Friday, April 11, 2008

Advisory Board Meeting Returns to Malden

Diane Schilder, project evaluator gives an overview of grant activities
The Voices Rising advisory board returned to the beautiful Ryder Gallery at Malden Public Library today. The advisory board holds meetings on a semi-annual basis to inform stakeholders about project milestones and to solicit feedback on future events. TRITEC's, Cindy Fiducia kicked off the meeting with introductions and a reminder that the project's annual public showcase will be held at the Boston Public Library on May 20th from 4-6PM. Next, Robert Simpson gave an update on the launch of the new PBU Builder website which is in the final testing phase. PBU Builder 2.0 will be fully operational in preparation for the annual showcase. Highlights from Diane Schilder's brief evaluation summary included an explanation of the federal reporting requirements on the impact on both teacher knowledge of American history and student performance based upon standardized test questions. The Voices Rising advisory board Dianne Stratton used a concept map to demonstrate the lesson and unit development process. This year, teachers created American History lessons based on primary sources connected to the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site and the Lowell National Historic Park. Molly Laden gave an overview of the digitization process that included one amazing find right in Medford's backyard, a printed book containing the transcript of Daniel O'Connell's famous 1837 speech on the state of Ireland.
Diane Dideo, Everett High School Kate Ambrose, Malden Grade 3 teacher

The most exciting part of the meeting occurred when teachers from Everett, Malden, and Medford each presented a portion of their lessons. Diane Dideo's high school lesson used poetry to teach students about the Lowell factory system. Kate Ambrose, a Malden third grade teachers showed how paintings could be used to study the difference between farm and factory life in the early 19th century. Taryn Ross used political cartoons as her primary sources to help high school students understand why the Irish chose to immigrate to Lowell. Another Medford teacher, Eileen McLaughlin, participating in the complementary Laptops in American History project discussed the results of technology integration into her history classroom. The project is a Massachusetts DOE grant focused on promoting student 1-to-1 laptop computing. Ms. McLaughlin talked about the power of wikis to improve student research on pivotal court cases such as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. Sacco and Venzetti. Eileen McLaughlin, Medford High School teacher talks about wikis
The meeting closed with exciting news from Robert Simpson about the George Lucas Educational Foundation's (GLEF) visit to the Ferryway school from April 14-16th (visit the SIW blog for more details) to profile our technology integration efforts. Professor Bob Allison also gave a preview of the upcoming Voices Rising Summer Institute to be held in Boston from August 18-22, 2008.

View the Advisory Board PowerPoint handouts in Flash. (SWF)

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