ARCHIVES ON-LINE

SEARCH THE COLLECTION
For information on all members of the Collection, search by Category, Company Name, Nominating Company, Application, Country or Keywords according to your area of interest.

Painting Pictures for Practitioners through Partnerships
Red Hill Elementary
North Garden, VA
USA

Year: 2001
Status: Laureate
Category: Education & Academia
Nominating Company: Apple Computer, Inc

Collaboration between technology-savvy master teachers and university specialists formulates resources to help all teachers use technology more aggressively.
Teachers in Albemarle County and students attending the University of Virginia’s Curry
School of Education are involved in a long term partnership that has resulted in
preservice and inservice teachers collaborating to share knowledge and create projects
together. These projects span all grade levels and all subject areas. In this attempt to
showcase the development and work of these many professionals, I represent but one of
the teachers who have benefited from and given to this endeavor. The partnership is
between the school system and the university—not between a single school, or even
between individuals— although that is where we have found that the truly powerful
teaching and learning events take place. As a learner, as a teacher, as both a mentor
and one who has been mentored, I showcase events that have happened over a number
of years. The work done through these years clearly demonstrates the value and merit of
a long-term commitment to "painting pictures" of educational excellence through
partnerships between a public school system and a university.
BENEFITS
Albemarle County Public Schools and the University of Virginia’s Curry School of
Education are engaged in a number of long-term projects designed to provide
opportunities for preservice and inservice teachers to collaborate as partners in building
and sharing best practices related to the integration of technology into instruction.
Oftentimes, a central component of these projects is a partnership formed by pairing a
teacher education student with an inservice teacher who has an interest in educational
technologies and who is willing to make a personal commitment to a joint collaboration.
These partnerships go well beyond traditional university/public school placements in
meeting the following goals:
*providing inservice teachers with an opportunity to explore instructional applications of
educational technologies in a supportive environment,
*providing preservice teachers in-depth experience with the use of educational
technologies in classroom settings, and;
*developing positive relationships between local public schools and the university.

The partnership projects between Albemarle County Public Schools and the University of
Virginia’s Curry School of Education address the needs of all parties involved by
establishing a means by which preservice and inservice teachers obtain the skills and
experiences necessary to effectively utilize technology for content-rich instruction.
Preservice teachers who participate in these projects benefit from the opportunity to
examine and implement instructional technologies within the context of classroom
practice while inservice teachers receive the collaborative support to identify ways to
integrate technology into their curriculum. Preservice students sometimes take on the
role of "technology mentor," working with their inservice partners to strengthen basic
technology skills. In many cases, the basic skills associated with the use of technology
are not at issue nearly as much as the integration of teaching with technology and
teaching about technology in to the "already full" content curriculum.

Inservice and preservice teachers work cooperatively to provide a number of
opportunities for experienced teachers to work with pre-service teachers in tackling
technology integration issues. These projects have been instrumental in encouraging
technology integration and "painting pictures" of what the appropriate use of technology
looks like in a classroom. Products from these projects have resulted in numerous
articles in professional journals, several "best practices" studies, dozens of presentations
at state and national conferences, award-winning student projects and a multitude of
materials produced for both student and teacher use in classrooms.

Specific collaborative activities, which will be explained in more detail, include:
*Technology Infusion Project (TIP) – field placements for pre-service teachers specifically
to produce and field test technology-rich lessons (K-12)
*Technology Across the Curriculum (TAC) – development of examples-based modules to
teach the basic tools of technology and show how they enhance the core content
curriculum (K-5)
*TIP-TAC-TWO - advanced study opportunities for technology-using teachers (K-12)
*Using Digital Archives in the Classroom – secondary social studies methods students
worked collaboratively with master teachers to develop specific web-based materials
utilizing primary sources available via the web (4-12)

These projects will be more fully explained in the "success" area of this case study.
IMPORTANCE

