Day in the Life ScenarioEdit
The following scenario is intended to describe various ways that technology is being used at our school both now and in the future. -demetri
Morning Carpool: Jason, Sheila, and Karen carpool together and pull into school around 8:15. They hadn’t been sure if there would be school because of the snow last night, but parents had received an email from the school saying that school was open. On the way to school, traffic had been terrible. Sheila and Karen had looked on enviously when Jason pulled out his notebook to make a few more changes on the project that his history group was doing. Since he is in 7th grade, Jason has his own leased notebook that he takes home every night. Sheila, a 5th grader, uses the notebook assigned to her from the homeroom notebook cart. She can borrow one overnight if needed, but last night she didn’t know she’d be sitting in traffic this morning. Karen, in 3rd grade, uses computers in the classroom and computer lab. She is learning how to touch-type. As they pull up in the carpool line, Jason’s notebook picks up the school’s wireless network and he’s able to grab a few images off the web before he has to close the notebook lid and get out of the car.
After shaking hands with Mrs. Rosenbaum, Jason goes up to his locker and puts away his trumpet, soccer gear, and books. There are still 10 minutes left before morning chapel so he opens his notebook back up, wakes it up, brings up his English paper and prints it out to the color laser in the multimedia lab. On his way downstairs to pick up his paper, Jason passes Lisa, a 6th grader who is getting ready to do her chapel presentation about her father’s hip replacement. Her PowerPoint has facts about her father and the actual x-ray images of the arthritic hip and the new replacement hip. Jason notices that Lisa is wearing a Norwood sweatshirt with a new hawk logo, “Hey, where’d you get that sweatshirt,” he asked her. “My father ordered it off the web site last week.” Lisa replied “Cool.”
First period: English. Back upstairs, it’s time for Jason to go to first period. As Jason turns in his paper, the teacher asks, “Did you incorporate the changes that your peer reviewers suggested?” “Yeah, I used most of them, but there were a couple I didn’t agree with.” Jason’s English class had circulated their papers to their reviewing groups electronically last week. The reviewing students used Word’s commenting feature to insert suggestions or comments, color-coded by reviewer. Jason was looking forward to getting his paper posted to the class web site. Most of the kids in the class like doing it that way, but it did make you work harder, because you knew that classmates, teachers, and family members might read your paper; it wasn’t just for the teacher anymore. After he’d posted his last paper about the poems of e.e. cummings, he’d gotten an email from his grandparents in Pennsylvania saying how proud they were of his work. Jason was lucky; he still had a tutor to help him with English class. The previous afternoon his tutor had helped him with the revisions. Since she was able to check the curriculum map on the teacher’s web site, she knew exactly what the goals were for the paper that Jason was working on. She also knew which texts the class was reading, and when the next assignment was due. The educational technology specialist had also checked the class’s web site to find out what novels they were reading so that he could create links to the authors’ official web sites.
Second period: Math. Jason enjoyed math. Last year they’d done that stock market project, gathering and analyzing data using Excel, generating graphs and data sets for their presentations. The oral part hadn’t gone all that well, but Jason had done his research and was able to tell why he thought Coca-Cola should be a strong buy based on the analysis his group had done. It was nice to have the visual aids in the PowerPoint to prompt his memory of what he was supposed to talk about and to illustrate his points. “Good morning everyone,” the teacher said, “Please log into the class web site and go to the resources area, we’re going to be using another Java applet this morning.” Jason and his classmates woke up their computers and got to the web site. Jason noticed his battery was at 40% so he plugged into the desk outlet. The teacher had a low tolerance for students’ notebooks beeping for power, since it interrupted the flow of teaching. The Java applet they were using let the students type in algebraic equations, and then it would show the graph of that equation. After the lesson, Jason told his teacher, “Cool applet! Now I see what you mean about the parabola’s being thinner if the exponent is higher.” As class finished up, the teacher reminded them that the exam would be on Friday, and that he would be hosting a chat room that evening for students who wanted to review the material. As the students left the classroom, the teacher sent the weekly email home to parents that included their child’s current progress in the class, and notes on upcoming assignments. It was a simple mail merge out of the student grading database. Several parents had commented how much they appreciated receiving the updates.
Third period: Art. In digital photography Jason’s class was working on their digital self-portraits under the teacher’s watchful eye. The students loved using PhotoShop to apply effects to the images. The teacher was encouraging them to save their work at various stages so that they could revert to an earlier version if something went awry in their experimentation. Jason also realized it would be great for his electronic portfolio – he could include the finished piece with some of the intermediate stages, just like he had done with his English paper and drafts on The Call of the Wild that he’d written last year. The teacher locked all the student computer screens because she wanted their full attention. “I’d like to show you how to use the new drawing tablets we just installed. They’ll give you much finer control over the strokes. They even sense how much pressure you’re exerting.” “Neat!” said Jason, “Where did the school get these?” “The development office told me that an alum made a donation on the web site, after she saw some of the artwork on the site that last year’s class had done!”
