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For Immediate Release: April 21, 2009
DOE Hosts Fourth Annual “Kid Tech Day” on Tuesday
Students from 11 school districts across the state took part today in the Department of Education’s fourth annual Kid Tech Day by demonstrating innovative projects that utilize technology to explore math, science, writing, art and other academic subjects.
Coordinated by the Office of Educational Technology, the annual celebration allowed students to present to DOE officials and staff select projects that illustrate academic achievement through effective educational technology practices.
“Kid Tech Day is an excellent opportunity for students to showcase how modern technology can be used to investigate scientific principles or environmental issues, help students master the arts or even increase awareness of safety concerns when using the Internet.” Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy said. “The fourth annual event provides the opportunity for kids to step out of the classroom and show adults how to harness technology to advance learning.”
Themes for the presentations ranged from Earth Day to using $1 million “inheritances” to benefit the local community; technologies utilized by the students include podcasts, digital music production, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and virtual tours.
The following is a list of the schools that made presentations and a brief description of the programs:
Columbia Middle School, Berkeley Heights School District, Union County:
The Virtual Museum of Modern Art Masterpieces (VMOMAM) is a virtual art tour featuring students as guides. Students created the museum using research on how to present a visually appealing and informative virtual tour and about careers in museum education. Lessons on graphic and Web design, copywriting, editing and multimedia production were integral to the completion of the project and are applicable to the development of future multimedia productions.
Delran Intermediate School, Delran School District, Burlington County:
The Earth Day “Go Green” Project provides third through fifth graders with real-world, hands-on experiences that incorporate the use of various technologies to address science and social studies standards, as well as global issues such as conservation and global warming.
Riverview Elementary School, Denville School District, Morris County:
Integrating Wikis into the Elementary Classroom is an expansion of a “Flat Stanley” project where third and fourth graders interact with each other beyond the classroom walls using Wikis. Wikis, which are Web-page collections that allow anyone with Internet access to add or modify content, provide a forum for students to view and comment on other’s written work resulting in an increased enthusiasm for writing and growing ease with making online revisions.
Dionne Warwick Institute, East Orange School District, Essex County:
I am Empowered: A Tribute to Those Who Changed Education is a podcast montage of civil rights activists who changed the way African-American children are educated today in the United States. Students demonstrate and explain how they used various applications to create this podcast from their research, writing, recording, editing and publishing. Podcast music videos and jingles were developed to capture the audience’s attention. Podcasting, which is the publishing of audio and video broadcasting in digital forma, enhances every core subject at Dionne Warwick Institute.
Folsom Elementary, Folsom School District, Atlantic County:
Look Who’s Cooking is a sixth grade interdisciplinary project that incorporates the use of technology in interactive presentations about making healthy meals. Students bring their “healthy” dishes to class in the culminating project activity.
Roland Rogers Elementary School, Galloway Township School District, Atlantic County:
The Million Dollar Project is geared for fifth grade students who have “inherited” $1 million and are required to use it to develop a spending plan that will impact their community in a positive way. Students are encouraged to select a planning theme and present a final proposal based on mathematical calculations depicted graphically and shared with the class.
Greenville School, Howell School District, Monmouth County:
W.I.S.E. U.P.! (Writing, Internet, Safety, Experience, Using, Podcasts) was implemented under the direction of Greenville School’s computer and music teachers for fifth grade students and focuses on using writing skills to learn Internet safety. Students wrote and sang songs, produced digital music, linked music to an animated Internet Safety Poster and exported the project into podcasts that bridge learning between school and home.
Lacey Twp Middle School, Lacey School District, Ocean County:
Getting to Know Genetics: From Web Work to Publication connects the exploration of authentic science to middle school student interests while fostering creative thinking and problem solving. Students visit the American Museum of Natural History’s Web site for interactive activities known as Ology: Gene Scene. Via the Web site, students review genetics history, handle DNA codes, and consider current topics such as genetically modified foods, cloning and genetic testing. The end result is an electronic newsletter publishing the student findings.
Kennedy School, North Bergen School District, Hudson County:
Latitude and Longitude: What’s so Cool About GPS? involves third and fourth grade students learning and identifying longitudinal and latitudinal lines. Students search for coordinates all over the globe to better understand geography and mapping, and to learn critical thinking skills such as what GPS technology can be used for in the future. As a result, they develop a basic understanding of direction, hemispheres, GPS, triangulation, and GPS measurements in degrees, hours, minutes and seconds.
South Plainfield Middle School, South Plainfield School District, Middlesex County:
SmartMusic is a comprehensive practice assistant for instrumental and vocal music. Students use the tool to play or sing with accompaniment and receive real-time, detailed feedback on their performances. The teacher can manage the settings of the program to make sure students stay on task. If a student completes an assignment, he or she can send the teacher a recording of the performance. Woodwind, brass, string and vocal music of all levels can be learned using this method.
Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School, Springfield School District, Union County:
Podcasting is utilized successfully by seventh grade math students to communicate and learn both visually and verbally in an effort to increase student understanding of essential mathematics concepts. This project is shared with others, allowing students to learn from one another.