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Teachers in WorkshopUsing Wild Ride - Introduction to Project-based Learning

Workshop Goals

  • Develop more focused and personalized visions of technology integration
  • Identify new strategies for technology supported project-based learning
  • Find and adapt classroom-tested materials that support integration of technology
  • Consider new methods to meet technology integration challenges


Intended Audience

  • District in-service day for teachers
  • In-service for instructional leaders (principals, curriculum directors/coordinators, etc.)
  • Pre-service teacher education
  • Summer in-service
  • Technology team meeting

Select Presentation Materials
The following materials can be used to support and enhance your presentation. We provide several options for Internet access, computer projector, or overhead projector.

Check the Facilities and Equipment

Presentation Requirements:

  • Computer (Macintosh or Windows*), with T-1 Internet connection
  • High quality projection (for both video and computer); and VCR
  • Participant Workstations: T-1 Internet connectivity; current browser with plug-ins installed (Adobe Acrobat* reader, QuickTime* 4.0)
  • Connect to Web site;
  • Test projection; adjust display, if needed
  • Cue video; test video projection
  • Check sound and adjust for room size

Participant Workstations:

Suggested Agenda

The agenda that follows briefly outlines sections of a two- to three-hour hands-on workshop. It includes a few helpful pointers and time estimates.

Openers (10-20 minutes)
Following the welcome, introductions, and any get-acquainted activities; review the goals, agenda, and the Wild Ride resources. If workshop time is less than 1� hours, and if participants come from several grade and subject levels, you may need to poll the participants for their preferences on which classroom video to view.

Show the Wild Ride Video (20 minutes)
The video gives a visual overview of a learning project in three classrooms and is intended to introduce the Web site. The video and the Web site are organized into the same segments, which makes the video a good "table of contents" for the extensive Web site materials. Prior to showing the video, prompt teachers with the following:

  • As you view the video, make notes (mental or written) of what interests you: What do you want to know more about? What would you like to have? What would you want to explore further on the Web site?

Discuss Video (10-15 minutes)

  • What did you see that you were interested in?
  • What did you want to know more about?

Demonstrate the Wild Ride Web Site (10-20 minutes)
A quick demonstration of the Web site should focus on introducing a few organization and navigation basics, and not on content. With monitors off, walk participants through a few preliminary features of the Web site:

  • Point out opening page options, such as the Introduction and Ordering links
  • Show the site map (Note: This site map is for organization overview and is not used for navigation)
  • Select Learning that Works, demonstrate some secondary pages and show navigation back using the back button of the browser
  • Demonstrate navigation buttons at the bottom of the main section pages
  • Return to opening page for selecting classrooms and select site map to review at end

Explore the Web Site
Get teachers started by having them type in the complete URL: Depending on time available, structure the hands-on time with pauses for group discussions. It may be helpful to use a prepared handout with questions to prompt discussion. The handout has discussion questions that can be downloaded and modified in a word processor.

Discussion Questions
Some natural breaks and discussion points include:

Review Classroom Context and Description (10-15 minutes)
Encourage participants to start with the contextual information at the orientation page before moving to the project description in Learning that Works. When the majority have moved through this material, pause and discuss:

  • How is this classroom similar to or different from your classroom(s)?
  • What aspects of the project are appropriate for your classroom(s)?
  • What project ideas does this classroom bring to mind?

Review Management and Organization Strategies (10-15 minutes)
The Working Together and Using Workspaces sections contain a lot of material on specific strategies and activities. A discussion of these strategies can generate a lot of variations and new possibilities among a group of teachers.

Pause and discuss strategies:

  • What strategies does this teacher use to keep students organized and managing their group work? What do you use?
  • How are computer and non-computer activities scheduled in this classroom and in your own?
  • How do students rotate or move from activity to activity?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the workspace arrangements in this classroom?
  • How do they compare with those in your own classroom?

Review Monitoring and Assessment Practices (10-15 minutes)
The Assessing Learning section contains many student work samples, scoring guides, and a description of assessment for the project. After reviewing the materials, pause and discuss:

  • Extended projects often result in a culminating performance assessment; what kinds of performance assessment do your students do?
  • How do you assess final projects?
  • In what ways are the scoring guides and student monitoring tools useful for projects you do, or may do in the future?
  • In what ways has technology supported student learning?

Review of school support (10-15 minutes)
The final section, Supporting Success, addresses school leadership and structure that supports classroom use of technology.

  • In your school, what structures are in place that support your use of technology?
  • What has helped you the most?
  • What support would you like to have?

Wrap Up

  • Explain how to access the resource: the video is available in the� (library, etc.)
  • Show the Self-Directed Learning page
  • Announce any upcoming in-depth opportunities to learn more from It's A Wild Ride
  • Additional free copies of the video are available: order video

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