In 1995 the Virginia Board of Education asked the Virginia Advisory Board on Teacher
Education and Licensure (ABTEL) to develop educational technology standards for
teachers. The charge to ABTEL included both preservice and inservice teacher
education. An educational technology committee developed a set of eight educational
technology standards for teacher licensure, with examples of competencies for each
standard. The resulting Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel were adopted
by the Virginia Board of Education in Summer 1996, providing a framework for
preservice and inservice teacher preparation in the state of Virginia. (http://
www.pen.k12.va.us/vdoe/compliance/teachered/tech.html)

In addition to the Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel, the impetus to
develop effective models for educational technology training is being driven by several
factors in Virginia. These factors include substantial amounts of equipment funded by
the state that will be and have been provided to K-12 schools and inclusion of
technology related objectives in Virginia's revised Standards of Learning (SOL) for
students. (http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/instruction/SOL.html)

The partnerships between the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and
Albemarle County have evolved over the years, and have been varied; yet they maintain
a high level of integrity that speaks to the recognized need and desire for increased use
of technology for content teaching, learning, understanding and application.

Much research has been done regarding effective staff development and teacher training
in the area of Instructional Technology. One of our collaborative grants was based on
the notion that "To use these {technology} tools well, teachers need visions of the
technologies’ potential, opportunities to apply them, training and just-in-time support, and
time to experiment." This "contextual staff development model" not only supports the
need for technology training for teachers; it also supports the need for staff development
and additional resources for improving content instruction. The individual partnerships
are formed by pairing teacher education students (enrolled in content or general
methods courses or specific courses related to the integration of technology into
instruction) with selected master teachers who make a personal and professional
commitment to this joint collaboration. These projects are devoted specifically to
enriching and expanding efforts to integrate technology into all instructional areas as a
tool for teaching and learning. In short, our projects engage teachers in (pseudo-) action
research as they attempt to find ways in which technology tools can support student
attitudes and abilities in various content areas.

The benefits of collaborative partnerships versus traditional field placements include:
* preservice teachers become more engaged in collaborative curriculum development
projects with a practicing teacher
* preservice teachers are able to implement a lesson they developed by co-teaching in a
safe and supportive environment with an expert teacher
* preservice and inservice teachers are able to apply many of the basic technology skills
in context, often establishing their own, joint plan to increase these skills
*preservice and inservice teachers work in partnership to establish a picture of what
technology integration looks like in developing their shared understanding of best
practices

For these reasons, our model has proven to be among the most effective of its kind.

This partnership is important to promoting the use of information technology for yet
another reason: Albemarle County Public Schools views this partnership as an
investment in its future teacher pool. Many who participate in the Albemarle/Curry
partner programs as preservice teachers return as County employees, participating as
inservice teachers. It is important in this era of teacher shortages and ever increasing
student needs to provide the best foundation possible to our preservice teachers.
Effective K-12 and university collaborations can facilitate putting research in to practice
while also providing additional resources in the forms of personnel, materials and
support for projects that meet both local school division and university needs.
ORIGINALITY
With computer/technology skill and knowledge standards for students, preservice
teachers and inservice teachers in place, Virginia has established a firm framework of
what all of her citizens should know about and be able to do with technology.
Establishing the standards is the easy part, though. Hardware, software and network
infrastructure must be purchased, installed and supported. The content curriculum must
be revised to reflect technology integration and our teachers must possess basic
computer skills as well as the ability to use and facilitate student use of technology within
the context of teaching and learning. With the convergence of the Computer/Technology
Standards of Learning, the Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel, state and
local funding for hardware, software and infrastructure, our school division was uniquely
positioned to "take off" given the other pieces of the puzzle converging as well. Our
partnerships with the Curry School have helped us fit those "hardware, software, people-
ware and curriculum-where" pieces of the puzzle together nicely. The positive
interdependence between Albemarle County Public Schools and the Curry School of
Education has been enhanced by the current conditions present in the state of Virginia.
Technology and the requirements and resources set forth by the state have provided an
impetus to improve the education of all students, teachers and preservice educators.

