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Bringing down the Wall


27. Brenda Moxley AL, USA. 28. Carol Robitschek FL, USA. 29. Chris Russel AUSTRALIA ... game they used to play, a song, their favorite tale or story and the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Bringing down the Wall

Bringing down the Wall
Project-oriented learning through the Internet
Where were we in 1990?
We had an old curriculum (we even had rewrites
and cloze).
Literature? It was there, somewhere.
Some schools had computers.
Some teachers and students even had a computer at
No one had the Internet (except for a few
And we had textbooks .
Textbooks can be seen as building blocks.
Building a learning environment
Even building a modular learning environment
A place where you feel safe and comfortable.
But not too comfortable.
And be aware of the closed-door syndrome.
Or maybe youre still left with only a wall.
A wall which keeps people in.
And a wall which keeps other people out.
Being a teacher, looking at the wall may make you
And sometimes it is even more painful than that.
When you keep running into the wall.
(No Transcript)
Looking for a break in the wall.
But first a little ancient history.
And then things began to change.
1983 The Apple IIE
Computers have walls, too!
1991 The first break in the wall.
The First Step
Keshev Israeli kids talking to each other.
Bridging the social gap.
Keshev Project
We used the Isranet. A national network (mainly
used by the business community at the time). This
was not connected to the Internet.
Participating schools were split up into groups
of three. Schools were matched with other schools
from a different sociocultural framework.
Students from each pod of three schools exchanged
letters throughout the school year.
At the end of the school year, all of the
participating classes got onto school buses and
met at a special gathering face to face.
But, I wanted more!
I could sense that we were on the edge of some
new gigantic development.
The computer screen no longer led to a dead-end.
And I could sense that it could lead to much more
than what we were already seeing.
The KIDLINK Celebration
Kids from over 80 countries talking together in
real time over a 3 day period, 24 hours a day.
Weekly discussions on selected topics, totally
run by kids.
KIDLINKs Purpose To get as many children as
possible involved in a global dialogue.
The KIDLINK Society (1990 - ) Non-profit,
non-governmental organization of volunteers,
registered in Norway. Run by parents, teachers,
and children.
The Means chat (kidclub), projects (kidproj,
kidforum) , online art competition ...
Problem 1 the age issue
Why Projects?
If already using the Internet in the classroom,
why projects? Why not simply have the students
correspond by email or communicate through chat?
We were looking for something more structured,
with clear goals - something that we could use
in our curriculum as a partial alternative to
existing materials.
We were attempting to create authentic learning
environments through a comprehensive use of the
Internet tools available.
  • The international KIDPROJ Team was responsible
    for putting together a list of projects for the
    coming school year.
  • Sometimes the team initiated these projects.
  • Sometimes suggestions for projects came from
    teachers, parents and students from different
    parts of the world.
  • The team made sure there were two moderators for
    each project and that the list of projects was
    posted early enough to give teachers time to plan
    for the next school year.
  • We met once a week online for an
    international staff meeting to discuss these

