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Project Summary CCTT, “Career Connections to Teaching with Technology,”
a USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant

Mission Statement:
CCTT seeks to develop standards-based curriculum materials and deliver them to the educational community through integrated technologies.

Operational Beliefs:
  1. Technology is positively changing the teaching and learning environment.
  2. Technology positively impacts student achievement.
  3. Students and teachers are partners in learning.
  4. Technology empowers teachers and students to become authors and publishers.
  5. There is strength in diversity.
  6. Authentic career applications enhance opportunities for students.
  7. The use of research findings on teaching and learning provides a greater depth and breadth to professional development.
CCTT proposes to involve outstanding teachers from geographically diverse schools and districts in the development of educational resources, aligned with challenging state and national standards. Guided by content experts, teachers will learn to systematically and continuously assess the quality of the materials that they harvest from the Internet and to use them effectively in the classroom. Objectives supporting this project include:
  • Identifying and incorporating into the curriculum development the national and state standards in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies
  • Creating a career connection to integrated academic studies that increases the relevancy and authenticity of learning
  • Training teachers and students to access and utilize existing technologies, to create original instructional materials, and to collaborate with business partners in co-development of resources
  • Creating a national educational Intranet using telecommunications to disseminate products and best practices

Project Status

The original CCTT proposal described activities to accomplish four key objectives. Each of these activities targeted for year one is addressed below. Progress toward meeting those objectives is described in this portion of the report.

I. Objective: Identify reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement standards, benchmarks and accountability measures for students.

The activities planned to meet this objective are listed on pages 15 and 16 of the original proposal.

An organizational structure will be finalized for CCTT this summer by the project director. Committees will include technology oversight, curriculum advisors, hub site managers, and an executive committee. Two organizational meetings of all stakeholders in CCTT have taken place, one in Daytona Beach in November 1997 and one in Orlando in March 1998.

Much of this objective will be met using the guidance of curriculum consultants represented by TIES (Technology and Information Educational Services) and national curriculum organizations such as NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) and NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics).
  • Members from the business community will be identified at a meeting May 28, 1998.
  • At this meeting the CCTT connection to APA (American Psychological Association) will be planned.
  • Worker competencies are already a part of the lesson plan template developed this spring.
  • A Volusia County district model developed under a Goals2000 grant will be considered as standards and career connections are merged in the final version of the lesson template.
  • Summer 1998 inservice coordinated by TIES has already begun with the training of hub site managers in the use of integrated technologies and the Learner-Centered classroom.
  • The Information Literacy Model will be a part of teacher training. Coordination of the May 28 meeting referenced above included meetings with APA.
  • The design of the model for implementation of curriculum development, using a lesson plan template and incorporating standards, resources, integrated technologies, and an lesson evaluation process, will be complete by the end of May.
Benchmark criteria for student achievement reside at each hub site school where initial field-testing of curriculum material will take place. Criteria will include district norm-based test scores and success rates of students in specific courses. For example, Algebra 1 is a focus of some material development and the RAVEN (Reinforced Algebra via virtual Environmental Networking) project 3D VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) software being developed by IST, The Institute for Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida. Success rates for students enrolled in this course will be examined and compared with previous data.
  • Each hub site will have data such as this to compare to local efforts.
  • Part of the formal evaluation of the project will include a case study at each of the six hub sites.
  • Strategies for using materials with all students including ESOL and students with special needs are available with all curriculum materials. These are based on best practices with input from teachers at all hub sites.
  • Lessons were posted beginning in April 1998 using a “Lesson Organizer” developed by grant personnel. This is the beginning of the Intranet.
  • The infrastructure for housing and accessing the Intranet, including appropriate Internet access, is in place at all hub schools.
  • Five of the six hub schools are fully networked with Internet access available in all classrooms. The sixth is being networked during 1998.
  • Lab equipment as described in the original proposal has been ordered for Mainland High School and Sprayberry High School during year one.
  • A survey of students regarding their level of expertise with technology will be implemented with the start of school in August 1998.
Each hub site has student data on incoming 9th graders. Some examples of this are CTBS results, grades in middle school courses, and the DRP, Degrees of Reading Power.
  • During the summer of 1998 a data base model will be designed to hold this data for use in an organized manner, helping to assess student progress as CCTT curriculum products are used by teachers and students.
  • Technology needed to use the products is described in each lesson.
  • Students and teachers will have to be competent with basic word processing skills and in use of Internet URLs. Specific technology competencies to be acquired by students will be detailed as more lessons are developed and tested during the summer and fall of 1998.
  • Evaluation of student learning will take place in each lesson using a variety of assessment strategies and in the additional testing and grade reporting which takes place in each district.
  • Growth toward acquiring new technology competencies will also be measured using the detailed list to be prepared in the fall of 1998. This yearly data will be maintained in the database mentioned above.
Students are being trained at each hub site in various technology skills. This does not represent every student who will use the curriculum materials. Rather this refers to a smaller group of students who are learning everything from computer repair and maintenance to html and web page design. Some of these students are already at work, helping teachers with design of lessons and “worksheets.” Creative, knowledgeable students can bring text to life with graphics, animation, and links to Internet sites.
  • It is planned to hire students at several of the hub sites to work with teachers during the summer of 1998.
  • A student is working on the help screens for the “Lesson Organizer.”
  • Students are learning network protocols through a curriculum designed by CISCO.
  • An instructor at Mainland High School is teaching a class of students in the first of a two-year course leading to CISCO network certification. During the summer of 1998, he will conduct the training of other teachers from the Southeast part of the country so that more high schools can have this curriculum in place.
  • Three of the hub sites expect to have teachers at CISCO training this summer.
II. Objective: Create a career connection to integrated core academic studies that increases the relevancy and authenticity of learning.

