Customized Technology Staff Development:
Teaching Teachers to Use Technology through Student Projects
Collaboration between Foothill College Center for Innovation and the San Francisco 49ers Academy, Ravenswood School District, East Palo
Linda K. Taber Ullah, M.Ed
Teacher in Residence
Foothill College Center for Innovation, Los Altos Hills, CA
Front End Analysis
OTHER EDUCATOR INFORMATION
Front End Analysis
Designing Technology Staff Development through the Foothill Hill College LINC Program for the San Francisco 49ers Academy in the Ravenswood School District (East Palo Alto)
EDIT 226 Foothill Cohort
1. Problem Statement:
a) The schools computer lab is underused
The San Francisco 49ers Academy is a public school for students in grades six through eight who are identified as "at-risk" of dropping out of school. The school opened its doors in 1996. The role of the Academy is to provide students with a personalized educational setting, as well as offer health and human services to the students and their families in a nurturing environment. Since 1996, when the school was created, the 49ers Foundation has given the academy $30,000 annually, as well as small gifts, such as candy at Halloween or gift certificates at Christmas. The students wear school uniforms with 49ers logos and sometimes get to watch the team practice if they behave. (Fernandez, 1999)
Although the 49er Academy bear the football team's name, the school is run by the Ravenswood School District. The Ravenswood School Board receives supplemental private money from a variety of foundations and social service agencies. (Fernandez) The schools philosophy is, "Programs don't change kids
relationships do." The 49ers Academy is a joint effort of Communities In Schools, Inc., the San Francisco 49ers Football Team, Costco Wholesale, the Ravenswood School District, and its board of directors. (http://www.49ers-academy.org/whoweare.htm) The school is designed to offer an alternative educational environment to students who have not been successful in the traditional school setting. Each student develops a one-on-one relationships with adults at the school and the social, health and human services they need to stay in school are available through partnerships with existing community resources. This is done through small teams of providers who form one-on-one relationships with students and work alongside teachers. This includes volunteers and mentors. The school is designed to help young people learn, stay in school, and become better prepared for life.
The San Francisco 49ers Academy in Ravenswood School District in East Palo Alto provides small classes, individual attention and mentoring for sixth through eighth grade students with discipline problems or academic struggles. Boys and girls are taught separately. (Palo Alto Online, 1997) Most of the students are African-American, Latino or Samoan. The average class size is sixteen students. Regular classroom hours are 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. There is an after school program from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. five days a week. This program allows students to choose activities based upon interest in six-week blocks. About half of the students at this school come from the neighborhood where the school is located.
In a meeting with Vera (Williams) in the Ravenswood District Office to explrore setting up Foothill College LINC (Learning in New Media Classrooms) technology staff development classes for the Ravenswood Elementary School District she asked if we could work with their San Francisco 49er Academy. According to her the schools six teachers are somewhat tech savvy, but have no tech support from the district. Phil Duncan, the schools principal is eager for both students and teachers to have the opportunity to use the schools PC lab in a meaningful way that ties California Content Standards with student interests and learning needs.
Based on the above information The San Francisco 49er Academy has the following immediate technology training/integration needs:
3. Learner Analysis
Four percent of students scored above the national average in reading, and twelve percent scored above the national average in math on the 2001 SAT9. (Smart Schools, 2001) These scores indicate that the students' basic skills are well below average in reading and math compared to students across the country. Forty three per cent for the students are African American, forty-four percent are Hispanic, eleven percent are Pacific Islander, and one percent are White. (Smart Schools)
The school has six teachers. Half of those teachers are new to the 49er Academy this year. The academys teachers have an average of 10 years experience, compared to the state average of 13 years. Seventy-eight percent of the academys teachers are fully credentialed. Twenty-two percent of the teachers are on emergency credentials or waivers. There are no pre-Intern or Interns at the school (Smart Schools) According to Vera Clark in the Ravenswood District Office the teachers are all somewhat computer proficient, but lack the training to be able to integrate the technology effectively into the classroom . Both Vera Clara and the principal, Phil Duncan indicated they perceived the need to train teachers and students to use the PC's
The school has a ratio of four students per computer, compared to a statewide average of 6.7 students per computer. All classrooms are connected to the Internet. The school has a Dell lab in recessed desks. The lab computers have Microsoft Office, a mouse program and a web browser.
Both Vera Clara and the principal, Phil Duncan indicated they perceived the need to train teachers and students to use the PC's. In terms of digital divide issues research shows that Afro-American and Latino students have much less access to technology than their White counterparts. According to an One study found that while more than half of all middle-class families had access to the Internet, the number of poor families with access was fewer than one in five. (Potter, 1999) Consequently there is a need to assure that all staff know how to effectively integrate technology with the curriculum. Digital divide issues make it critical that all 49er Academy students have high quality opportunities to learn to use technology in a real world, curriculum based context.
4. Project Overview
5. Recommended Solution:
a. Groups of teachers and students will participate in a series of six-week Foothill College LINC (Learning in New Media Classrooms) courses.
i. Classes will meet during the schools after school program in the PC lab at the San Francisco 49ers Academy on Thursday afternoons from 3:00- 5:00 p.m.
ii. Students will be expected to come to the class prepared
1. Some research will need to take place outside of this class during the school day and on students own time.
2. Class time will be used for project creation.
iii. Teachers and sixth through eighth grade students will each earn one unit of credit for each class taken
3. Teachers can use their units to move up on the districts salary schedule
4. Sixth through eighth grade students will be able to use these units on their college applications when they apply to college after high school graduation
iv. The schools principal and teachers will determine which students and teachers will participate in each class.
v. A combination of 18 students and teachers will participate in each course
vi. Linda Ullah will teach the first six-week course. During the first six weeks she will continually assess the success of the course and will adjust and improve the course. She will then train another LINC instructor during the second six week course to teach the rest of the six week courses at the 49er Academy
vii. Each course will be 12 hours in length and carry one quarter unit of credit.
v iii. Students and their teachers will learn to use the applications on the PCs in the schools PC lab in the context of creating a curriculum based, real-world project.
b. Goals, Objectives and Assessment
Over all assessment of the LINC classes will include:
1. Survey of students and teachers taking the classes
See the following chart:
Learning Goals Measurable Objectives Assessment
Note: Assessment is ongoing (formative), and adjustments are continually being made to meet the needs of the students and teachers in order to improve the quality of the projects and the learning process.
6. Project Format