In looking for examples of effective uses of technology to support student learning, we
have found many applications that support "student achievement" as measured by
standardized test scores over short periods of time. When you look for examples that
focus on student learning through sustained engagement (problem based learning with
technology), examples have been scarce. Our partnerships with the Curry School have
helped up establish some of those examples while avoiding the "plug them in" or "skill
and drill" software trap. As Seymour Papert, professor at MIT and developer of the Logo
programming language once said, "(We) would rather see children programming
computers than the other way around." This is a vision and a commitment shared by
both Albemarle County educators and our counterparts at the Curry School of Education.
As partners, Albemarle County Public Schools and the Curry School of Education have
tackled "the standards" at all levels from multiple perspectives in ways that we believe
are in the best interest of our students, teachers and future teachers.

Several measures are in place to ensure that the goals and needs of both Albemarle
County Public Schools and the Curry School of Education are met. Projects are planned
collaboratively and input is solicited from all of the partnership’s stakeholders. Planning
meetings regarding Curry’s own curriculum and instructional programs are attended by
Albemarle County educators who serve as an advisory to what school divisions want in
and need from its new teachers. Grant applications are co-authored between the two
entities. The syllabus of the course that provides students for the Technology Infusion
Project (TIP) program is reviewed annually, ensuring that applications, strategies and
content are aligned between what is being taught at the university and what is being
implemented within the school division.

Technical staff from Albemarle County Public Schools and the Curry School of Education
meet several times a year to share strategies, configurations and newly purchased
hardware and software. Regular consultation occurs between technical staff as new
needs emerge and solutions are sought. There is an agreement in place that permits
either partner to use facilities owned and supported by the other when necessary. Each
partner takes advantage of this agreement several times a year.

As our partnership strengthens, so does others’ interest in it. Last year, I participated in a
class session held simultaneously at the Curry School and at a college of teacher
education in another state. Two of my colleagues from the school division and I, along
with one of our Curry partners, conducted a videoconference to teach a class session of
a "technology and methods" course. This college had, based on recommendations
made by NCATE, attempted to replicate our program and had met with more challenges
that successes. As we listened to the professor and students at the other site talk about
their experiences, it became even more apparent that our partnership is unique in its
commitment to shared vision and common goals between the parties involved.

The following quotation is from the NCATE Briefing Materials at the 1996
White House Conference on Technology and Teaching:
"The Albemarle/Curry partnership is an exemplary technology training program cited by
the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher
Education (NCATE) as a model for other institutions to follow.
Practicing teachers serve as consultants to future teachers while
remaining at the technological forefront themselves."
SUCCESS

As stated in the beginning, I represent but one voice of the many inservice and
preservice teachers who have benefited from these partnerships. The most effective way
for me to share those successes is to share personal vignettes of the power of our work.
Any of these dozens of practicing teachers and hundreds of inservice people who have
participated could do the same. . .as could the thousands of children who could talk
about the impact "the UVA student" had on their computer use in the classroom.

*TIP Placements (Technology Infusion Project)
Details: Between 20-30 UVA TIP students are placed yearly in Albemarle County
classrooms. Some TIP students come to the placement with an array of technology skills
but no idea how to use technology to enhance content instruction. Some students come
to the placement as they are just obtaining technology skills themselves. These TIP
students share technology knowledge with the classroom teacher and together they
develop technology rich lessons to carry out with the students. New master teachers are
identified yearly as well through an application process.

The Technology Infusion Project (TIP), has been cited by the National Council for
Accreditation of Teacher Education as a model also for "aligning technology practices in
the schools and the university" (NCATE, Technology and the new professional teacher:
Preparing for the 21st century classroom, 1997).