Early Projects
The search for an authentic learning environment
The Family History Project
Areas Covered
Geography and Map Skills
Language Arts
Math - working with unfamiliar dates, calculating
Science - lifestyle improvements due to inventions
The Family History Project
To bring history alive for students by assisting
them in learning how their family participated in
'real' history
To learn how previous generations actually lived,
values they had, customs they practiced, etc. 
To promote creative writing skills
To develop research and notetaking skills by
'digging' around in the family tree
To learn about other cultures by sharing with
each other
To increase computer skills by using word
processors, perhaps drawing or graphics programs,
email, listservs, and the WWW 
To learn more about community resources in
individual geographical areas 
For each KIDLINK project, there are usually two
moderators, from two different countries. This is
in the attempt to ensure the smooth running of
the project, as well providing a more
comprehensive international outlook.
The Moderators for this project Diane
SmithHomeschool Mom Seattle, WA Brainchild of
Chana BesserSafed, Israel 
Research Volunteers
Many adult volunteers offered the students their
help in creating their Family History. Links
are provided to web pages of the volunteers that
have web pages.  The web pages contain surname
databases, suggestions, articles,  and links to
other genealogy resources. Students may email 
these volunters asking questions on the KIDROOTS
The Participants
Leeanne Szydzik - AustraliaRodrigo Barberá -
BrazilTerry Beer - CanadaTerran Kromm
- CanadaBonnie Rechter - IsraelChana Besser -
IsraelDiane Chiang - MalaysiaJulijana Juricic
- SloveniaSheila Gaquin - USAKaren Worley -
USAAnne Carlson - USAMichael Cypers -
USARoxanne Navratil - USAMichelle Gowan -
USALinda Egge - USAGinny Reeves - USA
Barbara Spencer - USAMichael Meharg USAAdelia
Whitmon USAMaria DeRado USAJessica Brant
USAMercedes Sudler USARichard Polgar -
USAThomas Slawson USALaurie Williams
USAJanice Ellis USAMaddy Ross USABarbara
Hunter USALowell S.R.Litten USADiane Smith
USASean Patton USAMarta Sherwood - USA
The Method
Students, teachers, and volunteers write letters
of introduction.
Each class joins the KIDROOTS mailing list
Students create a family database (instructions
are given as to how to collect this information
and organize it).
Writing topics (based on this family database)
Create a family book.
Desert Desertification Project
The one school modem.
Problem 2 No. of Participants
1. Alenka Makuc SLOVENIA 2. Ken Henson
AZ, USA 3. Kevin Zerzan AK, USA 4. Kira S.
King IN, USA 5. Laura Thorpe AK,
USA 6. Laurie Williams TX, USA 7. Lisa Falk
NM, USA 8. Lorenzo Moralez TX, USA 9.
Maureen Finder AZ, USA 10. Maryann Holmquist
AK, USA 11. Meyira Yadgar ISRAEL 12.
Michael McVey AZ, USA 13. Michelle Thompson
NM, USA 14. Mike Burleigh ENGLAND 15. Mike
Davis AK, USA 16. Patricia Deloney
TX, USA 17. Patti Weeg MD, USA 18.
Raisa Galyas BC, CANADA 19. Sonia Schechtman
BRAZIL 20. Sergio Ramirez COSTA RICA 21. Susan
Bonnett MD, USA 22. Ted a Barone CA,
USA 23. Tim Buckley AK,USA 24. William H.
Reid WA, USA
25. Bea Amaya TX, USA 26. Berrien W.
Smith SC, USA 27. Brenda Moxley AL, USA 28.
Carol Robitschek FL, USA 29. Chris Russel
AUSTRALIA 30. Claudia Estrada GUATEMALA 31.
Curtis Dutiel AZ, USA 32. David Brooks
JAPAN 33. Debbie Hartwig CA, USA 34.
Dolores Choat OK, USA 35. Don Bass
TX, USA 36. Don Jacobs CA, USA 37. Elaine
Winters CA, USA 38. Francois Jarraud
FRANCE 39. Gabriela Sal ARGENTINA 40.
Hannah Sivan ISRAEL 41. James Scott Key NM,
USA 42. Jamie Wilkerson SC, USA 43. Jason Fantz
AK, USA 44. John Pilgrim USA 45.
Judy Doctoroff MAN,CAN 46. Julia Weinberg
NV, USA 47. Karen Carlson CA, USA 48. Kathy
Gustafon MN, USA
The Method
  • letters of introduction
  • online interviews of experts
  • different classes working together on specific

Problem Too many participants. Hard at times to
keep track of who was doing what.
Solution Future projects were limited to 10
participants each.
Second year of Desert Desertification Project
Received 25,000 in support from the Jewish Agency
With this money, created our first computer
network, with web and mail server, connected to
the Internet through frame-relay.
Steering group of project was expanded (in
Israel) to involve English, Environmental Science
and geography teacher from high school, and three
researchers from Ben Gurion University.
The project was limited to 6 other schools from
around the world.
The project was modular in nature.
Early EFL related Projects
  • The Global Novel
  • The Day in the Life
  • A Day in the Life of the News

