Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Project Design

At last night's School Board meeting, Todd Hosterman from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association presented our "School of Excellence in Technology" award to John Slagle, KSD Board president. (Guess who forgot to take a camera!) Mr. Hosterman also told Board members that Keystone will be featured in upcoming PSBA publications that are distributed statewide.

I'd like to congratulate the Board, administration, teachers, and students on a job well done! It takes commitment and hard work from all to develop and sustain a quality program. And it's always nice to be recognized for that hard work!

On another note, I came across an excellent article on designing and implementing successful student projects. The article, "It's the Process, Not the Product," is published in this month's The Creative Educator magazine. The article emphasizes the importance of starting with a strong curriculum: "Technology project work does not replace classroom content; rather, it extends your curriculum by helping you assess student understanding as they apply knowledge in new situations."

Step 2 of the process stresses the importance of setting expectations: "Before students begin working, you need to articulate your expectations for student behavior, quality of information, and work during the entire process."

Students should be given a rubric when every project is assigned that outlines teacher expectations and project requirements. It's also a good idea to show students samples of high-quality work to illustrate your expectations. Students should know exactly what they have to do when the project is assigned.

Take a look at the article when you have a few minutes (after May 31?). It will give you some ideas as we move forward with our student-centered instruction. Also, check out the Tech4Learning web site, which has lots of tech resources for teachers. Tech4Learning is the publisher of The Creative Educator.

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