- Interest Profile Engages Students
Students at Nathan Hale Middle School are using a new online program that matches their interests and learning styles to individualized resources designed to provide enriched, challenging learning.
- MA Takes Unified Approach to Student Success
Education leaders in Massachusetts have launched a media campaign, including the new ReadySetGotoCollege.com web site, to urge students to think again about attending college.
- A Recorder for All Purposes
Students and teachers at Des Moines' Northview Middle School keep finding new uses for the school's supply of digital recorders, from studying French to practicing for classroom presentations.
- Lights, Camera, Action!
The video production class at Seattle's Ballard High School, in which students learn scriptwriting, directing, editing or any of the numerous behind-the-scene jobs associated with creating a digital film, is very popular.
- MIT's Game Lab
The Singapore-MIT International Game Lab, a joint venture of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Singapore Media Development Authority, is working to advance digital game research globally.
Interest Profile Helps Engage Students
The recent Project Fair at Capt. Nathan Hale Middle School demonstrated the results that can be achieved when students take on highly challenging but personally meaningful activities. Projects ranged from a miniature anemometer to a device to help visually impaired students open and secure their lockers. Students picked their projects from a set of individualized recommendations that takes into account their academic strengths, interests, and learning style preferences. It's all part of the Renzulli Learning System, an online program that matches students' interests and learning styles to many different opportunities designed to provide enriched, challenging learning. To start, students are asked to answer a series of questions about their interests and the ways they like to learn. After answering these questions, the system provides a written profile that summarizes their talents, interests, and learning styles. Then, an individualized Enrichment Differentiation series of interesting and challenging activities are selected for each student, all of which can either be downloaded or accessed via the Internet. Students can then use the "Wizard Project Maker" to design their individual projects. Teachers say that the individual Talent Development Profile helps them discover hidden talents among their students. The Renzulli Learning System is based on more than 30 years of research at the University of Connecticut related to talent development in all children as well as special populations of gifted and talented students. Nathan Hale pays $4,500 for a site license that allows the school to use the system with all of its 550 students.
MA Takes Unified Approach to Student Success
Massachusetts' education leaders have launched a media campaign to urge students to think again about attending college. Only about half of the state's ninth graders begin college and fewer than 30% earn a degree. In a new cooperative effort designed to reverse that trend, the Department of Education and the Board of Higher Education are spending $250,000 to promote the ReadySetGotoCollege.com web site. Designed to appeal to students of varying ethnic backgrounds and academic standing, the "Think Again" ad campaign features a diverse cast of Boston public school students. The campaign also includes radio, movie theater and television ads across the state and posters for every high school directing students to the Web site. The Web site offers information that helps middle and high school students understand the steps they need to take to enter and be successful in college, including taking the right high school classes and thinking about what careers they are interested in. It makes good economic sense for the state to promote higher education in light of future job requirements and the need for a well-prepared work force. Leaders see this as the next step — going beyond NCLB requirements and focusing on creating a successful transition from K-12 to higher education to the work force for all students.
Source:The Boston Globe
A Recorder for All Purposes
Students and teachers at Northview Middle School in Des Moines, IA keep finding new uses for the school's supply of digital recorders. Students studying a foreign language find the digital recorders especially helpful. Not only can listening to recordings of their teachers help them deepen their understanding of the language, they can also use the oral model to improve their own pronunciation and accents. Special needs students say that digital recordings of classes allow them to review material at their own pace. To offer these students further accommodation, some Northview teachers have begun to record tests and other assignments to help improve student scores and comprehension. Teachers use a digital recorder to record the test and then download it to an iPod that the student uses to take the test. Many students find it easier to understand and respond to questions that are presented to them orally. Students also use the recorders to capture audio clips that they insert into PowerPoint presentations. Other students use the digital recorders to practice for classroom presentations or formal speeches. Being able to hear themselves helps students improve their pace and tone, as well as giving them greater control over the content.
Source:The Des Moines Register
Lights, Camera, Action!
The video production class at Seattle's Ballard High School highlights just how much "vocational education" has changed as it morphed into career and technical education, the current designation for most such programs. The class, in which students learn scriptwriting, directing, editing or any of the other behind-the-scene jobs associated with creating a digital film, is very popular. The advances in camera quality and editing tools made possible by the transition to digital media has made it possible for students to do highly creative and original work. And because teacher Matt Lawrence started out with the goals of increasing students' media literacy and giving them a voice, the subject matter students address is broad, diverse and sometimes controversial. Career and technical education classes focus on giving students real life experience with real world situations, aiming to help students set out on a career pathway and give them a head start toward a job or college. In Lawrence's class students not only experiment with the various jobs involved with making a film, they also learn to improve their interviewing techniques and develop strong organizational skills, essential to getting a project done on time and within any budget constraints. Ballard students often leave the program with a digital film portfolio of their work, usually a mix of ads, public service announcements, short narratives and documentaries. Several graduates have been admitted to prestigious film colleges or gone to work directly in the film industry.
MIT's Game Lab
The Singapore-MIT International Game Lab (SMIGL), a joint venture of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Singapore Media Development Authority, was recently established to advance digital game research globally, develop world-class academic programs in game technology, and establish Singapore as a vital node in the international game industry. Henry Jenkins and William Uricchio, directors of MIT's Comparative Media Studies Program (CMS) are also co-directing SMIGL. Outcomes planned for SMIGL's initial period include development of both an academic and a high-impact research program, publication of peer-reviewed research papers and production of publicly distributable digital games. Beyond technology development, SMIGL is also planning to conduct research on the artistic, creative, business and social aspects of games.