2006 Innovation in Education Award Winners
Program: Falcon Watch 2006
School/District: Rolling Hills Elementary, Poway Unified School District
Description: Bringing live animals into the classroom always generates excitement, especially when the view is through a live web cam looking at a Peregrine Falcon nest on the 12th floor of a skyscraper in Cleveland, Ohio, over 2,000 miles away. Using real-world, project-based learning experiences, all areas of the curriculum become involved as students collect and analyze data, read scientific research about endangered species, calculate predictions based on observations, communicate with experts and other students around the world, and write their findings on-line. Inspiring and engaging students through innovative learning environments gives them skills and experiences that they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Program: Ancient African Culture & Music Using Modern Technologies
School/District: Sycamore Ridge Elementary, Del Mar Union School District
Description: Using pod casting, an innovative technology for distributing recorded audio material, music teacher Jerry Faust pioneered a unit of study to teach elementary students about ancient African culture. Students listen to and produce their own pod casts about the relationships of music, religion, colonial influences and celebration ceremonies in African cultural subgroups and countries, all part of the History and Social Science academic standards for California. With a podcast, students can listen on their own as many times as necessary to grasp the concepts presented. When producing their own pod casts, students must better understand the material as well as create a script and design the pod cast that encourages understanding by listeners. Pod casting brings innovative technology to learning in the classroom, and is familiar to students because even the local grocery store sells pod-casting accessories!
Program: Data Driven Decision Making
School/District: National School District
Description: Every child is unique. Their paths to learning take different routes. National School District charts those paths to achievement with a data warehouse and accelerates learning with supplemental instructional software. Despite many challenging demographic factors, year after year, students at National continue to demonstrate improvement in both language arts and math. The data warehouse collects student achievement information about every formal assessment test and tracks progress using instructional tools. Reports from the data warehouse help teachers understand the needs of each child and provide appropriate guidance. Instructional software patiently and diligently presents concepts at the learning level of the child, matching the pace of understanding and reporting progress along the way. Periodic conferences between teachers and principals, and principals and district staff, ensure that each student gets what they need to achieve.
Program: Advanced Use of Technology Anytime/Anywhere
School/District: San Onofre Elementary, Fallbrook Union Elementary School District
Description: Located at the furthest northwest corner of San Diego County, miles from the population center of the city, students at San Onofre School utilize educational technology to engage the world around them, stimulate learning across the curriculum, and achieve outstanding results. Students produce a multimedia world-new program, SOSTV, take virtual field trips through videoconferencing to the Zoo or Williamsburg or the nuclear power station, conduct research and create presentations of their results demonstrating math, science and language skills. Teachers integrate these learning opportunities to motivate and engage students in all of their classes. The results are mastery of the academic standards at a higher level, and also a better understanding of how the world works and how they will work in the world.