Fourth period: History. In history class the teacehr was giving the students more time to work on their projects. Jason was working in a group of four students to create a documentary on the decade of the 1930s. There were five groups and each had chosen a decade from the first half of the twentieth century to document. Jason’s group had chosen to make a video about their decade. At the end of the week each group would be presenting their project, and would be responsible for teaching that decade’s history to the rest of the class. Jason’s group had gathered images and primary source documents from the web, and was now working on a storyboard before moving into editing the video. Jason would be responsible for the audio track to accompany the video so he spent some time in class searching the audio files at the National Archives web site. The teacher suggested that he also record some of the interviews the group had been doing with Jason’s grandfather, so that they could use the material as a voice-over track in their documentary. The teacher also reminded the class that each of them needed to post a response to the questions he had posted on the class bulletin board. On his way to lunch Jason stopped by the multimedia lab to send an mail to Ulrich, his e-pal in Germany. He was hoping to add a German perspective to their documentary.
Fifth Period: Science. Science class was studying the effects of pollution on the Chesapeake Bay. At the beginning of class the teacher had the projector running, and started showing everyone how to use Inspiration concept mapping software to create a diagram illustrating the various environmental threats to the Bay, but Jason interrupted her, saying, “We learned how to use this software in 4th grade.” so she gave the class 15 minutes to create their diagrams. Then she started getting the video-conferencing link ready for their interview with the scientist at the Chesapeake Bay Institute on the Eastern Shore. “Don’t forget,” she reminded her students, “if you’re answering questions during our videoconference, back it up with the probe data from your experiments! Oh, and we need a stenographer for today’s session. Who’s a good typist?” Several hands shot up. “Alright, Taylor, you can be the typist for today. There were three students home sick today who would appreciate getting the minutes of today’s session. Since Taylor would be typing them in the class’s chat room, it was also possible that the sick kids would participate in real time and ask their own questions via the chat room. Either way, they would be responsible for reviewing the material. The teacher would also capture the drawings from the dry-erase board to include on the class web site.
Sixth Period: Spanish. This was Jason’s fifth year of Spanish at Norwood. As he walked into class he told the teacher about the video conference they’d just had with the Chesapeake Bay scientist. “Wow, that sound’s neat Jason,” The teacher made a mental note to contact Norwood’s sister school in Mexico to arrange a similar video linkup between their 7th grade English class and her Level 3 Spanish class. She’d also seen a virtual reality web server at a recent conference that would let her students join others conversing with text and audio in a virtual Spanish environment. She knew the students would love using the program, and it would let them take a virtual field trip to Spain. During class the students used their headsets with their notebooks to practice listening and responding to the conversation on the Bienvenidos CD. The teacher could access the teacher control module to see where in the lesson each student was working, and their scores on all the assessments. It saved her a lot of time in grading, so that she could spend more time helping students with issues of pronunciation and vocabulary.
Seventh Period: Music. Today in music class, Jason’s group would be back in the multimedia lab to finish working on their electronic compositions. He liked this week at the end of the semester when they got a break from chorus. The teacher had given them practice with the Cakewalk software, and now they were each composing their own melodies. Jason had chosen to use trumpets and violins, because he liked the contrast, and was now writing a piece in D-minor. As he listened to it through the headphones, he decided he might throw in a cello to add a lower register.
After School: Athletics. The basketball team was working on their 3-point shooting in preparation for the tournament finals next week. Since their center had a sprained wrist and couldn’t play, the coach had him running the video camera again. After each player took a shot, s/he could see the replay on the video screen, and coach would point out ways to improve technique.
At Home That Night: After dinner, Jason pulled out his notebook and dialed into AOL. He knew that his history teacher would be checking the bulletin board soon, so he posted his comments in response to the questions on the causes of WWII. After working on his soundtrack storyboard for awhile, Jason saw that Laura was online so he instant-messaged her to see if she had time to look at the storyboard. She said ok, so he sent her the file. When he checked his email, he saw a reminder from his math teacher that the review session in the class chat room would start at 8:00, so Jason pulled out his Algebra textbook and popped it into the notebook’s CD-tray. He wanted to look at the section on quadratics before the review session started. Just then he got an instant message from Alex: “did u hear?” we're going to be getting tablet PCs next year! no way. way! my mom just told me!
School Closed ScenarioEdit
What would happen if your school was closed for weeks or months due to a natural disaster or other unforeseen events? Provided the electrical power, phone, and Internet infrastructure held up well educational functions (especially for grades 6 and up) could continue to function reasonably well for a number of weeks through the use of books, phones, email, wikis, blogs, chat rooms, and digital video... oh, yes... and paper, pens and pencils.
Here is an imagined day for a pandemic quarantined student in richly connected digital environment.
8 am: Phone blast message from the division head with news, goals and coordination information for the day.
8:30 am: European History class "meets" in a chat room. The teacher poses questions and students respond.
9:30 am: Work on English assignment using a blog. Read comments by teacher and peers on previous blog postings.
10:30 am: Call into a WebEx type site for a conference call with Spanish class.
11:30 am: Phone call with advisor about how things are going.
12:00-1:00pm: Lunch, phone calls, IMing, video conferencing with friends
1:00-2:00pm: Watch a video demonstration of a Chem. Lab. - work through virtual experiments on sites like http://www.explorelearning.com
2:00-3:00pm: Work through a set of math problems. Scan or digitally photograph and send work to teacher as an email attachment.
3:00-4:00pm Go through workout routine sent out by coach/pe instructor. Update wiki page with numbers of situps, etc..
4:00pm Hop on MySpace for virtual socializing. Not nearly as good as the real thing but better than nothing.
"Normal" evening of homework, TV, reading, writing and video game playing.