Weisser Park 3rd Graders Work the Gadgets

Ms. Kathy Gordon's third grade class at Weisser Park Elementary school engaged in a hands-on learning session by two-way video on Thursday, Dec. 20. ACELINK supported the Gadget Works program from COSI Columbus, which features having students reverse engineer two simple gadgets to learn about the simple machines that make them work.

COSI provided a teacher's kit in advance, which Ms. Gordon had her class review and complete a pre-conference hypothesis. During the program, students related their hypotheses to Professor Gadget and then learned if their predictions were accurate by examining the toys. While working collaboratively in groups of three, students took part in scientific investigation and had fun at the same time.

High praise goes to Ms. Gordon for having her class EXTREMELY well prepared for the program. Professor Gadget complimented the class on their excitement, prior knowledge and responsiveness during the program. The kids were also very well behaved and represented their school very well. Way to go!

To see additional pictures from Weisser Park's third grade on my Flickr site, go here. For information on this program, contact me at schaufes@ipfw.edu. ACELINK still has funds available to cover the program costs for partner schools.


Woodlan Students "Visit" Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Students in Mr. Kyle Romine's music classes were virtually transported to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame through interactive videoconferencing this month! Through ACELINK funding support, Mr. Romine's classes were able to participate in two sessions with the legendary location. They learned about Rock music as an instrument of social change with, "Rock Music: Ball of Confusion." They also learned how technology influences music through "Hip-Hop Technology."

Accordinging to Mrs. Irene Beran, school career major director, the students loved the presentations and got very involved in the sessions.


EACS Media Specialists Support IVC

On Monday, November 27, the secondary Media Specialists at East Allen County Schools were all trained to provide basic technical support for videoconferencing in their schools. East Allen has increased the endpoints in the secondary buildings this year, so that each school has two units. To support this increase in equipment and tie instruction more closely with technology, they took advantage of ACELINK funding to offer training at the central office. Cindy Fritz, EACS integration specialist, co-presented this training with me.

ACELINK strongly recommends this model of identifying and equipping building-level support personnel with training. According to Dr. Andy Melin, EACS Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Instruction and Technology, the media specialists were a natural choice for this role because they always support instruction with media and other resources. Their expertise in information literacy and online resources also adds value to teachers who want to integrate emerging technology with their instruction.

ACELINK has also provided training to teachers and other end users through our Foellinger funding, and we're happy to work with schools who still would like to schedule this type of training.


Virtual Town Hall Features Sheriff Candidates

On October 20, students from six area high schools participated in the IPFW Virtual Town Hall forum with the candidates for Allen County Sheriff: Ken Fries, PJ Smith, and Tina Taviano. Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW, moderated the live, interactive discussion between the candidates and students. ACELINK provided technical support for the program. Participating high schools included: Anthis, Bishop Dwenger, Elmhurst, Leo, Paul Harding, and R. Nelson Snider,

The next virtual program is Friday, November 17, with Nelson Peters, Allen County Commissioner. Congressman Mark Souder is the guest scheduled for the December 8 program.

For more information or to register your class for this free program, contact me.


Don't Miss the Free Virtual Surgeries!

ACELINK is supporting access to two high-quality interactive videoconferences from COSI Columbus: Total Knee Replacement Surgery and a Virtual Autopsy. We only have two slots left in the year for both programs, and they will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. These programs are targeted toward secondary students in a Science or Health curriculum. Typically, we've had juniors and seniors from Anatomy and Physiology classes participate.

There is only one slot open for each of the 90 minute programs listed below. The dates/times for the events that we have available are:
Total Knee
Feb. 14 at 11 a.m.
April 18 at 11 a.m.

Virtual Autopsy
April 13 at 11 a.m.
May 22 at 9 a.m.

Please check your calendar before requesting any of these programs. A teacher's kit and program preparation guide will be provided in advance with your confirmation. Contact me at 481-0747 to request a COSI program, or fax the ACELINK Program Request form to me (available on the ACELINK website).


