C-SPAN sponsors new website for teachers

C-SPAN, the cable television network that covers Capitol Hill events, is sponsoring a new website designed for middle and high school civics and government teachers. The site contains free access to lesson plans, standards-based video content, and primary source materials, which are aimed at helping students understand the federal government.

C-SPAN also has announced its StudentCam contest that invites middle and high school students to compete for $25,000 in prizes by submitting short documentaries that explore a current issue of national concern. Entries are due by Feb. 28, 2006.

Join IPFW's First Virtual Town Hall Series

Beginning this January through May, K12 students and teachers will have a unique opportunity to engage in two-way video discussions about our nation’s future with key elected officials. Andy Downs, administrator of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, will facilitate the series about current topics in civic life and give students a chance to experience their role as citizens.

Target Audience: Government, History, Language Arts or Speech/Communications teachers and students. Eight teachers will be selected to participate, and applicants must agree to join at least three out of the five sessions scheduled. Attendance (virtual) at the Pre-Planning session is also required unless other arrangements are made in advance.
Dates: The 2nd Friday of each month: January 13, February 10, March 10, April 14, and May 12, 2006. Teacher Orientation: January 6, 2:45-3:15 p.m.
Time: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. EST
Equipment Needs: IP videoconferencing unit, monitor, network connection, and audio

To Apply: Contact me at 481-0747 or schaufes@ipfw.edu for an application. Complete the application and fax or mail it to IPFW Division of Continuing Studies by December 13, 2005.

Elected Officials invited to participate include: US Senator Evan Bayh, US Representative Mark Souder, Governor Mitch Daniels, State Representative Jeff Espich and Mayor Graham Richard.

IPFW will provide participants with an orientation packet for each session that includes a biography of the elected official, background information on their topic, and other key information. The teacher orientation session will review protocol for the interactions and expectations of each participating class. This program is made possible by IPFW Division of Continuing Studies, Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics and ACELINK. ACELINK will provide technical support, scheduling and other assistance as needed.

Teacher $1000 Award Announced

The Invent Tomorrow Education Consortium, in partnership with ACELINK, IPFW Division of Continuing Studies, and Comcast Cable promotes, encourages and rewards excellence in the integration of the Allen County Education Network in instruction. Through the “Building a Learning Community Award” program, educators/teams from qualified schools will be supported in their efforts to identify and design a student collaboration project with community and/or city leaders, other classrooms, experts, etc. These projects must utilize videoconferencing to connect students to external resources. The project must align with Indiana Academic standards and focus on an important community issue such as urban renewal, the digital divide, workforce literacy, economic development. Students and educators should use problem-based learning strategies to identify, research, and investigate solutions to their chosen issue.

ACELINK will support and reward selected educators/teams for designing and implementing bold classroom projects that elevate the level of interactive experiences and problem-based learning of their students using two-way interactive videoconferencing.

Funding Focus
All K-12 educators or teams within Bishop Dwenger High School, East Allen County, Fort Wayne Community, Northwest Allen County or Southwest Allen County School districts are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to collaborative projects that identify a specific need, include authentic problem solving and utilize two-way interactive videoconferencing. All projects must be educator-led. Both individual and team proposals will be accepted. There will be no distinction between individual projects and team projects.

Grant Range
There is funding available to provide (8) awards of $1000 each. The award will be divided and presented to the individual applicant/team and school building as follows:
1) Substitute pay will be reimbursed to the building for the teacher/team to attend a Project Planning workshop at IPFW during February 2006.
2) A cash stipend for the remaining amount will be paid to the educator/team after the educator/team attends a Teaching with Technology 2006 Summer Institute at IPFW to complete the project.

In addition, awardees will be provided an option to earn 3.0 graduate credit hours from IPFW for their completed project. An evaluation team made up of school administrators, IPFW faculty and staff, and community leaders using criteria developed by ACELINK will be used to select the awardees.

Application Process
Interested teachers must attend a Project Planning Workshop at IPFW in February 2006. During this workshop, teachers will be provided with the skills and strategies to identify and develop a classroom project. After identifying an appropriate project, applicants can submit a proposal for funding. Proposals are due to IPFW by May 12, 2006.

Contact me at 481-0747 or schaufes@ipfw.edu if you have questions.


ACELINK encourages high school students to take up Innovation Challenge

As part of Mayor Graham Richard's Innovation Initiative, high school students are invited to participate in an iTeams Essay Contest that encourages them to think creatively and come up with new ways to use broadband (high-speed Internet) in our community.

The Allen County Education Network (ACENet) delivers broadband access to schools in Greater Fort Wayne, and other networks are bringing this technology to homes and businesses. We are already seeing the impact of broadband with virtual field trips and digital streaming video in schools, remote diagnosis of patients by doctors, scientific web-based applications, data sharing, and more.

Students are encouraged to day dream-- think of something new, think of something they wish could happen, something that will make life easier, more enjoyable-- something that could help the underserved in our community or the world.

Essay submissions are being accepted through January 13, 2006. To learn more about the Allen County Education web site, click here. For more information about the City's contest and Innovation programs, go to the City of Fort Wayne iTeams web site.