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The Southern Westchester BOCES School Library System has been awarded a New York State 2012- 2015 Learning Technology Grant titled, Understanding Ourselves through Others: Teaching Common Core through 21st Century Technology.
The grant, $150K over a three-year period, will allow a total of 55 seventh and eighth grade social studies/ELA teachers and school librarians from the Dobbs Ferry, Greenburgh Central 7, Greenburgh 11, Mt. Pleasant, New Rochelle, Rye Neck, Valhalla and White Plains school districts to collaboratively develop and teach inquiry-based lessons incorporating the new Common Core Learning Standards/NYS Social Studies Standards, participatory Web 2.0 tools and American history primary sources.
The lessons, which are intended to create a deep understanding of the events and people within the context of history, will include opportunities for students to use state-of-the-art tools to enhance learning. They include video cameras that will help them create digital stories, conduct interviews and capture reflections. In addition, digital audio recorders will be used to create and publish podcasts. The finished lessons will be shared on the project website as exemplars of the work being done.
The three-year project, with objectives that are based on the ELA Common Core Standards and the New York State Teaching Standards, in support of the state's Regents Reform Agenda, will provide a blended model of professional development with three onsite, full-day workshops each year along with continuous participation in an online learning community through forums, blogs, webinars and file sharing. School librarians will take a leadership role as project facilitators throughout the grant project, attending the onsite sessions as they develop collaborative lessons with classroom teachers and conduct webinars.
The grant will provide each teacher with an iPad as well as two digital cameras and two digital voice recorders per team so that instructors can accomplish their curriculum objectives and participate in the online learning space.
Web 2.0 tools are being integrated to support instructional strategies, student engagement and assessment. School librarians will take a leadership role throughout the grant project, attending the onsite sessions as they develop collaborative lessons with classroom teachers and conducting webinars.