Archive for Grants

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I like to start my mornings with a cup of coffee and the latest edition of The nwp Daily. I used to start the day with a visit to my Google Reader and Bloglines accounts to see if my favorite bloggers had posted anything new.  The nwp Daily has really streamlined the process of staying current for me because many of my smart, smart NWP colleagues are up before me, already gleaning the latest gems about teaching and learning – and not just blog posts, but Tweets too. Everyday I receive a wealth of thought-provoking ideas, questions, resources, research, etc., to ponder, to return to – and to share.

And so it was this morning, when I clicked on link in a Tweet from @mrami2 (Meenoo Rami), and opened Psychotactics.com‘ s article How to retain 90% of everything you learn. It’s not that the hierarchy is earth shattering; but it certainly affirms what good teaching – which certainly has a direct impact on learning – is all about:

To summarize the numbers (which sometimes get cited differently) learners retain approximately:
90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from lecture.”

This school year, I’m coordinating an Advancing Network Uses (ANU) grant from California’s K12 High Speed Network (via ARRA funding). The grant has allowed me to showcase teachers in my district who are extending teaching and learning by integrating technology into the core curriculum. To date, I’ve filmed 12 of the 21 classroom lessons I’ve promised the state. In all 12 lessons, students have opportunities to collaborate and create, part of the criteria for their teachers being selected for the grant.

Since reading the Psyhchotactics article, I now realize these talented teachers (fearless explorers) also bring one more gift to their students: whatever the final product might be, students’ collaborative work also involves students immediately teaching or implementing all or bits of the initial lesson. Kind of an “ah ha moment” for me.

For a peek into why I predict students in my ANU Teach 21 grant will retain 90% of what they learn, check out a field journaling lesson in Lesley McKillop’s class:

fieldjournelmovie

I’ll be back next month to share snippets of Teresa Cheung’s Stories from the Heart project and Terri Mills’ Listen to the Wind project (which are exemplary not only for all of the above reasons on retaining learning but also for learning English, both informal and academic).

Imagine hearing the peaceful music of the harp drifting across an elementary school campus at the close of a busy school day. This image might bring to mind enrichment programs typical of more affluent school sites. But if 4th grade teacher Teresa Cheung is awarded a Pepsi Grant, students at David Reese Elementary School, a Title 1/Program Improvement site in my district, will have access to an after-school program that could be life changing.

Life changing? One student’s story inspired Teresa to apply for the grant:

Thanks to an EETT grant, over the past two years, I’ve had the privilege of spending time in Teresa’s classroom. She is an exceptional teacher, who cares deeply about her students, and continually strives to inspire a love for learning.

Please, please help Teresa fund a set of harps for her after-school program – Harps for Hope. It will take you less than a minute to login to vote – And you can vote every day up to July 31st.

As of today, Harps for Hope is ranked number 125.  If we (you, me, and anyone you know who cares about leveling the playing field) can bring her proposal into the top 10, Harps for Hope will be funded!!!!

cde.pngFor the last two weeks, I’ve been immersed in writing the application for my district’s EETT Round 7 grant (federally funded grant, administered through the state). The form and requirements are enough to put off a grant-writing newbie such as myself from jumping through all the hoops required in time to meet the April 23rd deadline. Why would I volunteer for such a task? In a nutshell, I want to provide three of our low-income elementary sites with the equipment, research base, and professional development needed to transform the current language arts program into multimedia/multimodal opportunities to take a publisher’s scripted program beyond the walls of the classroom and into the 21st century. In large part, the inspiration for writing the RFA comes from:

  • The DOLCHE project: I am awed by the film projects coming out of our DOLCHE classes, along with the teacher testimonials for how filmmaking has enriched their curriculum and engaged so many of their students in the learning process. A significant percent of this year’s SEVA entries are from the DOLCHE project. The project has clearly had an impact on students and teachers.

As part of the proposal, I am therefore very enthusiastically including Mathew Needleman, who will connect from Los Angeles Unified SD via interactive videoconferencing to work with teachers and students on the skills needed to take an Open Court (district-adopted language arts textbook) theme through the steps required to create an language arts rich production.

  • Will Richardson‘s Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms: Will’s book (pages 8-9) made it easy for me to lay out Teachers’ Use of Technology to improve student achievement (Section 2e of the proposal). In a matter of minutes, I was able to explain the teacher toolbox, with its “mix of tools that publish, those that manage information, and those that share content in new collaborative ways”: blogs, wikis, RSS, social bookmarking, and audio/video-casting.
  • Greg kearsley & Ben Shneiderman’s piece on Engagement Theory: A framework fro technology-based teaching and learning. I know it’s a no-brainer for anyone reading this blog, but for administrators who have fallen into the “it’s all about test scores” chasm, this research sums up the need to move in a different direction: “The fundamental idea underlying engagement theory is that students must be meaningfully engaged in learning activities through interaction with others and worthwhile tasks.”

    Given the cost of textbooks, not surprisingly, in those first few years following an adoption the focus is always on teaching. A few years down the line, as we are with Open Court, we can once more, thankfully, shift our focus back to learning!
  • California Department of Ed’s definitions for technology literacy and technology integration (p 21). As much as all the tables, forms, assurances, etc., required in the EETT application suck away my creative energies, the state’s new definitions provide us with the argument – back at our districts, sites, and classrooms, for moving beyond technology as simply a vehicle for student assessments, ala multiple-choice test taking, to technology as tool for learning:
    • Technology Literacy is the ability to use appropriate technology responsibly to communicate, to solve problems, and to access, create, integrate, evaluate, and manage information to improve learning of state content standards in all subject areas and to acquire lifelong knowledge and skills in the 21st century.
    • Curriculum Integration involves the infusion of technology as a tool to enhance the learning of state content standards in a content area or multidisciplinary setting. Technology integration enables students to learn in ways not previously possible. Effective integration of technology is achieved when students are able to select technology tools to help them obtain information in a timely manner, analyze and synthesize the information, and present it professionally. The technology should become an integral part of how the classroom functions – as accessible as all other classroom tools.
  • EETT Partnerships – In addition to partnering with Mathew Needleman’s to bring filmmaking into the elementary language arts program, we’re also very fortunate to include the partnerships with:
    • Area 3 Writing Project - I’m really looking forward to introducing A3WP teacher consultants to the EETT target teachers.
    • UC Davis Writing Program researcher/writer/professor Carl Whithaus – This will be a dream come true for me to have Carl Whithaus and his grad student researchers observing, evaluating, and publishing about the connections between technology and improved student achievement – and engagement with school in general and reading/writing in particular.
    • California K12 High Speed Network – Without the HSN, including edZone, it would not be possible to seamlessly build in videoconferencing and to have unlimited storage for the video, audio, and documents that will be created and shared across the 2-year grant period.
    • California K20 Education Technology Collaborative - This new collaborative will provide the Skype/Elluminate- like component to make desktop videoconferencing available to target teachers. This could be a great school-to-home connection!
    • Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium (SECC) – Another opportunity to work our wonderful SECC to document via video best practices and make these videos available to target teachers.

On this beautiful California Saturday morning, I wish all of you across the nation applying for the EETT grant (and working on the RFA over the weekend) the best of luck:-)

kenrobinson.jpgKnowing that I needed a little inspiration and a bit of humor to jump start writing my district’s EETT Round 7 grant, CTAP3 mentor and friend Lauri Bailey referred me to Ken Robinson’s 2006 TED presentation. It’s worth the load time.  And I’m now sufficiently inspired to sit down and write Web 2.0 technologies into the proposal.