Cycle Four: The following seven "general" projects were funded in the fourth (FY 1994-96) cycle:
Though TEAMS, Los Angeles County Office of Education is providing state-of-the-art instruction in mathematics, science, social science/citizenship, and English/language arts for elementary/middle school students. Staff development programs for teachers are on-going and enable teachers to develop or enhance their skills as part of the student programming. The parent programs are facilitating parent/child interaction and communication in a variety of content areas. TEAMS Distance Learning currently serves 4,000 teachers and 125,000 students in 1,285 school sites across the United States.
Massachusetts Corporation for Educational Telecommunications (MCET ) uses multiple technologies and innovative teaching strategies to assist at-risk adolescents and young adults develop skills for health, literacy, and work readiness. MCET and its partners are working with 34 demonstration sites at schools and community-based organizations in five urban communities (Boston, Springfield, Hartford, New York City, and the District of Columbia). The project is building on the foundation established by its previous Star Schools projects which helped sites use educational technologies to develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning science, math, and literacy. HealthLinks, the FY 94-95 project, reaches learners whose fundamental needs include increased information and resources to ensure their physical, emotional, and social well-being, and uses a comprehensive approach that employs satellite and computer networks, boardroom and desktop videoconferencing, CD-ROM and interactive videodisks and creative teaching strategies to help students learn the skills necessary to live healthy, productive lives.
Oklahoma State University in collaboration with Northern Arizona University is designing and delivering innovative elementary-grade German language program capitalizing on its highly regarded high school German By Satellite course, Getting Ready for Algebra, provides instruction to middle school students and professional training to middle school teachers focusing on the "Big Ideas" common to arithmetic and algebra. The Graphing Calculator module expands earlier efforts to disseminate the TI-85 Teacher Learning System, and develop a similar system for grades 9-12 based on the TI-82 calculator. OSU is offering specialized training to educators on how to provide appropriate instruction in literacy, science, and mathematics for at-risk children aged four to eight years. Head Start, four-year old programs in public schools, and primary grades for at-risk children are specifically targeted. Northern Arizona University is fastening its Grade 1-6 Spanish program into a new program for middle schools while also developing an innovative earth and environmental science program, Geonauts, centered on the Grand Canyon and other national parks. Other efforts include the development of pilot Internet projects and in-service programs in important professional areas, including assistive technologies and the educational uses of museum resources.
Ana G. Mendez University System's, Star Link Network is aimed at improving the teaching and learning in Puerto Rico through the use of telecommunications and computer networks in the classroom. Special attention is directed at the technological literacy of teachers, students, administrators and parents. Technology is used as a subject of inquiry and as an instructional tool. A thorough revision of actual productions of multimedia packages and materials are being adapted for Puerto Rican schools. New local multimedia packages will reflect the Puerto Rican identity and the global connection through two main topics: environmental studies and healthy life styles. Forty schools, from grades K-12, located throughout Puerto Rico are participating in the first stage of the project. In addition, a vocational school and a school for young adults who have dropped out of school are also participating.
United Star Distance Learning Consortium delivers programming which addresses the most pressing issues facing education to teachers, students and parents in over 5000 schools. Partners are sharing in providing and using innovative program activities which include training for newly-established school-based management teams in handling school violence; training for teachers and other school personnel related to success with learners of diverse cultural heritage and limited English proficiency; education and support related to career selection and school-to-work transition for middle and high school students; five series of intensive standards-based staff development for effectively teaching math and science; introductory teacher training for technology use; and programming for migrant students and their families intended to enhance the capacity in the family unit to manage the educational process. The Consortium is incorporating innovative technologies and effective analog-to-digital transition models as they utilize established digital and analog networks, equip sites where no distance learning infrastructure exists, and expand distribution through use of satellite, microwave, cable, and computer networks.
College of Eastern Utah is designed to enhance the delivery of educational services through telecommunications in the four corners region of the southwestern United States and is targeted at rural and Native American populations. Funds are used to develop state-of-the-art origination studios and receiving classrooms to improve instructional programming and to provide comprehensive training to teachers to prepare them to effectively instruct over the telecommunications system. Instructional programming includes elementary and secondary core subjects, with concentrations in mathematics, science, foreign languages, postsecondary general education courses, and literacy, vocational, and workplace skills training for both youth and adults.
