The June 2007 Podcasting Grant judging is completed! Congratulations to three lucky winners who will each receive over $2,860 in prizes. Click here to see the applications from the runner-up finalists!
Here are the grant applications of our three Grand Prize winning teachers.
Jason McDougald, Woodson School
Swannanoa, NC 28778
LESSON TITLE: Expedition Diaries from The Woodson Wilderness
I am a teacher at a therapeutic wilderness-adventure school operated by the North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Students are enrolled in our program for 32-days and spend most nights camped in the wilderness as backpacking expeditions take them to different adventure activities such as rock climbing and whitewater paddling. The program is designed to develop self-esteem and build life skills such as communication, patience, team-work, and problem solving. Academic curriculum is integrated with the therapeutic adventure program. For example, students conduct water quality monitoring on the rivers they paddle or they learn about geology while they are rock climbing.
The pod casting equipment would be used to create audio expedition diaries of students learnings and experiences while they are in our program. Students would write a script and record a journal entry twice a week to reflect on academic learnings, character education lessons, and their general feelings from the program. Then, the audio files would be brought back to our base camp facility where students could use lap-tops and the pod casting software to edit their diary entries. At this point students could personalize their entry by adding clip art, sound files, and music to their files. Finally, once a week, each student's diary would be broadcast on the Web Page Station server for subscribers to download. Court counselors, social workers, parents, and other teachers in the department could subscribe to the pod cast in order to receive updates on students' progress in their own words.
This is a unique opportunity for our students because many of them come form urban environments and have never slept outside, swam in a creek, or seen how brilliant the stars can be on a moonless night. This format would allow them to share these experiences with others in a creative way. Also, a typical student in our program has limited literacy skills so the audio recording equipment would provide a unique educational accommodation for these students to share their experiences and learnings with others.
Joyce Muckinhoupt, Tuttle Elementary School
LESSON TITLE: Climb Aboard the Freedom Train
Each waypoint, or stop point, along our virtual Underground Railroad
course will explore one event that could happen as a group of
five slaves attempt to run away. The students will create a Tool
Factory Web Page that simulates the look of a map in the 1800s
from North Carolina to Ohio with five waypoints, or stops, along
the map trail.
At each waypoint, a group of 4-6 students will create an episode
that will reflect the thoughts feelings, attitudes and ideas of
a slave experiencing this journey and/or of an abolitionist who
is helping the slaves with their escape. The students will use
the following Tool Factory tools to help themselves recreate a
virtual Underground Railroad experience. The students will:
Initially, I planned to incorporate this lesson into a GPS Garmin eTrex Legend C activity by plotting the Underground Railroad course on the campus of our school. The students would then use the GPS to locate each waypoint to complete the activity sheet with examining the artifacts and listening to the podcast. My students would act as docents for other visiting local fifth grade classrooms. Ive decided to still do this part of the activity and have my students create the virtual Underground Railroad after they have participated in the simulated course. I think the experience of walking through the activity will give them a better perspective to complete the virtual activity. I also think this adds another dimension to the project by providing the students a simulated activity and the virtual activity side-by-side, so that they can compare and contrast the two types of activities.
The students will use many reading selections to help gather
the needed knowledge to create scripts, artifacts, and pictures
that reflect a realistic portrayal of this time period. Some of
the materials that will be used are:
This will be the initial experience that I will do with the Podcasting grant. Future projects will be the creation of a virtual wax museum of famous historical Americans. Each student will create a likeness of a historical person which will be scanned or a digital picture will be taken. I will work with the art teacher and the technology support person at my school to help the students create the likeness of the historical person in many different ways using art medium supplies and/or technology. Then, that student will create a podcast, pretending to be that character, creating dialogue and recording a podcast of that person that explains the importance of his/her life in American history. The virtual wax museum will then be published to the Tool Factory Web Page. The students will complete a wax museum that will have different rooms or hyperlinks that are for different periods in American History as the period of Exploration, Colonial Period, Western Expansion and more. Each room will reflect that time period in the background and have displays that will represent each historical person with his/her likeness and a background. The visitors to our virtual wax museum will push (click) on a button at that display to hear the words of that person created by my students.
I believe that Podcasting will give my students a connection to famous people and events of Americas history. Often, it is hard for fifth graders to relate to the past and make the connections. I feel that it is important that students recognize the heroes of our countrys past and tie the present to the past through the use of technology.
Marsha Quinn, St. John Greek Orthodox Day School
LESSON TITLE: Podcasting in Paradise
During the 2007-2008 school year students will learn about sea turtles on St. Petersburg Beach, the Calusa Native Americans at Weedon Island Preserve, fossils and prehistoric animals at the Silver River Museum, sea life with the Mote Marine Laboratory, diverse habitats at Myakka River State Park, early explorers in St. Augustine, swim with the manatees in Crystal River and live for 4 days on canoes in the Everglades. Tool Factory podcasting technology will be used for each of these trips. Here is an example for one of the trips.
Podcasting in Paradise
Sixth grade city kids from St. John move to the Florida wilderness for 3 days each October. Their job is to document the history and the diversity of habitats in the Myakka River freshwater and wetlands environment, and to perform a service for the park. Working from the Myakka River State Park website, groups of students plan this trip for themselves. They live in log cabins, travel by boat, bicycle and on foot, and eat meals they cook for themselves. In the past, students have documented their findings with photography and power point or print presentations. We asked a group of rising 7th and 8th grade students what they thought about adding Tool Factory podcasting technology to future 6th grade Myakka trips. This is how the 6th grade trip gets better:
Set up an on the road publishing station in the common
lodge at Myakka
Finding our Voices(Chirtea and Sweeney) or NOW WE
GET TO THE BEST PART