Reed Unveils State Program for Internet Safety

Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Suellen Reed offered help for parents and teachers trying to safeguard children from the growing threat of Internet predators. Education and public health officials, representing the Indiana State Library and the Indiana State Medical Alliance joined the Superintendent as she made her announcement.

“The Internet is a powerful tool,” said Merle Gruesser, ENA. “As with any tool, we must teach children how to use it safely.” Recent statistics show these alarming statistics: 14 percent of 13-17 year olds have actually met face-to-face with a person they had only known online (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 2006); 27 percent of youth said they have talked with an online stranger about sex; 34 percent were exposed to unwanted sexual material (Polly Klaas Foundation 2006), and 9 percent are victims of online harassment (University of New Hampshire 2006).

The Coalition also offers at no cost an online Parent Resource Center at iKeepSafe.org where parents and teachers will find technical help, teaching tools, and critical resources that will help them protect children, such as Family Fun Lessons, Symantec’s flash tutorial, The 10 ‘MUST KNOW’ Actions that Will Help You Protect Your Family, and an Internet safety video library.

I have reviewed the materials on this site and found them very useful, exciting for kids, and relevant to current issues with Internet Safety. Please share this website with your parents and teachers.

For the IDOE Media Release, go to http://www.doe.state.in.us/reed/newsr/2006/10-October/ikeepsafe2.html.


A Very Busy Week for Allen County

Wow! I'm excited to report that we've had a very full week of interactive videoconferences in Allen County, Indiana! In this one week, ACELINK has supported four videoconferences, impacting 10 teachers and hundreds of students.

Today alone (Friday), we had the IPFW Virtual Town Hall meeting with 7 interactive locations, a virtual field trip at Leo and another at Portage Middle School. The Virtual Town Hall meeting featured the three candidates for Allen County Sheriff, and we originated from IPFW's Division of Continuing Studies' conference room. The candidates were excited about the technology and did a great job of speaking with Andy Downs, session moderator. They answered a dozen questions from students at the six high schools that participated: Anthis, Dwenger, Elmhurst, Harding, Leo, and Snider.

During the Virtual Town Hall meeting, several websites were given for students to use for researching each candidate and their voter registration status. Here are the links if you'd like to follow up on the discussion:

- Ken Fries
- PJ Smith
- Tina Taviano
- Indiana Voter Registration System

Our thanks and gratitude go to many who helped make this week successful. We're making a difference in our schools with the ACELINK project, and I'm honored to be part of this group.


Conference Attendees View Surgery with ACELINK

The 2006 Business & Education Summit on October 10 was a huge success. Twenty-four high school teams plus business and higher education leaders were all in attendance to learn how we can partner together to prepare tomorrow's workforce. I had the honor of participating on the planning committee for this event and demonstrating ACELINK videoconferencing.

With the very generous effort of Dr. Geoffrey M. Randolph, board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Fort Wayne, we were able to connect the Summit attendees to Lutheran Hospital's OR Suite to see Dr. Randolph and his team in surgery. We connected to Dr. Randolph via IP videoconferencing, which allowed both our audience and the surgical staff to see and talk to each other in real time. Teachers in the audience had a first-hand demonstration of how two-way interactive videoconferencing can bring the outside world (or the inner world of a clinical setting) into their classrooms.

I also appreciate the support of Lutheran Hospital's IT staff and administration, as well as the fantastic support of the Grand Wayne's IT staff and Stan Adams, Indiana Data Center president and ACELINK partner.


Lindley Elementary Kids Connect Beyond Classroom

On Tuesday, October 4, art students from Lindley Elementary in Fort Wayne, Indiana made a videoconference connection with the Indianapolis Museum of Art. This program was provided by ACELINK, the broadband coordinator for the Allen County schools.

