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A Handbook for the Digital Classroom

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                A Handbook for the Digital

                           By: Anthony McQueen
                             Capella University

Course: ED 7211
Instructor: Dr. Vernon L. Czelusniak
Date: March 3, 2005
                 Table of Contents
Introduction……………………….. 2
Knowledge Needed……………….. 3
Suggested Courses………………… 4
About those Tech Courses………… 5
With A+ Knowledge………………. 6
Without A+ Knowledge…………… 7
Now That You’re A Techie……….. 8
Equipping the Classroom (Plan A)… 9-14
Equipping the Classroom (Plan B)… 17-20
Project-Based Learning……………. 21-23
Hands-on Learning………………… 24-
Computer Terms……………………
Resource Links…………………….
Comments,Suggestions, Questions & Answers
    A Handbook for the Digital

This on-line handbook was
created to aid middle
school science classroom
teachers with ideas and
some resources for
equipping their classrooms
with multimedia computers.
Additionally the handbook
gives two teaching methods
for using computers in the
            Knowledge Needed
  Computer knowledge is
    needed for the
    digital classroom!
Here a teacher needs to
have knowledge about
computers. How computers
are built, operate and
how they work with other
computers (computer
networking). All this
means is you may need to
take some computer
Although you
  may need to              Suggested Courses
   take some
 tech courses,
here is a list of
 what is most              Courses Needed to be Taken
                                   How to build, upgrade and
                                       maintain computers.

      Computer Literacy        Network Installation/Administration
            course                      data communication           Introduction to Computers
      Basics of computer                        and                    computers and computing
         operations.                        networking.
     About Those Tech Courses
• A+ : This course covers the basic hardware of a
  personal computer, including operations and
  interactions with software.
• Computer Literacy : This course provides a brief
  overview of computer concepts.
• Introduction to Computers : This course provides
  an introduction to computers and computing.
• Network Installation/Administration : This course
  covers the installation and administration of
  network hardware and system software.
              With A+ Knowledge
A+ knowledge means: You know the basic
  hardware of a personal computer, including
operations and interactions with software. This
     includes component identification, the
  memory system, peripheral installation and
  configuration, preventive maintenance, and
 diagnostics and repair. You should be able to
    select appropriate computer equipment,
upgrade and maintain existing equipment, and
    troubleshoot and repair non-functioning
personal computers. This knowledge gives the
 digital classroom teacher a major advantage
      over teachers without A+ knowledge.
      Without A+ Knowledge
You are in for trouble, frustration
 and a constant call for help! Just
 like the picture, you will feel
 “Helpless”. The reason is having
 the ability to built, maintain and
 upgrade computers is priceless!
 Without A+ knowledge the best
 thing to do is to obtain A+
 knowledge! Take a course,
  Now That You’re A Techie!

At this point you have taken at least an A+
computer course and can build a personal
computer (PC) and load a operating system
(OS) or a network operating system (NOS).
Also you have learned how to load
additional software that you desirer. The
next task is: How you can use this
knowledge to equip your digital classroom
with computers?
     Equipping the Classroom (Plan
Plan A Objectives:
•Write a proposal.
•Obtain funding or donations of barebone
•Teach; how to and assemble the computers

Plan A Requirements:
•A+ Knowledge (gives you the ability to build,
upgrade and maintain computers).
•Write a Proposal (proposal templates can be
found on the Internet and in Microsoft Word).
           Equipping the Classroom (Plan A)

Plan A Explained:
    With the above requirements we can layout plan A. The first
objective is to write a proposal, following a proposal template can
help you do this. Proposal templates can be obtained from an
Internet search for “proposal templates” or just by using the
proposal template in MS Word. I know for those of us who have
never written a proposal, this task could seem complicated,
however with practice you will find this task to be easy. Now
remember, when you write your proposal the major objective is
to obtain between 20 and 60 barebone computer systems. I say
between 20 to 60 barebone systems because: this project of
building the computers can be done for middle science teachers
during elective classes.
       Equipping the Classroom (Plan A)

You see most middle school teachers who teach core courses,
also teach 1 or 2 elective courses that are usually create by
the teacher. For example; a science teacher might create an
elective course called building web pages. This course would
last for nine weeks (in most cases, depending on the school
schedule) and be taught by the creating teacher. This is
where the middle school science teacher will find the time to
work with 15 to 20 students and teach/build the funded
barebone computer systems into working computers.
     Equipping the Classroom (Plan A)

The next step is to submit your proposal to organizations
that will fund or donate the needed equipment. The resource
page of the handbook will have a list of organizations and
their web sites that fund educational proposals. Now because
I have provided a list of organizations, do not stop with my
list, do an Internet search on your own to find funding!
There are numerous organizations that will help you if you
only look for them and ask them to help!
      Equipping the Classroom (Plan A)

Once you have the funding and your barebone systems
arrive, you are ready to equip your classroom with
computers. As I previously stated, middle school science
teacher can find the class time to accomplish this project
during an elective course. I would like to add that once you
have built enough computers for your classroom, then you
can equip other classrooms; thus the need for 60 barebone
computer systems in your proposal!
    Equipping the Classroom (Plan B)...

