Thursday, June 25, 2009

21st Century Labs Vol. 3

As the summer progresses, and the labs become closer to being ready for student use... many questions seem to arise...

1) Regardless of the budget, is there a particular classroom design that has just proven most successful (in other districts)?

2) Is it just the "stuff" that makes the 21st Century Lab design "work"? Or, does the physical "layout" of the room make the most difference?

3) Does the redesign or newly designed lab increase morale and overall teacher attitude towards technology?

Where are we at with the particular schools I am following closely? All of the labs are currently waiting on the furniture and the "stuff" - whiteboards, document cameras, etc. etc.

These 21st century lab posts seem to be serving as a great foundation for the final project... the questions I ponder are questions I will answer in my research. The completed research will be in the form of a wiki which will basically showcase specific focus areas of 21st century lab designs in classrooms today. Wiki address forthcoming... stay tuned.

Standard Course of Study... in an instant!

The NC Standard Course of Study should always be in the forefront of your mind. Always. But, here in the 21st Century, what can you do to immediately blend the SCOS with technology? Lots!

Check out these resources that align the NCSCOS with technological skills that are sure to engage your students instantly. Key word? Instantly.


What IS netTrekker? As defined by netTrekker, an online application that delivers digital content, organized by grade and reading level all aligned with the SCOS. Differentiated instruction tools are the key!

Watch a video about netTrekker from our very own Project Manager for Instructional Technology, Marlo Gaddis. Watch another video explaining netTrekker in comparison to Google. (This video is from a teacher’s perspective)

Curriculum Pathways

What IS Curriculum Pathways? As defined by SAS, Curriculum Pathways is an online resource for students and teachers. SAS Curriculum Pathways provides standards-based content in all the core disciplines, covering grades 8-14.

Watch an introduction video for Curriculum Pathways and get a great overview of what to expect when you log in.


What IS Learn360? Streaming media that covers content from all areas of the K-12 curriculum. Example video resources are provided for teacher/student use from PBS, National Geographic, Standard Deviants, Slim Goodbody, and Sunburst Visual Media™, just to name a few.

Watch the demo for Learn360

Simply need access to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study Online? Take a look at these two sites.

Only need access to a copy to print?


What is the goal in producing a technology rich curriculum?


A learning yet interactive experience in which your students gain core knowledge, insight, new perspectives and new technological skills.

As you begin looking towards a brand new academic year… include netTrekker, Curriculum Pathways and Learn360 in your lesson plans! A learning yet interactive experience in which your students gain core knowledge, insight, new perspectives and new technological skills is sure to follow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meet Mr. Marzano

Speaker. Trainer. Author of 30 books. Writer of 150 articles. Educator.

In education, there are constantly terms thrown around like Marzano’s Instructional Strategies and Marzano’s Standards.

Who exactly is Marzano? Internationally known, Dr. Robert J. Marzano, has made it his mission to study, research and impact our educational society today. He has done dozens of research projects, carefully studying the outcomes of instructional strategies today. His research is known as practical, applicable – and classroom changing.

What does he believe should happen in every classroom and in every district? Simply put? Three things (or commitments, as he refers to them):

- Commitment 1: Develop a System of Individual Student Feedback at the District, School, and Classroom Levels.

- Commitment 2: Ensure Effective Teaching in Every Classroom.

- Commitment 3: Build Background Knowledge for All Students.

Want a closer look? Check out the following…

Monday, June 8, 2009

21st Century Lab: New Directions

Questions to ponder for this week? There are several as I jump into my research for effective, efficient, productive and successful 21st century lab designs....

1)How big of a role does budget actually play?
2)How long does it take, realistically, in planning a 21st century lab overhaul?
3)Do 21st century lab designs reflect general and overall interior design thought-processes?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

21st Century Labs VOL. 1

Beginning today, I will begin to write various posts as I delve into my research and study of 21st Century lab design for my internship.

Professional Development Goals:
- Determine how layout and design of 21st Century labs impacts learning
- Determine types of technology needed for successfully outfitting modern-day labs
- Determine how different types of classroom/lab environments impact learning today

Proposed Outcomes:
- Research can provide direction for proposals within current labs that are being revitalized or newly constructed
- Research can provide insight for schools considering no cost and/or cost-effective room revisions/updates

Overall, I plan to use three-four schools that are within our district whom have already identified necessary changes and/or upgrades to their existing or new construction computer labs. Based on the space requirements, budget and goals of the school, I hope to do research that gains/gives a better understanding of direction(s) these schools can move toward. 
I believe it is very interesting, impacting and substantive to look at how actual environments change the atmosphere of a space. I want to carry this interest into an educational sector by looking at lab design and the possible effects it has on student achievement.
Within two of the spaces, I want to provide (theoretical) no cost and/or cost-effective ways that technology can be maximized in each space - solely dependent upon the individual schools' needs.

With the use of this blog, a wiki for my research and a final presentation, my internship will prove to be a mixture of documenting the progress/process within our district along with "theory" based on my personal research.

What Exactly ARE 21st Century Skills?

We read about it. We hear about it. The Senate has a bill that supports it. But, what exactly ARE 21st Century Skills?

Incorporating the following into the curriculum delivers 21st Century Skills…








· ICT (Information, Communications and Technology) LITERACY







To find a full explanation of this framework, take a look at this student outcomes white paper online. Visual Learner? Watch this short video which gives a great, generic overview of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and how/where to find additional information on their site.

It is great to know our government is on board with education reform and looking ahead to provide adequate support to our classrooms. As quoted in, Shelley Pasnik, director of the Education Development Center's Center for Children and Technology states "The purpose of the 21st Skills Incentive Funds Act is to offer competitive grants from the Department of Education for states willing to invest in education reform. She sums up the senate’s support well. Be sure to take a look at the actual bill as posted by the Library of Congress.

Want more in-depth information? Check out this .pdf from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.