MACUL 2008Mar. 5, 6, 7 ITV Service-Learning a Second Language Project Roberto Garza, Southwestern Academy, Flint Community Schools, Flint, MI Mar. 6, 2008 at 2:30
Agenda • Lets define Service-Learning • The Foreign Language Exchange Program • A look at some research and data • Videos, pictures, students’ PowerPoints • A look at Interactive Television (ITV) • Combining Service-Learning & ITV • Addressing METS • Discussion & Reflections
Academic Service-Learning is: • a teaching methodology, which utilizes community service as a means of understanding course objectives. • Students work within their own community to help it develop and prosper, and also to enhance their own community pride. • Students can benefit personally, socially, and intellectually from preparing for, performing, and reflecting on service. • (Flint Community Schools 2005-2006 Youth Projects Report p. 15)
Students: • Identify a need • Provide a service (or product), and • Reflect during and after the project
Topics of Concern • How are the principles of service-learning enhanced through technology? • What were the issues and opportunities that educators and students faced in Flint? • How can a Service-Learning Second Language program work effectively in an ITV setting? • What outcomes did we expect of students? • How does this experience change students’ skills, self perception, and cognitive pathway? • How was technology used to revive a program?
A brief history • Started in 1996, under the direction of Connie Rau (Youth Projects), and was known as The ForeignLanguage Exchange Program (FLEP). • In its last year (2005 – 2006), over 880 students and 28 teachers were successfully involved. • It was a student-centered project.
History (continued) • Students gave service by sharing their second language skills with third graders for 8 weeks (once a week). • Elementary students were bused to 5 high schools for a 50 minute interaction session. • Tutors developed a big sister/brother relationship with 3rd graders.
World Languages represented: • American Sign • French • German • Latin • Spanish
Program Analysis Strengths: • 10 years of successful development • Students were motivated to participate • A number of 3rd graders later enrolled in secondary language courses and some became tutors themselves • Documented on DVD and VHS video • Presented at the: • 2007 Urban Service Learning Institute, Detroit • 2006 10th Annual Institute on Service-Learning U of M-Flint • 2005 9th Annual Institute Adrian College • 2004 8th Annual Institute Grand Valley University
Analysis (continued) Weaknesses: • Limited access for secondary and elementary students • Limited by the number of participating secondary and elementary teachers • Limited program length • Limited funding • Limited expenses for busing
Researchwww. partnershipforlearning.org(1/19/04View Article: Starting Early Means Finishing Strong) The proclamation is that second language study works in dynamic ways to help students achieve higher scores in core courses and on standardized tests. Linda Wacyk writes, research shows that children who study a foreign language in elementary schools: • Score higher on standardized tests in reading, language arts, and mathematics;
Research(continued) • Show more mental flexibility, creativity, divergent thinking and higher-order thinking skills; • Feel better about themselves and their learning; and • Learn more easily when they study foreign languages in high school.
Connie’s data Some of the key findings of the old Foreign Language Exchange Program regarding secondary students were: a. Doing well in my school work. b. Placing high value in helping others. c. Developing leadership skills. Some of the key findings of the Foreign Language Exchange Program regarding elementary students were: a. Attendance remained steady or slight increase. b. Showed enthusiasm for learning a second language. c. Many 3rd graders, reaching middle or high school, entered second language courses.
(more data) • The Foreign Language Exchange Program concluded in Spring of 2006 with 10 elementary and 5 secondary schools, and 880 students. • Funded by Michigan Community Service Commission, United Way, and Flint Community Schools provided the human resources. • Coordinated and assessed by Connie Rau. Last teacher professional development occurred December 15, 2004 at Flint’s Sarvis Center.
Community Resources • United Way • Michigan Commission on Service-Learning • Big Brothers Big Sisters and Reta Stanley • International Institute (no longer exists) • Cross Roads Village (Genesee Co. Parks)
Community Resources (continued) • Community Foundation of Greater Flint • Flint Classroom Support Fund (teacher grants for supplies), and • Flint Teachers and Students
Program • FLEP worked as an exploratory mini-course. • Secondary students stepped up to the challenge and provided an important service that Federal funding, state funding, and local school funding did not allow. • Although Flint Community Schools do provide a few elementary schools with second language, the approach is not consistent or systematic. • The program inspired elementary and secondary students to engage in additional second language study. • FLEP addressed state and federal mandates (NCLB).
The Need • The late Paul Simon, senator from Illinois and a champion of foreign language learning, once called the United States “linguistically malnourished” compared with other nations (Simon, 1980). People from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds have always come together to season the American melting pot, yet we have nevertheless held monolingualism in English as the gold standard of U.S. citizenship for immigrants, often at the expense of heritage languages. Cutshall, S. (Jan. 2005). Why We Need “The Year of the Languages.” Educational Leadership 62 (4). 20-23.
Support Foreign language learning is not something that happens overnight; it takes a commitment of time and money. U.S. schools compound the problem by waiting too long to start foreign language instruction. According to ACTFL Professional Programs Director Elvira Swender, U.S. students often start learning foreign languages at puberty, “an age at which their brains are least receptive to language learning.” Cutshall, S. (Jan. 2005). Why We Need “The Year of the Languages.” Educational Leadership 62 (4). 20-23.
Support (continued) • Beyond being mandatory in countries like Germany, Spain, Thailand, Canada, and Australia, second language study is and has been an integral part of their school’s curriculum and accepted for generations. The Foreign Language Exchange Program helped address the need of second language exposure in the critical years.
Video DVD • The Foreign Language Exchange Program at Flint Southwestern Academy Spring 2005 • Discussion
A New Vision • Service-Learning requires the collaboration of students, teachers, parents, schools, district resources, program coordinators, and public and private organizations. This collaboration permits a vision to become a reality. • The GeneseeIntermediate School District (GISD) held the vital key for reviving and expanding the original Foreign Language Exchange Program by: “providing an interactive telecommunications path to the world for ALL learners in Genesee County” (GISD brochure).