Many school districts and teachers have gained needed funding
by writing proposal for technology, creating innovative methods
for raising funding, receiving grants from organizations and the
federal government grants. For example, the Montgomery County
Public Schools in Rockville, Maryland has created a web site
were the public can go to donate funds or computers for
classroom use. The project is designed to help convert donations
into instructional resources for education and ultimately improve
student achievement through increased opportunities to interact
with hardware and computer applications (Burke, B., 1996).
     Equipping the Classroom (Plan B)

Plan B is calls for you the teacher to search and find
organizations that will help you not only fund, but give you
alternative means of bringing technology to your classrooms.
In an effort to fund technology for classrooms the
Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed. The National
Education Technology Funding Corporation ("Eddie Tech"),
authorized in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, was
envisioned as private non-profit financing entity that would
leverage public funding to draw considerable private sector
venture in education technology and school infrastructure.
            Equipping the Classroom (Plan B)

Through credit enhancement and leveraging, Eddie Tech can
make school-backed securities a more attractive option for
institutional investors (National Education, 2001).
For example: To make sure that no one lacks access to Scroggs'
technological advantages, families without the means to buy
their own computers are loaned "Internet access devices" for
their homes. The devices, which are financed through the
BellSouth-financed Tech @ Home program, are not full
computers (no data or applications can be stored), but give
students and their families access to a range of Internet sites, e-
mail, computer software, and the student's school folder (Curtis,
D, 2002).
          Equipping the Classroom (Plan B)

The key to equipping the digital classroom using Plan
   B is not to accept no as an answer!
Steps for Plan B:
1. Write a proposal
2. Search the Internet or partner with a businesses in
   your community for funding by presenting your
   proposal to the business
3. Find an IT professional that is willing to help you
   setting up your computers.
4. The best option is to take A+ course work and follow
   Plan A!
                         Project-Based Learning
Successful digital classrooms do
   not only have technology
   equipment but they must also
   have instructional and
   assessment strategies that work.

Project-based (PBL) and Hands-on (HOL) learning
are two instructional methods being used today in the
digital classroom. John W. Thomas, PhD working
with the Buck Institute for Education defines PBL as
an innovative model for teaching and learning. It
focuses on the central concepts and principles of a
discipline, involves students in problem-solving
investigations and other meaningful tasks, allows
students to work autonomously to construct their own
knowledge, and culminates in realistic products
(Thomas, J., W., 1998).
           Project-Based Learning

Dave Moursund of the International Society for Technology
in Education defines: project-based learning as an open-
ended assignment that provides students with a degree of
choice, and extends over a considerable period of time
(Viani, N., 2001). San Mateo County Office of Education
believes: project-based learning (PBL) is a model for
classroom activity that shifts away from the classroom
practices of short, isolated, teacher-centered lessons and
instead emphasizes learning activities that are long-term,
interdisciplinary, student-centered, and integrated with real
world issues and practices (Why do project-based, 2001).
              Project-Based Learning

To view an example of a written project-based lesson
plan go to my homepage: www.fatdaddy1.com click
on link My Success Story Page
Just click on this link My Success Story Page
Here you will find the NTeQ Lesson Plan link. Click
on this link and you will find a project-based lesson
written using the NTeQ lesson plan format. You will
also find three success stories! View and Enjoy!
         Hands-On Learning

Hands-on learning is learning by active
involvement. Students being taught in a HOL
environment are actually using their hands, the
students are touching, feeling and interacting
with materials they are studying.
As with many other terms hands-on or active
learning by students can have a variety of
interpretations. Hands-On means any
instructional activity that is emphasizes
students working with objects relevant to the
content being studied. Variations include:
Hands-On Science, Hands-On Math, and so on
(Glossary of Instructional, 2002).
           Hands-On Learning