Connections to careers and work force competencies will be a strong component of all work done by CCTT. Progress toward this objective as explained below references each activity from page 17 of the original proposal.

In Florida the Volusia/Flagler School-to-Work Consortium is a career connection steering committee consisting of 55 members, 51% from business and industry. This organization has several operating sub-committees and will be asked at their summer meeting to form a new subcommittee to work with the CCTT Project Director. This organization also plans to teleconference an upcoming meeting with similar organizations in other states. This will help determine what form a national committee needs to take in order to provide career connection oversight for the CCTT project at all hub sites.

Career Clusters have been identified through work done by the school system and the School-to-Work Consortium. Business and manufacturing firms, such as Bell South, Volusia Manufacturers Association, and Halifax Community Health System, some of whom provided letters of support for the original proposal, helped determine career clusters for use as a follow-up to student interest assessment. At North High School, 13 students are involved with NorthSTAR (North Students Training for Adult roles). NorthSTAR is a business and academic partnership linking Mutual of Omaha’s Information Services division with North High School, a Mutual of Omaha Adopt-a-School partner. Results of endeavors like this are being incorporated into curriculum where appropriate to connect specific activities to possible careers and student interests.

CCTT hub site managers have met with representatives of J. Weston Walch. Walch materials are primarily in print form. Discussions are continuing regarding both the use of J. Weston Walch experts to provide a print format of CCTT work and the use of existing print materials as models for curriculum content. These models will be re-designed, after gaining appropriate permissions, by both students and teachers in collaboration with J. Weston Walch. The goal is to create an electronic format for some of the existing Walch materials.

TIES has helped coordinate a plan for curriculum review in conjunction with the latest learning and teaching practices.
  • Hub site managers have attended "The Learner Centered Psychological Principles: A Framework for School Reform & Redesign" focussing on a set of 14 psychological principles developed in a collaborative partnership between the APA and the Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory MCREL.
  • Discussions are in progress with APA regarding the psychological principles of learning that need to be brought to the attention of teachers involved with the project.
  • Exemplary practices involving career connections are to be integrated with the methods necessary to implement the Learner Centered Classroom.
  • Training in "Learning with Technology and the Engaged Learner" was provided to hub site managers by the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory NCREL.
Programs that involve student internships and job shadowing are in place at several hub schools. These opportunities connect students more directly with the work force. Additionally, Volusia County has developed a set of performance tasks incorporated into real world applications in the curriculum. This development followed from Florida Sunshine State Standards, based on sound curriculum and the SCANS report. The Volusia County project is sponsored by a Goals2000 grant, and lessons produced under this grant during the 1997-98 school year will be available for use by hub site managers for additional ideas to incorporate into CCTT curriculum development. In addition, a system of four-year planning for career awareness is in place in Volusia County. This will be merged with similar plans and best practices of the other hub site schools in year two of the CCTT.