Educational Service District (ESD) 101 is a consortium representing education organizations in eight states serving 18,000 students and 33,500 teachers. The project has expanded its previous Star Schools activities to serve U.S. affiliated territories and states in the North and South Pacific. Programming and services to the Pacific region are provided in partnership with PREL, the educational laboratory serving the Pacific Islands. PREL is developing curriculum content and providing technical assistance in working with the several LEAs and policy makers in the region to design delivery of distance education programming.
Statewide Network Project: (FY 1994-96)
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is significantly augmenting the major education reform occurring in that State as a result of the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA). Students and teachers from across the state are equipped to interact via integrated full duplex video, audio, graphics, text and data. The KTLN is a "network of networks" ensuring regional end-user decision making while providing statewide integrated connectivity. Students across the state have access to this and other KERA-based curricular advancements which are currently available only in selected schools. This network also facilitates school-to-work transition by providing vocational students with access to employment opportunities, as well as simulated "hands-on" experiences. Several state initiatives including KERA's Kentucky Educational Technology System project, early childhood efforts, professional development, Family Resource Center, and High School Restructuring activity are dramatically expanded through the electronic distance learning capability of the KTLN. The integration of technologies supports the active learning projects of the Partnership for Reform Initiatives in Science and Mathematics in the State.
Dissemination Projects: (FY 1994-96)
The WestEd Laboratory (previously Far West Laboratory) proposes to develop a new group of educational products to serve the growing number of schools, colleges, and universities that use distance learning to reach rural and metropolitan learners. Included are information and research on the topics of computer conferencing, the national information infrastructure, national content standards (as they are approved), audio conferencing, compressed video applications, distance learning classroom design, equipment interoperability, and model programs for study to work transitions provided through distance learning. The project, known as the Distance Learning Resource Network (DLRN), includes a new emphasis on inservice and preservice for teachers, such as K-12 summer academies to help teachers identify programs that are of use to their professional development. A World Wide Web site provides instant access to DLRN II online resources using MOSAIC. The project electronically publishes the Star Schools DLRN Journal that includes new information on distance learning, abstracts of distance learning research, free software (shareware), Goals 2000, Safe Schools, teacher tips, and electronic pointers (GOPHER) to new distance learning resources on the Internet.
Pacific Mountain Network is developing (1) eight 30-minute video modules for national public television broadcast focusing on distance learning and education reform, (2) yearly screening for distance learning resources, and (3) background information to help state and national decision makers understand technology's role in education reform. The project encourages improved instruction by featuring Star Schools projects in national distance learning conferences; in a Back to School video magazine; and in Far Talk, a series of four national audio bridge conferences.
Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) is continuing to operate a national clearinghouse to help state and local education agencies plan and implement distance learning systems through the Education Satellite Network (ESN) Star Schools Clearinghouse. This information benefits teachers, principals, administrators, school board members, higher education faculty (education departments) and undergraduate education majors. Likewise, this dissemination project assists general grant recipients and other distance learning program providers in distributing information about their specific programs. The goal of the ESN Star Schools Clearinghouse project is to distribute information and resource materials that can assist schools with all aspects of distance learning -- from understanding the basics of distance learning to incorporating programs into curriculum.
Star Schools Products
Distance Learning Primer, videotape and handbook, provides answers to basic questions about distance learning and highlights distance learning groups and program providers.
Developing a Distance Learning Program Handbook, which provides school districts with basic information on how to develop and implement a distance learning program, including a suggested planning process, glossary of terms and a list of additional resources/reference materials.
Education SATLINK, monthly satellite program guide and magazine, which is designed to assist schools in accessing quality educational programs via satellite. Through SATLINK OnLine, educators are able to access all program listings via modem and voice telephone lines.
Classroom Utilization of Distance Learning, a series of teleconferences and support materials for K-12 teachers, college/university teacher educators and pre-service educators, which are explaining, demonstrate and encourage use of technology in the classroom and integration of satellite technology with curriculum. (Available in 1995; updated periodically)