Lindley 5th graders designed an art project based on using geometric figures and problem solving skills for this project. They were able to talk with a docent from the museum and show their work for a critique and discussion. They also saw an original art work at the Museum by Sol Lewitt, the artist that they based their work on for this event.

Barb Kuntz, art teacher at Lindley, participated in the program to bring the museum experts into her classroom without the expense of travel.


Summit Middle School 7th Graders

Mrs. Linda Valley's 7th grade language arts students recently participated in an interactive videoconference with Milicent Wright from the Indiana Repertory Theater. ACELINK supported the program and provided technical support during the event.

In the "Exploring Shakespeare" session, students experience Shakespeare's imagery, figurative language, literary devices, history, character analysis, plot and themes. They discussed how recognizing, using, and appreciating these elements are essential to the actor, the director and today's audience. The program was extremely interactive and customized to the works covered in Mrs. Valley's class.

Go to our FLICKR site for more pictures of this event. For information about virtual field trips or ACELINK, contact Sandy Schaufelberger at schaufes@ipfw.edu.


Paul Harding, Brentwood Students Attend Virtual Event

IPFW and ACELINK, and 42 other schools across the country, used the ultra-fast Internet2 nationwide research and education network to participate in a massive National Constitution Day videoconference event sponsored by MAGPI and the National Constitution Center.

Called “America Reads the Constitution,” the event used high-quality videoconferencing technology to bridge hundreds of students across time zones and state borders to read the Constitution together. By providing this first-ever interactive virtual platform for National Constitution Day, students were able share and learn alongside their peers from all regions of the U.S. in a celebration of our nation’s most important historical document.

Participants at the IPFW event included the following readers:
David Dowling – Brentwood Elementary, grade 1
Ryan Yoder – Pre-service Teacher, IPFW Senior
Senaida Marzljak - Brentwood Elementary, grade 5
Jackie McCoy – Paul Harding High School, Senior
Mrs. Molly Baumert –Paul Harding High School Teacher

Coordinating the event was Glenda Moss, Ed.D., Associate Professor in the IPFW School of Education. Sandy Schaufelberger, ACELINK Project Manager, coordinated the technical aspects of the event.


Elmhurst & Paul Harding Join Virtual Town Hall with Fort Wayne Mayor

Students from Elmhurst High School and Paul Harding High School joined IPFW and ACELINK on Friday, Sept. 8 for the first monthly Virtual Town Hall Meeting this year. Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard was the featured elected official, and he spoke with students in this live, two-way interactive event. Andy Downs, executive director of IPFW's Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, was the moderator of the event. Participating teachers included Matt Mertes, Greg Daugherty, and Doug Ahr from Elmhurst. Ms. Molly Baumert, from Paul Harding, also participated.

The next Virtual Town Hall Meeting will be the 2nd Friday in October, featuring candidates for the Allen County Sheriff's race. For more information, contact ACELINK at 481-0747 or schaufes@ipfw.edu. This event is open to any school with IP videoconferencing capability.


ACELINK, Mike Downs Center Announce 2nd Virtual Town Hall Series

Virtual Town Hall ACELINK and the Mike Downs Center are again sponsoring the IPFW Virtual Town Hall Series. This interactive, multi-site H.323 videoconference program allows students and teachers (grades 9-12) to engage in public policy discussions with key public officials and experience their role as citizens. Participation in these FREE monthly discussions is granted on a first-come, first-served basis to classrooms with IP videoconferencing capability.

Each session begins with Downs introducing and interviewing the public official. Then the students are given the opportunity to engage in the conversation and pose their own questions.

We provide the official’s background and talking points to participating teachers in advance to allow time to prepare students and fully integrate the Town Hall into their curriculum. Participating classes should have an understanding of the topics being covered and be prepared to ask 3-4 relevant questions during the session.

IPFW ACELINK, in cooperation with the IPFW Division of Continuing Studies, provides the registration process, teacher orientation, technical support and supporting documents. Participating classrooms are responsible for their own video connection and technical support, but ACELINK will provide assistance and orientation as requested.