Software is being used to provide students with career searches and connections to their areas of academic interest.
  • Advanced Technologies Academy uses an online occupational handbook as well as Nevada CIS.
  • At Mainland students use CHOICES.
  • At Sprayberry High School students use GCIS Georgia Career Information System. These software packages are career and educational exploration systems, allowing students to explore careers and occupations and match those with their interests and abilities.
Teachers have opportunities through connections between the school districts and business to shadow an employee and to participate in summer internships. Teleconferences have connected teachers and students to careers, major business and professional concerns, and famous individuals.
  • Manual Arts High School has participated several times in a career teleconference hosted by KCET.
  • Mainland students and teachers have been connected live to NASA and to a medical research lab via teleconferencing facilitated by Bell South.
  • Mainland students have participated in Secretary Riley's on-line conference on Human Rights during the fall of 1997 and in the spring of 1998 in Florida Governor Chiles' on line State-of -the State conference following his address to the legislature.
  • In Clark County, NV, some students have acquired jobs within the school system as a result of their training and work at Advanced Technologies Academy. Students from this school and the other hub sites are combining what they learn in the classroom with the work of teachers putting their lessons on web pages and into html.
  • Students at North High School in Omaha will be working this summer as a result of challenge grant opportunities as well as a Banneker grant. Students will be or are already involved as computer center lab aides, summer employees setting up and maintaining computer equipment, and as technology mentors during a technology summer camp under the Bannekar grant.
  • Representatives of local engineering firms in Omaha have donated time at North High School, working with the Global Studies classes, and 21 students are involved with Union Pacific DREAM (Directing, Recruiting, Education, and Mentoring) having been paired with Union Pacific employees.
  • Representatives from Adobe have been to Mainland and will visit other hub sites that will be using the software they donated to facilitate design and the building of web pages.
These opportunities allow students to pose questions directly to those working in various jobs, providing them with feedback about job and education requirements. Students have direct connection to experts in many fields through career day opportunities sponsored by career academies at all hub sites. This will provide students direct contact with people who use this software in their jobs.

Students in the CISCO academy use actual problems from real businesses as they plan networking strategies. Students at Advanced Technologies Academy work with teachers planning curriculum strategies and posting them on the school Intranet. Additionally, these students and students at Mainland are involved with the technology concerns of the district and learn about district solutions by working with district employees. At Mainland, a Kodak business plan was part of the work taken on by students responsible for the Yearbook.

Telecommunications links among the hub sites currently involve Internet and NetMeeting solutions. For example, the Mainland Physics class uses Microsoft’s NetMeeting to allow the instructor to conduct classes even when she is off campus. CCTT is planning a video conferencing process that will enable staff development and other meetings among hub sites. This technology will probably be part of the 2nd year budget and will facilitate organizational structure as well as communication among the teachers involved with curriculum development.

III. Objective: Train teachers and students to access and utilize existing technologies, to create original instructional materials, and to collaborate with business partners in codevelopment of resources.

Activities listed on pages 23 and 24 of the proposal address this objective.

Teachers at five of the six hub sites have met to plan a curriculum oversight process. An advisory committee consisting of business, university, and national curriculum organization representatives will meet for the first time May 28, 1998. This committee is being organized by TIES, and the first meeting will include all six hub site managers and the Project Director. A validation process will be planned that will be incorporated into the teacher training process. This will be a part of the lesson development and teacher training at all hub sites in the summer of 1998. Programs are in place at all hub schools whereby students receive instruction in computer maintenance, operation, networking, server maintenance, design, and web page development. Some of these students will be hired to work with teachers at several hub sites during the summer.

