is a very important element to the success of our project, as this will be our first endeavor into the podcasting world. It will help in our understanding of the overall, final product, and the behind-the-scenes steps it takes to get there. And when the students hear they will be podcasting, instead of writing a report, they simply can't WAIT to begin!


Mark Levy, Manasquan Elementary
Manasquan, NJ 08736

Lesson Title: Digital Natives Speak Out on Technology Issues

Digital Natives Speak Out will establish a fourth grade cross curricular project among the language arts, science, and technology curriculums. The objectives of this unit will be aligned to the New Jersey State Core Curriculum Technology Standards. Listed below are the standards incorporated into this unit: http://njcccs.nj.gov

Strand A. Technology Operations and Concepts
Standard 8.1 Educational Technology: All students will use digital tools to access, manage, evaluate, and synthesize information in order to solve problems individually and collaboratively and to create and communicate knowledge.
Strand D. Digital Citizenship
Standard 8.1 Educational Technology: All students will use digital tools to access, manage, evaluate, and synthesize information in order to solve problems individually and collaboratively and to create and communicate knowledge.
Strand F. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision-Making
Standard 8.2 Technology Education, Engineering, and Design: All students will develop an understanding of the nature and impact of technology, engineering, technological design, and the designed world, as they relate to the individual, global society, and the environment.
Strand A. Nature of Technology: Creativity and Innovation
Standard 8.2 Technology Education, Engineering, and Design: All students will develop an understanding of the nature and impact of technology, engineering, technological design, and the designed world, as they relate to the individual, global society, and the environment.
Strand B. Design: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision-Making
Standard 8.2 Technology Education, Engineering, and Design: All students will develop an understanding of the nature and impact of technology, engineering, technological design, and the designed world, as they relate to the individual, global society, and the environment.
Strand C. Technological Citizenship, Ethics, and Society

Standard 8.2 Technology Education, Engineering, and Design: All students will develop an understanding of the nature and impact of technology, engineering, technological design, and the designed world, as they relate to the individual, global society, and the environment.

Grade Level – 4th Grade
Number of Students Participating – 75+
Project Subject Areas – Technology, Language Arts, and Science

The issue of infusing 21st century skills and funding was recently discussed at our district technology committee. The committee observed that the majority of the students in our elementary schools have demonstrated a mastery of New Jersey Standard 8.1, but have yet to develop the higher level thought process which standard 8.2 touches upon. In an effort to enhance our school’s curriculum and ability to teach and assess these standards, the district is focusing on the use of media rich software such as Tool Factory.

This integrated unit activity will include the following steps and state the tools used in Tool Factory:

Step One: Research
In technology class students will be split into groups of four and become a specialist in an area of technology. This will be achieved through class discussions and by reviewing technology timelines. The students should focus on their technology’s function, history, how this technology has impacted our global environment, and any future advancement of their product.

Step Two: Script Creation – (Worksheet Station)
In coordination with their language arts class, students will employ Worksheet Station to create a graphic organizer that develops a script for each of the four podcasts listed below. The language arts portion will be based on content and grammar. All members of the group should have a speaking role.

Step Three: Podcasting Using; (Tool Factory Podcasting Site License, Guide to Podcasting, Olympus Digital Voice Recorders, and Microphones)

  • Podcast One: Tech Show and Tell – Every student loves to tell about the latest coolest gadget and by using the Guide to Podcasting the student will learn how to tell the world about their bit of technology. This should include the functions of their component, any application, costs, and additional software. This lesson will be completed in the technology lab and students will exhibit digital citizenship by citing their resources.
  • Podcast Two: Life before My Wii – Before students can make an educated choice about how technology impacts the environment they must understand life before the age of their technology. By researching the history of their subject, students will have a better understanding on how current technology has impacted the environment. Based on their research students will explain the advancement of their sector. This lesson will be completed in the technology lab and students will exhibit digital citizenship by citing their resources.
  • Podcast Three: Global Impact of My Technology – Many of the New Jersey Technology Standards relate to the science curriculum. For podcast three the students’ science classes will discuss and view media about environment topics such as climate change. The groups will then create a podcast that focuses on their area of technology and how it affects the global environment. Students will exhibit digital citizenship by citing their resources.
  • Podcast Four: Visions of the Future – Can your piece of technology be found on any of these shows; The Jetsons, Star Wars, and Star Trek? After becoming a specialist in an area of technology the groups will create a podcast about the the future prospects of their technology. This lesson will be completed in the technology lab and students will exhibit digital citizenship by citing their resources.

Step Four: Web Site Creation (Web Page Station, Clipart Station) – Digital natives plan their assault on the web by using creative and critical thinking to publish their work. The final portion of this unit is the creation of website using Web Page Station and Clipart Station. The website will include a definition page, script page, and links to the student’s podcasts.

Helpful Websites
http://podcasting.about.com/od/basics101/a/whatis.htm

http://inventors.about.com/od/timelines/Timelines_of_Invention_and_Technology.htm

http://epa.gov/climatechange/kids/index.html

http://inventors.about.com/od/timelines/tp/timeline.htm

Read the applications of the 3 Grand Prize Winners.