EDT 422 Senior Capstone Class--Research Associates, Miami University, Spring 2013
This semester's capstone class is investigating many topics. Some of them include: Technology and curriculum, classroom management, school safety, service dogs, parental engagement with ELL students, cyber bullying, community learning centers, importance of play, patterns of motivation, physical activity in early childhood, classroom diversity, and engaging ELL's in the classroom.
Partners In Learning is a partnership group directed by Dr. Douglas Brooks, a Full Professor in the School of Education Health and Society at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The mission of Partners In Learning is to provide web-based professional development to student teachers, school district administrators and faculty members and supervisors.. One feature of Partners In Learning is the Performance Pyramid. The Performance Pyramid is a web-based model for continuous improvement that features "Resource Domains" directly related to improved student achievement gains on state mandated proficiency tests. Seniors in the class are "Research Associates." They organize into collaborative Content Action Teams. These teams research topics of current importance and personal interest. They use Quality Management techniques. The content on the Performance Pyramid is re-evaluated every semester. Students learn to use an open source software product called DRUPAL as they make continuous improvements to the site. The "Associates" in the above picture were in the Spring 2013Capstone class. Most of them will graduate in May 2013 and begin their teaching careers in September 2013.
New Look for Fall 2012 Partners In Learning Website
Partners In Learning is saying goodbye to a website look and management system that has served the capstone class, grant writers and professional developers for 15 years. The site was designed in Fall,1997 as part of this EDT 422 capstone class. It relied on a content management system called Magnolia. Over the years, the site has been on individual servers in Toledo, Cincinnati, my office and two server systems at Miami. As Magnolia became less reliable and support for it harder to find, we made the decision to move to DRUPAL, on open source software that allows for selecting modules based on client needs. This past summer, with the help of IT Services, my team moved selected content to this new site. We tossed out non-working links and dated content to make room for research contributions from new capstone students. This new site has a more Miami University look and feel, a search engine, blog and discussion forum modules.
Partners In Learning Joins Collaborative with Franklinton Preparatory Academy.
The charter school will open on two floors and 18,500 square feet of newely renovated space in August, 2013. The building is owned by the Central Ohio Youth for Christ, a nonprofit corporation. A wing of the building houses the COYC administrative offices. The building is the former Chicago Elementary School located on Chicago Avenue off West Broad Street in the Franklinton area, on west side of Columbus, Ohio. The building was originally constructed in 1896 and has been boarded up for thirty years. Demolition work on the interior of the building has been completed. Dr. Douglas Brooks serves on the Board of Directors and has worked with other partners to develop a school-wide strategic plan. The vision of the school is to provide a blended learning environment to urban 9th and 10th grade students. Working in collaboration with CIM Technologies and Paradox Publications, the digital curriculum resources will be supported by android/touch screen pads for each student. The school will be hiring technology literate teachers beginning in May, 2013 and serve as an urban training site for Miami student teachers.
Successful Summer, 2012 Grant Writing Workshop Completed
Project BackPac Continues for Spring 2013 Miami Student Teachers
Miami student teachers who will be starting their assignments in the Spring 2013 are encouraged to apply for BackPacs that include assorted classroom technologies to support instructional design and classroom activities. Technologies that are avaiable in the backpacs include: iPads, digital cameras, projectors, wireless AppleTV units, E-beam units to transform regular whiteboards into interactive whiteboards, smartpens, e-instruction units, Mobies and much more. BackPacs can be customized to support individual student teacher needs.
Student teacher feedback on these backpacs has been universally impressive. BackPacs have been shipped to Belise, Chicago, Luxemborg and Over The Rhine in Cincinnati. The project has been in place for four years. Every effort is made to update the technology and simplify the process for getting a backpac and returning it. Students use the technologies to enhance instruction as well as engage students in technology supported curriculum activities. If you are student teaching in the fall 2012, you are eligible for a backpac.
You can apply for a backpac by emailing Dr. Douglas Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org. Describe the technology culture of your classroom and your plans to integrate the technology. Dr. Brooks will approve your application if it conforms to project criteria. You can pick up the BackPac at the Technology Services Office on the first floor of McGuffey Hall near the back parking lot. You will be responsible for completing an exit survey and returning the backpac no later than one week before the end of your student teaching assignment. Only once, have we had to involve the police in retrieving a delinquent backpac.