Hardware for teacher and student use has been purchased for Mainland High School, as described in the proposal.
  • Sprayberry High School will be purchasing lab equipment during year one as per a budget adjustment made during April 1998.
  • A computer has been purchased at Advanced Technologies Academy to further strengthen the network there as more teachers put their materials in web-based form.
  • Plans are being made to move forward the timetable for hardware purchase, so that Omaha North High School can have its lab ready for use when school opens in the fall. This will require another budget amendment or additional funds, but is absolutely essential to the project so that this hub site can fully participate in creating, editing, and using materials with students during year two.
Procedures for teachers to access and organize resources are included in a “Lesson Organizer” being developed by CCTT personnel. This tool will allow for systematic and efficient entry of curriculum materials and student activities into a database. The materials and lessons will be searchable by course, topic, and standard. A lesson plan template is incorporated into this system, making access to standards, methods, student activities, and student and teacher comments a simple task.

Staff development has been planned and will be finalized May 28 and 29.
  • The planning has included training of hub site managers in meetings with IST, TIES, and MCREL.
  • Hub site managers have already worked with teachers on lesson plans, field testing with students, and helping to develop the RAVEN project.
  • Several teachers will be attending CISCO training this summer so that the networking curriculum can be taught at more hub sites in the 1998-99 school year.
  • At North High School, teachers have been trained on PC setup and Internet access, have participated in Careers 2000 presentations and School to Work conferences, and along with teachers from Advanced Technologies Academy, have taken an online course in developing web-based lesson plans.
  • Teachers have worked in after school sessions as well as during the day with substitutes provided.
  • The number of teachers involved with the project will increase and more time will be devoted to this work during the summer of 1998.
After products are entered into the Lesson Organizer and reviewed by the curriculum oversight process, business partners will be asked to participate in the evaluation of materials. Students are already participating in the design of materials and a special section of each lesson will allow for student input and comments. Curriculum review committees will begin conducting field test reviews of the materials during the 1998-99 school year. This will include all hub sites and additional schools that have indicated an interest in participating. For example, Mainland is working with teachers from two other schools in the district on the RAVEN project.

Teachers are already using phone, e-mail, and Internet access to prepare materials and comment on the development process. A video teleconferencing link among hub sites is under development for year two of the project. Animated help features are being programmed into the Lesson Organizer to further assist teachers with the use of this product to facilitate material development and review.

Regional projects already under way include the Rose Bay project at Mainland, the Lewis and Clark project at Fort Leavenworth, and the Missouri River project at Omaha North. Results of these projects, including student produced art, web page access to materials and data gathered by students, and lessons prepared by teachers are currently being put into web-accessible format. Further materials development at Fort Leavenworth has involved teachers at every grade level K-9 in preparing and reviewing lessons directly related to district objectives. This runs on an Intranet in the Fort Leavenworth school district.