Hands-on activities mean students have objects
(both living and inanimate) directly available
for investigation" (Meinhard, 1992). Karen
Worth, Education Development Center Inc.,
believes: hands-on learning, however, is not
simply manipulating things. It is engaging in
in-depth investigations with objects,
materials, phenomena, and ideas and drawing
meaning and understanding from those
experiences (Haury, D., Rillerio, P., 1994).
            Hands-On Learning
Research implies the advantages of HOL are
student motivation, gives students real-world
experiences, makes information easy to remember
and provides a creative outlet. The benefits of
HOL can also be applied to a number of
disciplines, especially science, technology
training and mathematics. Dr. Henry Borenson, an
educational entrepreneur for nearly 20 years and
the inventor of Hands-On Equations (HOE). Dr.
Borenson created HOE to help teach algebraic
concepts to students because in his opinion the
traditional method just wasn’t effective with his
           Hands-On Learning

The kinesthetic approach built into HOE makes
it engaging and effective for students—and
establishes a sense of self-confidence and
motivation, where fear and anxiety had once
stifled a student’s progress (Interview with,
2003). With the advent of classroom technology,
students can now participate in a non-
traditional form of hands-on education through
the use of computers. This technology extends
hands-on learning to include minds-on skills.
         Hands-On Learning

An example of this hands-on/minds-on
learning is the unique MarsLink curriculum
project which provides data to students
from the Mars Observer spacecraft. This
partnership brings near "real-time"
science to hands-on learning (Haury, D., &
Rillerio, P., 1994).
Whenever a teacher employs Internet
searches or computer software usage into
their lesson plans, you are using HOL.
               Hands-On Learning

The following links are web sites that have hands-on lesson plans,
these sites were found on the Internet by doing a simple Internet
Community Partners:
The Science Spot: http://sciencespot.net/
Middle School Links (great site, many lesson plans and sites):
                  Computer Terms
    This section provides links to different computer terms,
                hardware information and news.

AnandTech Site Information: source for hardware analysis and industry news.
High-Tech Dictionary: definitions to more than 7,000 high-tech terms!
O’Reilly: computer books, search, news and more.
Unified Telecom: glossary of tech terms.
TechDictionary.com: Search for thousands of technology terms.
    Resource Links
  Here are some links for educational funding, but don’t
    stop with these links, do a Internet search yourself!
        “Help comes to those who help themselves”.
Grant Funding Opportunities; this web site lists organizations that will
   fund educational projects: http://susdl.fcla.edu/grantlst.html
Grants and Funding; this web site lists organizations that will fund
   educational projects: http://policy.gmu.edu/res/grants.htm
Grants and Funding for Schools; this web site lists organizations that will
   fund educational projects: http://teachersplanet.com/grants.shtml
Grants; this web site lists organizations that will fund educational projects:
Edutopia Online; this site gives examples of partnerships, funding ideas
   and project-based learning: http://www.glef.org
Burke, B., 1996. Computers for Classrooms in Montgomery County Public Schools,
Division of Career and Technology Education, Montgomery County Public Schools,
Rockville, Maryland. (Electronic version]:
Curtis, D., 2003. A 'Fantastic Super' Use of Technology, Edutopia, The George Lucas
Educational Foundation. [Electronic version]: http://www.glef.org/FMPro?-
Glossary of Instructional Strategies, 2002. PlasmaLink Web Services, [Electronic
version]: http://glossary.plasmalink.com/glossary.html#H
Grants, 2002. Teachers, Educational CyberPlayground. [Electronic version]:
Grants and Funding, unknown. [Electronic version]: http://policy.gmu.edu/res/grants.htm
Grant Funding Opportunities, 2002. State University System of Florida Publication of
Archival Library & Museum Materials. [Electronic version]:
Haury, D., Rillerio, P., 1994. What is hands-on learning, and is it just a fad,
Perspectives of Hands-On Science Teaching, North Central Regional Educational
Laboratory, [Electronic version]:
Interview with Dr. Henry Borenson, 2003. [Electronic version]:
Lloyd, M, 1998. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 Two Years Later: A Cause
for Concern. Civil Rights Forum on Communications Policy. [Electronic version]:

National Education Technology Funding Corporation (Eddie Tech), 2001. Topic
Legislative, National Educational Association. [Electronic version]:
Thomas, J., W., 1998. Pros and cons of traditional instruction, Pros and Cons of
Project-Based Learning, PBL: An Overview of Project Based Learning, [Electronic
version]: http://www.bie.org/pbl/pbloverview/proscons.php
Viani, N., 2001. Project-based Learning, Instructional Technology. [Electronic
version]: http://www.jacksonesd.k12.or.us/it/ws/pbl/background.htm
Why do project-based learning, 2001. Project-Based Learning with Multimedia,
The Multimedia Project. [Electronic version]:
         Questions & Answers
This section provide you an
  avenue to send me any
  comments, suggestions,
  questions & answers that
  we help give teachers
  other ways of equipping
  their classrooms with
  technology! Just click on
  the e-mail icon and we
  will respond.

                   Back To My Home Page Click Here

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