Personal Vignette: As I have participated in TIP throughout the years, I have been both a
learner and a teacher. TIP students have come into my classroom and taught me new
uses of technology as they worked with my students and helped them become more
skilled in working with students through my skill as a master teacher. Powerful learning
occurred when I received HollyLynne Stohl Drier, as a TIP student. Holly was, at the
time, a doctoral student in mathematics who had substantial experience at the secondary
level, but none at the elementary level. Holly came into my first grade classroom
nervous about working with young children, yet open to the experience. Together we
designed learning activities that involved these 21 six and seven year olds in thinking
about probability. She brought in computer programs she had found which generated
random rolls of dice, and I taught her how to adapt record keeping for beginning readers
and writers as they rolled real dice. We posed questions together—she, with her
mathematical background, supporting and extending my abilities to pose thinking
questions for early childhood students, me supporting her use of language to make the
mathematical questions understandable to young ones. Through this experience, we
both learned much about ourselves and the thinking young children intuitively did when
given opportunities to think aloud and respond to thoughtful and thought-provoking
questions that were mathematically sound and challenging. We designed learning
games, and she became interested in finding—or creating—a program that allowed us to
teach all that we wanted to teach using both dominoes and dice.

Holly walked away from this experience with a desire to probe further into the thinking
young children do about probability—and a desire to continue to learn about elementary
students. The next school year I taught third grade—and Holly volunteered in my room
the entire year, continuing her support of my mathematical teaching and extending her
probing into children’s thinking. The pairing was incredible—both of us had similar
philosophies of teaching and learning, believing in the competence of children, yet
challenging them through problem solving situations. Both valued thinking aloud and
sharing strategies for mathematical problem solving. Holly began custom programming
an application that would allow us to teach probability the way that we wanted to teach it.
We truly began "painting our own picture" of what technology integration looked like as
we developed our activities and collaborated throughout the year. The value of this
collaboration cannot be estimated. It was one of the most meaningful and effective
learning experiences of my life, and also of Holly’s.

The power of the TIP program and the partnerships it encouraged show clearly as, in the
acknowledgement section of her dissertation, Holly wrote,
"Appreciation is extended to Glen Bull, who intuitively knew that great things would
transpire when he paired me with Paula White for the Technology Infusion Project. My
experiences with Paula and her elementary students sparked my interest in children's
probabilistic reasoning and the incredible mathematical thinking that was possible when
young children were engaged with meaningful computer activities.
Thank you to Paula and Maria Timmerman for inspiring my work with
children, and many thanks to Glen for inspiring me to develop a computer
microworld that would fulfill my teaching, learning, and research goals. "

Furthermore, Holly has published two articles that relate to our TIP partnership and our
additional collaboration during the next school year in third grade. These articles can be
found at:

Drier, H. S. (1999). Do vampires exist? Using spreadsheets to investigate a common
folktale. Learning and Leading with Technology 27(1), 22-25.

Drier, H. S. (2000). Investigating mathematics as a community of learners. Teaching
Children Mathematics 6(6), 358-363.

Holly’s dissertation dealt with probabilistic thinking of young children-inspired by our
collaboration through TIP. It can be found at http://www4.ncsu.edu/~hsdrier/
dissertation.html

Also, Holly and I presented at the 1997 Virginia Society for Technology in Education
(VSTE) conference and our web page from that conference can be found here:
http://k12.albemarle.org/MurrayElem/white/math/math.shtml


TAC (Technology Across the Curriculum)
Details: The TAC course was a collaborative project designed specifically to help
teachers fulfill Virginia’s Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel (TSIP). This 3
hour graduate level class was taught in the Albemarle County schools—at four different
Apple Macintosh labs, at four different times over a years’ time period, to accommodate
as many teachers as possible. Seventy teachers from Albemarle, our neighboring
school system, Charlottesville City, and several private schools in the area were trained
in this collaborative course. In the initial proposal, Dr, Glen Bull, professor at the Curry
School of Education, stated "Materials for the course will be developed by four teams,
with teams consisting of:
* teachers from Albemarle County and Charlottesville school systems, and
a faculty member and a graduate student from the Curry School of Education.