Regional Projects:
  • The Missouri River Project: This project involves the students and teachers at North High School in studying the Missouri River. Field trips have included collecting water samples, and working with the Municipal Utilities District in Omaha to see how water from the river is monitored and prepared for drinking. Expansion of this project during year two will include lesson development related to the data collected, and possibly involvement of the Fort Leavenworth District, over 100 miles down river from Omaha.
  • The Rose Bay Project: This project involves many students and teachers in Volusia County studying the habitat known as Rose Bay. To date, 16 teachers and over 500 students have participated in a total of 15 field trips to the site. Data are collected ranging from long term study of flora and fauna, to chemical studies of the water in the wetlands. Student work has involved high school students setting up study areas for elementary students who visit the site. Collected works of the high school students and teachers will be posted on a web page for the project. This will include data from the site, lessons teachers can use with students in the classroom, and student art work. Teachers have already been trained in the use of Front-Page software for working with the web site, and will spend 7 days during the summer of 1998 in curriculum development.
  • The Lewis and Clark Project: In the Fort Leavenworth School District, work is being done on the study of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The trail of the expedition goes right through the Fort. This provides local students the opportunity to work in the field. A team of six teachers, the hub site manager, and the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum began work in December 1997. Some activities in this module have been used with elementary students during the spring of 1998. There are both online activities including URL resources, and offline activities for additional study or just available to classes which may only want to use the lessons in this manner. This also provides options for schools to use this module even if they don’t have convenient access to the Internet. In addition, work has begun on the Buffalo Soldier Project. This involves a study of the African American soldier and his role in the 19th century United States Army. Consultation on these projects has been received from Matt Novak, the Ft. Leavenworth Post Forester, Gary Moulton, Professor of History and Editor of the Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and Susan Miller, Assistant Professor of History and Ethnic Studies.
  • The Carter Library Project at Sprayberry High School is evolving into an exciting opportunity for students. Plans are being made for six students to be a part of an interview team that will meet with former President Carter during the 1998-99 school year. Emory University is already under contract with the Carter Library to digitize the library’s holdings. Sprayberry is approaching Emory about working with them and combing their efforts.
  • An archaeology project at Sprayberry will be conducted by “The Ascent of Man” class being offered at the school during the 1998-99 school year. Plans have been made for that course during year one. Students will study Native American history in the Atlanta area as part of their course work. This will involve fieldwork that will be taped and photographed, digitized, and incorporated into an informational web site as well as into lessons other teachers could use without having to go into the field.
  • Another special project is the Physics web site at Mainland High School. This project, on-going since June of 1997, places the content of five different levels of Physics curriculum on a web site. Students can access this site from home. They are expected to use this site every day in determining the assignments, looking for tutorials, submitting lab reports, and taking online quizzes. The student quizzes are graded and reports on the results of the quizzes are available for both teacher and students. The use of this site has been limited to Mainland High School this year and that limitation may continue through year two of the grant due to permissions needed to post Advanced Placement essay questions on the site as part of the lessons. Work will continue on this site, using input from students and the teacher as they are surveyed about the impact of this kind of classroom on their learning and on teaching methods.
Teachers and hub site managers have attended conferences in technology and in their curriculum areas during the first year of the project. Money is budgeted for continuing this valuable connection to national best practices. Attendance at subject area conferences will also be an opportunity for curriculum overview meetings, including national consultants involved with the project. For example:
  • Teachers at Mainland attended the FETC (Florida Educational Technology Conference) and students presented in association with ADOBE
  • Teachers at all hub sites have attended the NSTA, NCTM, NCSS (National Council for Social Studies), and NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) conferences
  • Teachers at Omaha North High School helped manage the NETA (Nebraska Technology Education Association)
  • A presentation was made by the Physics teacher at Mainland and the Network Technology Specialist at AAPT (American Association of Physics Teachers)
IV. Objective: Contribute to national educational networks using telecommunications to disseminate products and best practices.

Activities planned to meet this objective can be found on page 26 of the original proposal.

The following activities have contributed to meeting this objective:
  • A server is installed and a satellite dish in place at all six hub sites. This system is being reviewed as a possible distribution mechanism for the content being developed during the project. At the same time, other technologies for use with planned upgrading of the Internet are being tested and evaluated.
  • A contract with each hub site district is in place. Each district or school has a full time hub site manager and the contract provides teacher stipends for staff development and curriculum development work.
  • Omaha North High School, through its UROG (Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant) is providing internet drops at six elementary schools. This allows telecommunication among the schools and between the elementary s schools and North High School. There is online mentoring by faculty at North High School to assist the elementary schools’ faculties.
  • Satellite communication is not installed in 30 sites at this time. Plans have been made for installing this system in two second tier schools in Volusia County, but are on hold pending evaluation of the system by the six hub sites. A preliminary letter outlining the system and its costs was sent in September to 24 potential second tier schools. Reactions indicate that this system may not be a cost-effective model. The current system at the six hub sites is being analyzed for operational effectiveness. The overall costs associated with this form of content distribution are under review as the second year’s budget is being planned.
The Mainland High School home page has been maintained and provides links to curriculum projects used at the school. Each of the six hub sites has a home page and several have lessons available to teachers linked to this page. A web site developed and maintained by IST currently contains links to all hub sites, a discussion forum, and a calendar for CCTT. Appropriate ways to house the content being produced by CCTT are being tested as the Lesson Organizer is being used and modified this spring for the first time. Each hub site provides descriptions of and in some cases links to business partners on their home pages. A web site currently in use by the USDOE introduces the Blue Ribbon Schools links and was co-developed by students at Mainland High School and Eagan High School in Minnesota.

Telecommunications corporations have been identified and talks are ongoing regarding the solution to the direct video and audio connections among the hub sites. This is a project that will continue into year two.

Copyright © 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
All rights reserved.

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