Last Year’s Participants
U.S. Senator Richard Lugar
U.S. Congressman Mark Souder
Indiana State Representative Jeff Espich
Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard

Schedule (September – November)
September 8, 2006 – Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard
October 20, 2006 – Allen County Sheriff Candidates’ Forum
November 17, 2006 - US Congressional Seat Winner

For a complete flyer and application form, contact Sandy Schaufelberger at schaufes@ipfw.edu or call 260-481-0747.


Free Online Rubric Tool

I'm still amazed at the number of teachers who don't know about this site, but after teaching two workshops this summer, it's clear that many still need to find their way to this free site. RubiStar is a free online tool to help the teacher who wants to use rubrics but does not have the time to develop them from scratch. As I always say, "Why reinvent the wheel?"

While many teachers want to use rubrics or are experimenting with writing rubrics, they can be quite time-consuming to develop. RubiStar provides generic rubrics that can simply be printed and used for many typical projects and research assignments. The unique thing about RubiStar, however, is that it provides these generic rubrics in a format that can be customized (with Word or Excel). The teacher can change almost all suggested text in the rubric to make it fit their own project.

For example, if RubiStar suggests for a multimedia presentation that "The student includes at least three slides" for the highest rating, the teacher could change that to read "The student includes at least 5 slides" or "The student includes a title slide with the authors' names; a table of contents with links to all slides that follow, ..."

RubiStar also does away with the tedious typing of similar content across all the various quality rating. When you choose a category to evaluate, all the quality ratings are filled in and are ready to customize.

Here's a link to the site: http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php

[Description taken from Rubistar site]

Alan November's Favorite Sites

For all of the Alan November fans out there, make sure you check out his list of favorite sites for educators at: http://www.novemberlearning.com/Default.aspx?tabid=150. Alan is always a source of great ideas and "out-of-the-box" thinking about using technology to enhance learning. Thanks, Alan, for keeping us all on the cutting edge!


MyPyramid for Kids

As of July 1, all schools must have a wellness policy in place. MyPyramid is a helpful website designed for kids ages 6-11. Go here to play the MyPyramid Blast-off game and find other materials designed for elementary school-aged children. The following MyPyramid materials are available online:

MyPyramid Blast Off Game
An interactive computer game where kids can reach Planet Power by fueling their rocket with food and physical activity. “Fuel” tanks for each food group help students keep track of how their choices fit into MyPyramid.

MyPyramid for Kids Poster
A 2-sided poster of MyPyramid for Kids. One side of the poster, for younger children, highlights a simplified MyPyramid for Kids graphic. The other side, for advanced elementary students, features both the MyPyramid for Kids graphic and healthy eating and physical activity messages.

Tips for Families
A 2-sided MyPyramid for Kids mini-poster with the MyPyramid for Kids graphic on one side and eating and physical activity tips on the other side.

A Close Look at MyPyramid for Kids
A step-by-step explanation of the key concepts of the MyPyramid for Kids symbol.

MyPyramid for Kids Coloring Page
Black and white line art of the MyPyramid for Kids symbol for kids to color.

MyPyramid for Kids Worksheet
Worksheet to help kids track how their food choices match up to the recommendations of MyPyramid. Print out this helpful meal tracking worksheet and set a food and activity goal for tomorrow.


Bandwidth Meter Online

This is an excellent tool for any school/organization that is thinking about adding videoconferencing. While it's not a full evaluation, it is a good test of your connection speeds for IP video.

Use this free, online Bandwidth Performance Meter to see how your connection to the internet is working today. Simply press the "Start Test Now" button and wait for the results.

With the results you can:

Determine if you need a different type of connection to the internet to see, hear, and stream content from the internet,

Pinpoint throughput related issues on your network or home computer,

Support your decision to move to a higher-performance internet connection.

ACENet always recommends at least 384 kps of bandwidth for IP videoconferencing.


