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Karen K. Campbell Electronic Portfolio. Instructional Technology Coordinator Harrisonburg City Public Schools Office: (540) 434-5730 Home: (540) 298-2908 kkcampbell@harrisonburg.k12.va.us.

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karen k campbell electronic portfolio

Karen K. CampbellElectronic Portfolio

Instructional Technology Coordinator

Harrisonburg City Public Schools

Office: (540) 434-5730

Home: (540) 298-2908


This portfolio is designed to share with you some of my educational thoughts, experiences, and skills. Click on the buttons to explore various aspects of my career in education.

Teaching is a passion for me. My own love of science inspired me to cultivate the same in my students. During the 17 years that I taught science, I strove to make learning fun, while involving students in relevant activities and developing higher-level thinking skills. Hands-on activities, technology, and real-world experiences were important components of my classes. Preparing students to take a multiple choice test was not my primary objective!!

In 1998 I left the classroom to become the technology resource teacher for Page County Schools. I remained in that position for 4 years and then moved to Harrisonburg City Schools to become the Instructional Technology Coordinator. I now work with teachers to help them to integrate technology in their classes. Fortunately, I maintain my ties to the classroom by occasionally teaching classes reinforcing technology skills or modeling integrated lessons.


1996 Page County Teacher of the Year

Click on Student Comments to read what a sixth grade student wrote about his experience in my classes and on Philosophy to read about my philosophy of education.


These four principles make up the basis for my philosophy of education:

  • All children can learn.
  • Learning must be fun
  • Children must be actively engaged in learning.
  • Children learn in different ways.

Grove Hill student-scientists demonstrate that "Science is Fun" at the Page County Education Fair.

all children can learn
All children can learn.

I believe that all children can learn; however, it is the role of the teacher to provide opportunities for this to happen. In every classroom there is diversity: children who are gifted, learning disabled, culturally disadvantaged, ESL, abused, neglected -- the list goes on and on. One of the greatest challenges for any teacher is meeting the needs of each of these children. In order to do this, I feel it is important to recognize the uniqueness of each child, to understand the child, and to provide a variety of learning experiences using a variety of methods. When I design a lesson, I incorporate different experiences within that lesson. In a recent lesson on supply and demand, we start with a hands-on activity, use video interactively to develop the content, then use a simulation to apply the concepts.

Lab activities are an important part of science class.

learning must be fun
Learning must be fun.

I believe that learning must be fun. School should not be drudgery. At the beginning of each year, I used to challenge my students that came in saying “I hate science” that by the end of the year they would no long feel that way. Of course, I had to back that up. I did so by involving the students. We were active. Instead of lecturing about the parts of plants, we went outside and “built a tree” using the students to represent the roots, xylem, phloem, bark, and leaves. While the roots were “slurping” up water, the xylem and phloem were transporting materials through the tree, and the leaves were making food, I played the part of an annoying insect from which the bark had to protect the inner parts of the tree. "Build-a-Tree" activity from Joseph Cornell's Sharing the Joy of Nature.

Stream stomping was another favorite activity of 7th graders. We collected macroinvertebrates from a nearby stream using seine nets, then classified them according to sensitivity to pollutants to determine stream quality.

children must be actively engaged
Children must be actively engaged.

I believe that children must be actively engaged in learning. Hands-on activities, explorations, and collaboration are all very important components of the learning experience. Look at the students’ faces in a class where a teacher is standing in front droning on about important facts. Then walk into a classroom when the students are actively involved in a learning activity. You can see the difference.

For many years, my students participated in the National Geographic Kids Network, investigating important (and relevant) topics like acid rain and water quality. In the picture students are collecting water samples from the Shenandoah River to test.

children learn in different ways
Children learn in different ways.

I believe that children learn in different ways. Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences reinforces what experienced teachers already know -- that children have different abilities and are able to learn in different ways. It is my responsibility to provide opportunities for children to do so. Most students are not auditory learners, yet lecture traditionally is the most prevalent method of presenting information. The use of video, technology, and hands-on activities enhances student understanding of material.

This young man successfully pulled the tablecloth out from under the dishes in a demonstration of inertia. He was so excited that he decided to show his grandmother, who also happened to be a school board member. Unfortunately he used her best china.


The National Teacher Training Institute was develop to train teachers how to effectively and strategically integrate video and other technologies into their classes. I have been a Master Teacher for NTTI since 1994. In that role, I write lesson plans for the binder and present at the annual institute. In addition, I have presented the NTTI methodology at a variety of other conferences and training sessions.

Some of the NTTI Lessons that I have written:

Heat vs. Temperature: What’s the Difference?

On the Brink of War: The Cuban Missile Crisis

Look Out Michael Jordan, Here Comes…


I have written numerous lessons for the National Teacher Training Institute's Virginia Binders.

One of my lessons, "Up, Up, and Away" was chosen for inclusion in the Fast Forward to Math and Science CD

  • Online Lesson Plans:
  • Commonwealth of Knowledge website
  • Blasts from the Past
  • WVPT4Learningwebsite
    • Cabbage Patch Dolls, Beanie Babies, and White Power Rangers: The Story of Supply and Demand
    • Look Out Michael Jordan, Here Comes…
    • Heat vs. Temperature: What’s the Difference?
    • On the Brink of War: The Cuban Missile Crisis

I began using technology in the classroom with video. As a visual learner myself I recognized the importance of presenting information in a variety of ways. When computers became available, I quickly saw the value of this new tool. Fortunately I had a very supportive principal who managed to find the funds for me to purchase equipment. For the first telecommunication project my students were involved in, we had to run a temporary phone line out of my room, across the hall, into the office, and plug in to the phone jack. By the time I left the classroom, my students were using the computer connected to a presentation television, laser disk player, Internet, video microscope, VCR, and digital camera on a regular basis.

Completed a portfolio to demonstrate mastery of the Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel (Certified by Page County Public Schools, August 2000)

Earned a Certificate in Computer Classroom Applications: Productivity Concentration from University of Virginia (2000)

Certified for SASIxp Basic Support by NCS Pearson (2000)

Enrolled in the Masters of Education: Educational Technology program at James Madison University