This school-university alliance offers the potential for connecting technology to current
knowledge of the disciplines taught by the teachers,
and connecting teachers with resource faculty who are expert in their field and in the
application of technology to teaching."

Graduate students and master teachers taught the course, using the materials developed
by the original teams. I was both a developer and a course teacher. The course was
designed to accommodate both the teaching of the tools of technology (word processing,
draw/paint applications, databases, spreadsheet, multimedia programs and Internet
usage) as well as the integration piece—which was taught by graduate students within
each content area. Thus, the tie between using technology to learn and learning to use
technology was blended so that teachers could do both in one 3-hour class.

The courses were deliberately taught in Apple labs, because the materials were
produced to be cross platform and using Apple computers made it easy to port files
across platforms. Teachers who usually worked on other types of computers found it
easy to save and retrieve their files and experienced little difficulty in learning to use the
Apple computers.

Personal Vignette:
My principal encouraged our entire faculty to take this TAC class and he took it himself.
Eight of our 12 classroom teachers took the challenge he set us, and four of our resource
teachers did also. The shared learning experience carried over into many activities done
at school, and increased sharing and collaboration was seen throughout the building.
Presentation systems in classrooms began to be more frequently used as a result of the
modeling occurring in the TAC class, and projects became more collaboratively
developed between classroom teachers and our technology lab teacher.
My principal and I co-presented at our state Educational Technology Leadership
Conference in December, 1999 on evaluating teacher use of technology. Our web page
from that presentation can be found at http://k12.albemarle.org/murrayelem/principal/
doe99. We used a variety of research results to help others learn about evaluating
teacher use of technology, but we centered on that from the Apple Classrooms of
Tomorrow (ACOT) study, a longitudinal study with easily readable and understandable
results. As a result of our sharing the TAC learning experience, our faculty wrote and
received a local training grant for a new lab, consisting of 20 Apple G3 computers that
would allow us to use the skills we had learned during the TAC class to impact our
instruction.

TIP-TAC-TWO
In this advanced class for people who had previously participated in either TIP or TAC,
we studied the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) research to help us determine
individually where we were in the continuum of technology use in an effort to help us
design our own individual program of growth. While there were four instructors (of which
I was one), the instructors were also participants in the course. Participants attended a
required number of classes in addition to optional classes that were offered from a menu
of choices initiated and designed by the course participants themselves. Each class
member then completed a project and all attended the VSTE state conference in March
of 2000.

Personal Vignette: As presentations chairperson for our Virginia Society for Technology
in Education state conference, I was delighted to accept a number of proposals from the
TIP-TAC-TWO group. The TIP-TAC-TWO teachers then conducted our first Albemarle
County Technology Exposition on October 18, 2000. Comments from the attendees at
this exposition included a desire to have this kind of inservice and sharing occur
regularly. A principal from our county later wrote a letter of thanks to both the Director
and Assistant Director of School Technology, citing these features:’
*The level of expertise of the teacher presenters was outstanding. These presenters
obviously are doing exceptional work in their classrooms. They are using technology in a
way that makes sense for kids.
*I also appreciated the opportunity for them to present their ideas/products in a forum that
was positive and open. You could tell that some of them were nervous, but their
presentations were outstanding. It was a wonderful opportunity for them to grow as
professionals.

Thank you for providing us with an opportunity to learn from our colleagues in a
congenial and open forum."

Using Digital Archives in the Classroom
Details:
Yet another collaborative activity was done during the 1999-2000 school year. In this
collaboration between Albemarle and Curry, secondary social studies methods students
worked to help master teachers incorporate primary source material found on the web
into class lessons. This collaboration was a definite outgrowth of the TIP program with
an attempt to infuse technology into the classroom, while focusing on a specific content
area.