Podcasts Make History Come Alive

In the July 11 issue of eSchool News online, there is an exciting article about podcasting from the nation's top historical content providers.

As the use of iPods and other handheld listening devices becomes more prevalent among students, some forward-thinking historical societies and other educational groups are embracing the technology as a means to reach students and further preserve history. At Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, for instance, historians are using podcasts to provide educators, students, and other potential visitors with information about the park and its historical significance.

Links in the article include:
Colonial Williamsburg podcasts at http://www.history.org/Media/podcasts.cfm

Smithsonian podcasts at http://www.smithsonian.org/podcasts/default.htm

Monticello podcasts at http://www.monticello.org/podcasts/index.html

Has anyone tried working with podcasts in an Allen County classroom?


It’s not just bandwidth, it’s what you do with it that matters

Wesley Fryer recently posted his thoughts on how access to high-speed Internet can and should change a small community. He said:

Access to high speed Internet access IS critical, but I keep thinking that the question we need to be asking in educational technology circles is, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR BANDWIDTH? Sure people can check stocks, sports scores, log in to check bank balances and other web-enabled administrative tasks– but what about content creation? The article mentions a small town resident who is so frustrated with the speed of dial-up Internet that she doesn’t bother uploading images or sending them to friends and family. I can relate. No doubt, Berry, Kentucky and every other small community around the globe needs to have available access to high speed Internet. But access alone is woefully inadequate, especially if a community is looking to turnaround longstanding trends of population losses to urban centers, as Berry evidently is.

My suggestion for the community would be to adopt a radically different educational curriculum approach. Rather than having students merely consume and regurgitate the traditional curriculum as everyone in their school system has doubtless been attempting to do for decades, adopt an innovative approach which focuses on project-based learning and students regularly creating authentic knowledge products which reflect their learning and understanding. Have the students regularly use technology to create digital stories and collaborative products like wiki pages which are accessible for a global audience. Embrace the idea that to become media literate and technologically powerful, students must WRITE THE WEB and not merely read and access it.

What do you think? Is the Allen County Education Network having an impact on learning? What more could we/should we do to support teaching and learning with this incredible resource?


Free Math Educ. Program Based on Numb3rs

The official "We All Use Math Every Day" web site has great resources for Math teachers. Texas Instruments (TI) is leading this math education initiative based on the hit series "NUMB3RS." In partnership with CBS, and working in association with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), TI has created an educational outreach program promoting the many uses of mathematics and supporting math teaching. The program includes TI and NCTM-developed math education activities for teachers and students based on the "NUMB3RS" TV show. The activities will be based on the mathematics presented in each episode.

If you register for the program activities, you also get a free poster from CBS. Go to http://www.cbs.com/primetime/numb3rs/ti/ to get signed up today!

ACELINK Program Report 2005-06

The ACELINK project has completed our first year, and we're pleased to provide the following report on our programs:

Distance Learning Events Summary
Total Events: 100

Professional Development: 32
Interactive Video Field Trips: 49
Two-Way Interactive Video IPFW Course: 1
Meetings: 18

Purchased Content: $6100
Estimated Students Impacted: 4000
Estimated Teachers Impacted: 400
Estimated Classrooms Impacted: 70

Funding Sources This Year:
Foellinger Foundation, IPFW Division of Continuing Studies, Verizon Fort Wayne, Tandberg USA, IPFW In-Kind, Indiana Data Center In-Kind

Accomplishments For 2005-06:
  • Our consortium negotiated a lower monthly cost for Internet drainage through the Indiana Data Center, from $9612 to $7900 per month.

  • Our consortium contracted with an E-rate consultant to file for federal discounts on our WAN and Internet drainage. This application was approved by the SLD and will result in a savings of $105,000 over the 2006-07 fiscal years.

  • The consortium applied for and received a new Foellinger Foundation Community Support award of $100,000 for the 2006-08 fiscal years.

