Tom O'Haver, Professor Emeritus
The University of Maryland at College Park
Presented at the
Florida Educational Technology Conference
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida
This presentation describes a method for integrating technology into the elementary and middle school classroom in which students use technological tools to create educational products, including print, multimedia presentations, and Web sites, that integrate several different curriculum areas. The method is based on the use of a detailed project timeline with checkpoints to monitor progress of long-term projects. Extensive use of templates helps to insure design coherence and consistency and to guide students' attention towards content rather than format.
Projects have taken the form of printed newsletters, educational posters, pamphlets with emphasis on persuasive writing, science and alphabet books created for students in the primary grades, designs for commemorative postage stamps, online virtual tours, and multimedia slide shows. Examples will be shown of projects created by classes in eight schools, from primary through 8th grades, that integrate writing, social science, mathematics, science, literature, and art. Examples of some topics include Native American cultures, famous scientists, famous black Americans, the Bill of Rights, biography book reports, endangered species, geography, explorers, autobiography, self-portraits, structures and tessellations. Sources for obtaining lesson plans, student handouts, and templates will be described.
Other schools and teachers who have adopted our template method.