Personal Vignette:
I had a student, Rob Dent, assigned to me who was again, a secondary student who had
little experience with elementary students. Rob and I decided to fill a void in our local
fourth grade Virginia textbook and address the westward expansion of the late 1700s
and early 1800s, between the time of the Revolutionary War up to the Civil War. We
decided to split the students into groups called "wagon trains" and use primary source
material to create a WebQuest based on a popular television show. Our WebQuest is
called "Who Wants to Be A Pioneer?" and can be found at http://k12.albemarle.org/
murrayelem/white/frontier/home.html .

Rob taught me so much--not only about using primary sources, but also he was clearly a
content specialist—he could answer my questions about that time period in history, and
he was able to define certain groups we could study. He demonstrated the organization
of a structure that would allow students to peruse the primary source material we found
with only limited adult assistance. The structure not only defined the sites and the
primary source material, but also included guiding questions that were invaluable to both
the students and the adults working with them. (See the examples on this site from the
African American wagon train for one of his pages.) I followed his lead, but was
obviously learning, and he supported my learning throughout the development of the
WebQuest. While I was learning how to use primary sources with 9 and 10 year olds, he
was learning other things. When I asked Rob, who is now a teacher in one of our middle
schools, to write a note about our collaboration, here are his words:
"What the digital history collaboration did for me . . . the biggest benefit I received from it
was being able to see you both develop a lesson and teach it with the students. I
learned a lot from your creativity--especially with finding a way to present the content and
make it come alive to the kids.
I benefited from seeing how you manage students working digitally--it was evident that a
lot of background "scaffolding" had been built by the time we worked together, and I saw
lots of different ways you use technology with the students: word processing, graphics,
Internet searching and researching . . .
Although I was supposed to be the technologically inclined partner in this arrangement, I
am sure that I really learned more about the practicality of using technology in the
classroom from you than vice versa. During our early conversations and my
observations, I got to see an excellent example firsthand of technology used not for its
own sake but to enhance the learning experience for the students, and then I got to
practice this in creating the project with you.
So, to sum up, the main benefits to me were: (1) seeing a model of excellent
constructivist teaching and integration of technology into social studies instruction and
then (2) having an opportunity to put both of these into practice alongside an
experienced teacher."

Future:
The Albemarle/Curry partnerships continue to encourage growth, collaboration and
integrated technology use in both teaching and learning. We have just been notified of
our county receiving another Technology Literacy Challenge Fund grant. Through this
grant, we will train teams of teachers from a school to become technology trainers for
schools within their attendance feeder patterns. Our teachers participated in a survey
(http://k12.albemarle.org/surveys/technology.html) that established that teachers really
needed more of the techniques the Curry/Albemarle partnerships promotes—training in
the building, with the equipment the teacher will be using, with local materials available
and at hand to create the technology work and/or projects. So, teams of teachers will be
trained and then return to their buildings to train and support their faculty’s growth.
Basing this grant on the shared learning of school faculties who attended TAC together,
we believe the strength of involving whole faculties through their designated teams will
facilitate the growth to occur even more positively and more comprehensively than in
individual training. The training syllabus in this latest venture will be based on helping
teachers achieve the VA State TSIP standards.

We are also in the planning stages for providing an optional technology-based
placement in 100% of the required Curry courses that contain a field placement
component. The benefits of placing students in schools in placements that allow them to
observe master teachers integrating technology, and to perhaps try out some of the
techniques they are learning related to connecting technology and content is a powerful
learning opportunity valued by both partners. It provides a kind of lab school situation for
the Curry students while providing support for both the preservice and inservice
teachers.

There is also another grant right now involving the Curry science department and our
schools, creating materials with the Intel Digital microscope. Quoting from the grant
description, we see "The Digital Microscope Initiative is designed to identify and develop
educational uses that are closely linked to the K-12 curriculum goals and practice. The
foundation of the project rests upon identification of selected Technology Transfer
Classrooms that will provide a natural venue for collaboration between teacher
educators and practicing teachers. This will facilitate design and development of
instructional activities that can be evaluated in actual K-12 classrooms.