  • Our consortium negotiated a 12-month guaranteed low price with Verizon for purchasing additional Tandberg endpoints. The total number of endpoints available was more than doubled under this new pricing.

  • Our consortium negotiated a new service contract agreement for yearly Tandberg maintenance.

  • The consortium successfully tested and operated the East Allen County Schools Tandberg MCU for multisite programs, meetings, etc.

  • The City of Fort Wayne recognized ACENet as a participant and leader in their I-Teams initiatives.

  • The consortium approved the application of the Allen County Public Library system to join the network in the summer of 2006.

  • All teachers in the Allen County Education Network now have access to the online IDeaS Directory where they can search for videoconferencing content and collaborations.

  • We’ve supported a growing movement among local education providers to develop content for two-way video delivery to schools.
Notable Events For 2005-06:

  • IPFW’s Center for Indiana Politics and Division of Continuing Studies hosted a Virtual Town Hall Series featuring the following elected officials: Graham Richard, Mark Souder, Richard Lugar and Jeff Espich. Over 400 students were impacted by this program, and teacher evaluations rated the program “excellent”.

  • ACENet technology directors and other key staff participated in a private virtual meeting with Alan November, technology consultant.

  • Fort Wayne Community Schools broadcast the FAME performance from Haley Elementary to 3 other elementary schools in their district who would not have been able to view the program.

  • Our first international videoconference was between Carroll High School Spanish students and VOSSpain.net regarding a Don Quixote program. Susan Terfler was the teacher who organized the program.

  • The interactive videoconferencing national Keystone Conference was hosted virtually by ACELINK in Fort Wayne, saving participants the travel and time required to travel to Indianapolis.

  • High School students from Bishop Dwenger, Heritage, and New Haven were able to participate in a virtual question and answer session with Hollywood creative director, Corey Edwards, through IPFW’s School of Visual & Performing Arts.

  • Seven high school students took part in the pilot of a two-way video PSY 120 course delivered by IPFW to their high schools for dual credit.

  • Four participants from ACENet received Certified Videoconferencing Professional training from the Center for Distance Learning Research at Texas A&M, provided by Verizon Fort Wayne.

  • Began working with Lutheran Hospital on the development of a two-way interactive video program to continue and enhance interactions between hospital neonatal staff and high school students.

  • ACELINK and IPFW Division of Continuing Studies sponsored a public innovation forum on Building Learning Communities with Alan November and the City of Fort Wayne in October 2005.


Best Two-Way Video Programs Survey

This post is from Janine Lim, a fellow videoconference program coordinator in Berrien County, Michigan…

Berrien County ISD, Michigan, hosted a Teacher's Choice Awards to select the Best Videoconferencing Content Providers for the 2005-2006 school year. 227 people from United States and Egypt filled out the survey. Votes came in from 24 different states.

Here are the results of the survey:
Best Fine Arts Museums
Center for Puppetry Arts
Cleveland Museum of Art
Best Historical Museums
Conner Prairie
Library of Congress
Best Multidisciplinary Museums & Organizations
Baseball Hall of Fame
Museum of TV & Radio, California
Best Science Museums
COSI Columbus
COSI Toledo
Best Zoos
Columbus Zoo
Indianapolis Zoo

You can find the complete results online here, including Best New Content Providers & Honorable Mentions, and a link to a complete list of content providers. http://www.remc11.k12.mi.us/dl/teacherschoice/

Thanks, Janine, for the work you do to help us all, and thanks for sharing this information.


