Nearly 70 students representing 14 school districts served by Area Education Agency 267 participated in the first ever “National Day on Writing” learning experience sponsored by Area Education Agency 267. Students worked as part of “tri-site” teams (representing school districts from all three regions of the AEA—Marshalltown, Cedar Falls and Clear Lake) to collaboratively create websites on selected topics. The students met for the first time on October 20, 2009 via Polycom technology and again on April 20, 2010 in person.
According to Kay Schmalen, AEA 267 Consultant for Reading/Language Arts, “One of our objectives for this project was to give the students the experience of collaborating on a project with teammates at a distance—much like today’s professional world. Graduates today will need to know how to share their thoughts, synthesize ideas and collaborate beyond a face-to-face environment. Technology plays a huge role in the work world today.”
Student-teams created websites to showcase a variety of topics such as generational achievements, political views and guidance and resources for elementary students entering the middle school years.
“The creativity of these students is tremendous,” said Schmalen. “They really ran with their ideas.”
While this was the first National Day on Writing project sponsored by Area Education Agency 267, Schmalen and other organizers hope to build on their success this year and organize a similar effort for 2010-2011.
To read the Waterloo Courier’s coverage of the project, click here.
To view KIMT-News Channel 3’s coverage of the project, click here.
Click here to see actual samples of student work from the project.