A proposal was made by Mr. Garza to the GISD in March of 2005 to augment the FLEP. The GISD’s vision statement underscores service-learning philosophy. • The design of the Foreign Exchange Language program was limited to a specific number of secondary tutors, elementary tutees, teachers, instructional time, and program funding. • Creating and implementing a plan of partnership between GISD and the Foreign Language Exchange concept would bridge the gap and provide more service to more students across the district.
GISD’s 2006-2007 Pioneer Teacher Program • As a result of Mr. Garza’s Pioneer Teacher involvement, and mandatory project requirement, he renewed the old Foreign Language Exchange Program. Therevived program would be driven by technology while continuing the concept of Service-Learning.
ITV Service-Learning a Second Language Project April, May, 2007 • Engaged in service-learning via GISD’s GenNet system to serve urban elementary students. • Establish a model for other languages and other districts to duplicate. • Meet National Foreign Language Standards
(ITV continued) • Meet high school and elementary school goals, • Meet Spanish course objectives and goals, and • Address Michigan Education Technology Standards (METS):
METS METS (9th to 12th grade) Basic Operations and Concepts: • Students will be provided with the opportunity to learn in a virtual environment as a strategy to build 21st century learning skills. • Students demonstrate how to import/export text, graphics, or audio files
METS (continued) Technology Productivity Tools: • Students complete at least one online credit, or non-credit, course or online learning experience. • Students use a variety of applications to plan, create, and edit a multimedia product (e.g., model, webcast, presentation, publication, or other creative work) • Students have the opportunity to participate in real-life experiences associated with technology-related careers
METS (continued) Technology Communication Tools: • Students use a variety of media and formats to design, develop, publish, and present products (e.g., presentations, newsletters, web sites) to communicate original ideas to multiple audiences. • Students collaborate in content-related projects that integrate a variety of media (e.g., print, audio, video, graphic, simulations, and models) with presentation, word processing, publishing, database, graphics design, or spreadsheet applications. • Students plan and implement a collaborative project using telecommunications tools (e.g., groupware, interactive web sites, videoconferencing).
METS (abbreviated 3rd grade) • NCLB will “Assist every student in crossing the digital divide by ensuring that every student is technologically literate by the time the student finishes the eighth grade, regardless of the student’s race, ethnicity, gender, family income, geographic location, or disability.”
(METS 3rd grade continued) BASIC OPERATIONS AND CONCEPTS • discuss ways technology has changed life at school and at home • manage and maintain files on a hard drive or the network (access to Blackboard)
(METS 3rd grade continued) SOCIAL, ETHICAL, AND HUMAN ISSUES • how information and communication technology supports collaboration, productivity, and lifelong learning • explore various technology resources that could assist in pursuing personal goals • identify technology resources and describe how those resources improve the ability to communicate
(METS 3rd grade continued) TECHNOLOGY COMMUNICATIONS TOOLS • use basic telecommunication tools (e.g., e-mail, blogs, web conferencing) for collaborative projects with other students
(METS 3rd grade continued) TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM-SOLVING AND DECISION-MAKING TOOLS • use information and communication technology tools (e.g., videos, DVDs, educational software) to collect, organize, and evaluate information to assist with solving real-life problems (personal or community)
Project Partners • Pierce Creative Arts Elementary students (3rd grade) and teacher Bridgette Shook • Flint Southwestern Commencement Academy (FSCA) and Spanish teacher Roberto Garza
Project Partners • Orientation started April 17. On May 31, 2007, we completed a project partnering 16 elementary and 13 secondary students in second language learning via interactive television through the Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD).
Project Purpose: • To serve a community need • To address METS • To enhance learning through 21st Century technology and distance learning by the interactive telecommunications systems at the GISD. • To meet objectives • To reflect and gather data
Video (VHS) • ITV Service-Learning Second Language • Discussion
Chelsea “I was a part of the tutoring project with the 3rd graders. I thought it was very good for them to see teens trying to help them, and taking time out to teach them something. Personally, I liked it. I wish we could have met them for a face to face session. We could have gotten more work done. I would love to do the project again. For me, it’s like helping them to realize that they’re good at something. It allowed them to see that kids 7 years older than them can also care about them. I know the kids had fun and they got exposed to a second language”.
High school students shared their skills and became: • tutors and mentors of 3rd grade language learners, • technicians engaging children through interactive and multi-medial lessons, • creators of audio/visual literacy, and • visionaries of educational change through Service-Learning and technology.
GenNet Interactive TelevisionWhat is it? • “A fiber optic network providing integrated voice, video, and data communications to all 21 public school districts and Genesee Intermediate School District.” • Delivers interactively between high schools and middle schools. • Students can attend GenNet classes in their respective classrooms.
Students can interact live, via voice, and video communications. • An opportunity to take classes that are not offered at their school. • GenNet ITV offers a wide selection of high school courses. • GenNet courses can interact with up to three other ITV sites in other districts. • GenNet rooms are equipped with microphones, TV monitors, computers, document camera, cameras, & audio.
GenNet is a Data network: • It’s 385 miles of fiber optics. • It’s in 196 school buildings, a Security system, • Connects 25 high school ITV rooms, and 26 middle school ITV rooms, • Elementary schools may be connected soon • It’s 30,000 computers, and 5,000 phones/faxes.
Think of GenNet as: • a state-of-the-art voice, video, and data technology system, • a Video Conferencing system.
GenNet Students Like most distant learning classes, students are: • Self-Motivated, Self-Disciplined, • Committed, • Desire new experiences, • Good Communicators & Collaborators