The project is anchored by a Technology Transfer Design Team in the Center for
Technology and Teacher Education within the Curry School of Education at the
University of Virginia. Randy Bell, a professor of technology and science education, and
Glen Bull, a professor of instructional technology, are co-directors of the initiative. The
Curry School development team also includes two science education graduate students,
four instructional technology graduate students, and three elementary education majors.
Participating schools include Hollymead Elementary School and Red Hill Elementary
School in the Albemarle School Division.

Technology innovations like the QX3 computer microscope have great potential to help
educators achieve the vision of current science education reforms. However, research
and experience have clearly demonstrated that such innovations in themselves are
unlikely to produce desired improvements in science teaching and learning. To be
successful, new technologies must be accompanied by curricular and technical support
for teachers as they work to integrate the innovations into their classroom instruction. The
Intel Digital Microscope Initiative couples this kind of support with an exciting new
educational tool. Together, these factors have great potential to improve both science
instruction and our understanding of the factors that facilitate and constrain the infusion
of new technologies in science instruction."

Thus, ongoing research and practice continue to evolve in the rich partnership between
the Albemarle County School System and the Curry School of Education at the University
of Virginia.

DIFFICULTY

As with any school division, Albemarle County Public Schools is faced with competing
priorities with limited resources to apply to them. As one of the first "fully wired" school
divisions in Virginia, we were faced with the "now what?" dilemma. With the support of
the Curry School students and staff, a number of school web sites and teacher "class
pages" were developed and published to Virginia’s Public Education Network (Virginia’s
PEN). As the web has grown, so have our challenges. The projects that result from
partnerships now, some seven years after our first school was connected to the Internet,
focus on making information more accessible to students in content-rich ways while
building teacher-friendly digital "curriculum kits."

These curriculum kits, unlike those of years before, tie directly into our state standards of
learning. Some have been recognized nationally (see my Dr. Seuss page at (http://
k12.albemarle.org/murrayelem/white/Seuss/home.shtml). As the teacher grows and
learns and TIP students with differing areas of expertise and knowledge weave in and
out of classrooms, teachers demonstrate lifelong learning attributes by continuing to
improve and change projects they have created. (See Janelle Catlett’s habitat project at
http://monticello.avenue.org/Community/Environ/EnvironEdCenter/habitat/CALE/
CATLETT/page1.html).

Our TIP projects are typically put up on the Curry site, and many have been removed as
the student graduated, so one of our challenges is to simply maintain and organize the
wealth of resources we have created. Not only do we have the projects housed at UVA,
but also our school system has collected scores and scores of projects that were
products of these collaborative projects. These are stored in a variety of places—and we
have not had web developers in our school system to help us make these accessible to
all teachers. Participants in the various projects contact the project/course leaders for
access.

One of the current challenges we face as teachers is that we are being asked to teach
like we have never been taught before. None of us had the option of doing our second
grade book reports in HyperStudio, Inspiration, or PowerPoint. We all stood in front of
the class and read from our papers. The really good students may have memorized their
reports or provided visuals (like a poster) to support their efforts. Given that as our
experience, we are put in the position of doing things we have no experience with, and
we are expected to do it well.

No amount of isolated computer classes will ever prepare teachers to take a group of
children to a computer lab to be engaged in thoughtful, challenging work that could only
be done in a computer lab. Instead, it is all too easy to stick with what we know and plug
the kids in to games or electronic worksheets. (We are familiar with being "plugged in"
thanks to the wonderful world of television; by calling it "playing on the computer" we all
understand that we don’t have to take it seriously.) At times like these, the voice beside
us asking why we do things the way we do is the stimulus that makes us reflect and
perhaps change our behavior. It is important to have an extra set of hands or a partner
who will ask the hard questions of you before you try something out; in my experience,
preservice teachers can be a tremendous asset in this area. Albemarle County Public
Schools Department of Technology and the University of Virginia’s Curry School of
Education work cooperatively to provide those opportunities for reflection through the
projects described here for experienced teachers to work with preservice teachers in
tackling technology integration issues.