Partners In Learning Partners With CIM Technology Solutions
In Spring 2008, Partners In Learning began a partnership with CIM Technologies of Indianapolis, Indiana. In this agreement, when schools serviced by CIM Technologies are seeking grant funds, they would be introduced to GRANTSUCCESS as they prepared their grant applications. To date, PIL has worked with over 20 school districts to support grant applications for EETT, ARRA, Blended Learning and Innovative Classroom schools in Ohio and Indiana. When funding opportunities become available, CIM sales personnel identify eligible and competitive school districts. Dr. Brooks reviews the RFPs and introduces the participating schools to GRANTSUCCESS systems. Grant writing teams work with Dr. Brooks in onsite and online training sessions. Regardless of the outcome of the grant application, grant writing capacity is established in the district or school.
When Did Partners In Learning Begin?
In 1989, the Miami University School of Education and Allied Professions (old name) joined the Institute for Educational Renewal (IER). As a new member of John Goodlad's IER project, Miami established agreements with area schools to support the development of "Professional Development Schools." These schools were envisioned as "cultures of innovation" that would continously improve as Miami University liscensure programs improved. These professional development schools hosted Miami student teachers and school mentors/supervisors were trained to support IER goals. At the same time, my two sons were enrolled in the Talawanda City Schools. Talawanda was inexplicably not included in the project. Talawanda had a long and difficult history of failed bond levies and needed resources. So, I started working with the Talawanda City Schools. The first project involved Miami hosting a "GTE Online" product that gave the school district its first onramp to the Internet and a early stage e-mail system. This project was called the Talawanda Learning Community Network (TLCNet). PIL worked with Warner Cable to extend cable access to all the district's schools. School building level teams were developed to create grant writing capacity. PIL worked with Talawanda administrators and teachers to successfully apply for external grant funding. These grants included: the Ohio Classroom of The Future ($120,000 ), Reading Recovery ($60,000), Venture Capital ($240,000 in Marshall Elementary School and TMS for 2 years), the SchoolNet Prototype ($350,000), Ohio Schools on the Move ($35,000), SchoolNet Plus ($80,000), Raising the Bar ($120,000) and High Schools That Work ($70,000). While the IER came and went (five years) with no lasting impact, PIL related grants put over $1.2 million in technology integration funding into the Talawanda district. PIL worked closely with GTE to provide internet access to every clasroom in the district in one of 12 Ohio SchoolNet Prototypes. PIL worked with Warner Cable to establish a cable channel for the school district. Summer "Playshops" for teachers accelerated technology integration in the district. These professional development events employed Talawanda Middle and High School "Tech Squad" students to support teacher capacity with Apple computers, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Internet Explorer. These efforts resulted in two consecutive years of recognition by the Ohio Governor's Office. Eventually, Talawanda Middle School was selected, along with 9 other Ohio schools, to be studied and highlighted in an Ohio Department of Education monograph series on culture changing innovations and improvements. The IER accomplishments were minimal and soon evaporated.
Individual Grants Supported by Partners In Learning
Ohio Classroom of the Future- This funding supported the development of a six audiotape cassette series on school reform in the 21st Century. It featured Talawanda teachers and influenced the design of Talawanda Middle School.
Reading Recovery- This funding supported the training of early grade teachers in the application of Dr. Marie Clay's methods for helping high risk non-readers.
Venture Capital- Talawanda Middle School and Marshall Elementary School each recieved two years of $120,000 funding to establish local area networks and link to the Internet through a Miami University server.
Ohio SchoolNet Prototype- Talawanda/ Tri-Village and Miami University led one of twelve state-wide prototypes to install Internet access in every district classroom in two districts. The project included the introduction of Apple computers, Mcrosoft Word, Internet Explorer and PowerPoint to over 380 teachers in two districts and 8 school buildings.
Raising the Bar- This funding supported Talawanda Middle School technology integration beyond SchoolNet.
SchoolNet Plus- PIL helped author the legislation that placed 4 computer workstations in all Ohio schools grades K-4.
Schools On The Move- This funding supported teacher design of lessons that integrated technology and encouaged students to become more comfortable with emerging technologies.
High Schools That Work- This funding built on the infrastructure of SchoolNet to support a cutlure of collaboration, curriculum redesign and 21st century skills for better preparation of students for college and the workplace.
Ohio EETT Grants (2005) 26 Columbus City Middle and Elementary Schools worked with Partners In Learning to successfully apply for over $2.6 million in technology integration funding. The GrantSuccess system that was first developed in Venture Capital funding opportunities was upscaled to service all 26 writing teams.
Indiana ARRA Grants (2009) Four school districts in Indiana successfully applied for ARRA federal technology integration funding.
LaSalle High School (2011) Successful strategic planning and grant appllcation for $80,000 to establish a wireless and digital textbook culture.
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