The Global Novel (Intel)
10 schools participated in the project from
different parts of the world.
Most of the schools were from countries where
English was not the native language, although
there was a school from Australia and one from
the United States.
Students decided on the type of book they wanted
to write together.
Each class writes one chapter in the book. The
class writes the first draft and sends it to the
other classes they read it and offer edits the
class then writes final version of chapter. This
process for each chapter takes about one month.
A modern day version of the Global Novel for
native-English speaking students
For schools in Great Britain (England, Scotland,
Divided into novel groups according to grade
level (classes came from elementary, junior high
and high schools).
Sponsored by the Learning Division of the
Guardian Newspaper (London), but run by me from
A Day in the Life
One of the earliest ideas for an Internet
project, which has gone through many variations
as technology has advanced and offered more
The basic idea is for a student to pair off with
a student in another part of the world. They
research and write a report about a typical day
in the life of each other.
The first version of this project was simply an
exchange of emails between the two students,
asking each other about what they did each day.
Later versions included researching through web
searches, using online forms, etc.
A Day in the Life of the News
On a specific day in the year, students from
around the world will post the headlines and a
brief summary of the major news in their area.
Originally a joint KIDLINK and SNUNIT (Hebrew
University) project.
Includes a number of stages. First the students
learn about the different parts of the newspaper,
etc. After the postings, they compare the way the
news is handled (what are the most important
items in different parts of the world).
A short description of other KIDLINK Projects
  • Antarctic Adventure a dialogue between classes
    and David Hess, who was working in Antarctica.
  • Hooked on Books encourage children to identify
    what makes a book appeal to them and be able to
    share this enthusiasm with members of their own
    classes and students worldwide, encouraging
    others to extend their reading and experiment
    with new authors and genres.
  • Zoopolis - students from India, Pakistan,
    Russia, and other countries share their
    perspective of different animals and birds
    through pictures (drawing and photographs) and
    textual communication.
  • Cheer up Granny and Grandpa! - classes invite
    their grandparents or any older person, to bring
    something to the school from their childhood to
    share with them, such as an old photograph, a
    game they used to play, a song, their favorite
    tale or story and the classes then share
    reports of this activity with each other.
  • The S.S. Central America Shipwreck to Remember
    Project - activities developed to stimulate
    research in all areas of the curriculum, based on
    the history of the sinking of the ship, the
    findings of the Columbus-America Discovery Group,
    and related literary and scientific topics.

And a list of others
  • Math around us
  • Hooked on Books
  • Benni the Bears Travels
  • Hunt for famous explorers
  • I love music
  • Inventions
  • Kidlympics
  • The Landmark game
  • Money around the world
  • My hero and me
  • Yesterday and todays game

Where is English in all of this?
The early pioneers in project-oriented learning
believed in bringing down many walls
Walls which prevented students from communicating
with other students outside of the classroom.
Walls which created stereotypes about people from
other cultures.
Walls which dictated that we can only learn one
specific subject at a time in a designated time
and place for that subject.
Walls which prevented teachers from different
disciplines from working together.
Walls which prevented teachers from creating
parts of their own curriculum.
As such, English came to be perceived, both by
EFL/ESL and teachers of native-English language
speakers as a working language and tool.
Instead of creating projects to fulfill specific
EFL goals we helped create projects that
provided a relevant, interesting and authentic
learning environment, and then channeled much of
our activity in these projects to also meet these
EFL goals.
This is quite different to the traditional
textbook approach, in which first the EFL goal
is identified, and then a unit is written
specifically towards the acquisition of this goal.
This leads us to more ambitious projects, and the
role of the English teacher in these projects.
The 21st Century Schoolhouse
1. USA 2. Brazil 3. Argentina 4. Botswana 5.
Uganda 6. Israel 7. Ramallah 8. India 9.
Kyrgyzstan 10. Australia 11. Japan 12. China
Mission and Goals
Develop thematic interactive curricula based on
subject integration, contextual learning, global
collaboration and the application of technology.
Develop local action, community education and
global collaboration projects and activities
based on selected themes.
Apply The 21st Century Schoolhouse framework to
school-wide improvement plans.
Provide training sessions to educational
institutions worldwide on the application of The
21st Century Schoolhouse framework.
Serve as a central organizational body that
provides guidance, in-kind support and general
curriculum materials to all schools participating
in The 21st Century Schoolhouse.
Bi-annual International Youth Summit
The biennial summit is a week-long conference
that personalizes the global collaboration of
participating 21st Century International
Schoolhouse high schools. Student representatives
from each of the schools meet face-to-face to
form a multinational legislative body. They
research, debate, and craft solutions to selected
issues based on a common theme chosen by the
And now for something completely different.
The New Curriculum
Goals The goal of this new curriculum is to set
standards for four domains of English language
learning social interaction, access to
information, presentation and appreciation of
literature and culture, and language. According
to this curriculum, by the end of twelfth grade,
pupils should be able to
interact effectively in a variety of situations
obtain and make use of information from a variety
of sources and media
present information in an organized manner
appreciate literature and other cultures and the
nature of language
Where do we go from here?
Project-oriented learning in the future
(and the role of the English teacher in the year