Science Central Offers Virtual Field Trips

With Science2 You, students can see and hear a live presentation by a Science Central Education Specialist, be actively involved with interactive science investigations, and ask those puzzling questions! ACELINK is proud to endorse two new programs available for classes in an interactive videoconferencing format:

Grade Levels: 3rd-8th
What do insect shells and glue have in common? In this program, students explore the properties of polymers (aka plastics): how they behave, where they are found, their history of development, and how they can be recycled. Students then get the chance to experience the polymerization process as they make their own "polymer putty" to take home!
Activity Kit supplied
Cost: $75
Time: 45 – 60 minutes

Grade Levels 5th-12th
This computer-aided program pits teams of students against each other as they form and run their own fishing companies. As students manage and make decisions about their companies, they learn environmental conservation principles, analyze data, use negotiation skills, and make decisions in an effort to run a successful company while maintaining a sound environment.
Activity Kit supplied
Cost: $75
Time: 60 - 90 Minutes (one session, or two 45-minute sessions)

To make a reservation for a virtual field trip or get more information, contact Pam George, Science Central distance learning specialist, at 260-424-2400 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Technorati links blogs together with tags


Where do you want to go?

Today 20 teachers learned about videoconferencing--many for the first time. My question is--what do you want to connect with? Who should your students have an opportunity to talk to? Where do you want to take your students?

Add your thoughts as a comment below this post. Thanks.


Franke Park Teacher Receives National Recognition for Videoconferencing

Pam Ghaffarian, who team teaches third, fourth and fifth grades at Franke Park Elementary in Fort Wayne, was recently featured in an article in Cable in the Classroom's March publication called Access Learning.

In this article, Pam shared how her students are learning science in new ways. Her class is part of the NASA Explorer program, and they use the Allen County Education Network and videoconferencing equipment to improve science and learning. Among other experiences last year, students piloted STORM-E, an "e-Mission" on weather hosted by the Challenger Learning Center. They also videoconferenced with the Zathura author Chris Van Allsburg and a NASA engineer as they learned to write science fiction stories. First-graders at Franke Park videoconferenced for the first time this year, learning about the Sun from a scientist in Hampton, Va. "They drew pictures of the Sun together and compared them to what they used to think the Sun was like," said Pam.

"Integrating videoconferencing into instruction means students can learn from experts anywhere in the world, giving them access to teachers with specialized knowledge, props, and sometimes even a gift for the theatrical," reported the author.

ACELINK has supported interactive videoconferences at Franke Park, which we also make available to any educator in our consortium. For more information on this funding for programs, contact schaufes@ipfw.edu.


Homestead Students Teach French to 1st Graders

First graders in Bonnie Wainwright's Aboite Elementary (Fort Wayne, Indiana) class have been learning French from high school students this spring with the help of 21st century communications technology. They have a videoconferencing unit in their room connected to Mrs. Ferkel’s classroom at Homestead High School.

Mrs. Ferkel's French 111 students prepare and send lessons for the first graders each week. Mrs. Wainwright's class receives the materials and interacts with the high school French students via distance technology. Students have been learning the French alphabet, numbers, colors, school items, body parts and more.

This collaboration is supported by the ACELINK project and district administration. The two classrooms in Southwest Allen County Schools connect via IP point-to-point with their Tandberg equipment, saving the cost and time of travel between buildings. Congratulations to all involved in this innovative and exciting collaboration! Posted by Picasa


Watch Video of the General Assembly Online

The Indiana General Assembly Web site has the information you need to learn more about the democratic process and participate in state government. Through http://www.legislative.in.gov/, you can watch or listen to General Assembly sessions from your computer, obtain legislator contact information, check session calendars, search bills and resolutions, research Indiana laws and administrative rules and more!

When the Assembly is in session, you can watch video from the Senate, House, House Ways & Means Committee and House Committe Room 156c.

Mark this site in your Favorites for the next legislative session and check it out!


Fort Wayne Students Explore Planet Mars

Students from Brentwood Elementary and Memorial Park Middle School recently launched their own explorations of the red planet with the Challenger Learning Center in Brownsburg, Indiana. In this highly interactive and exciting program:

  • Students explored various challenges facing a mission of this distance.
  • Students increased their understanding of life in a microgravity environment.
  • Students toured major landmarks on the Martian surface.
  • Students understood how technology influences the course of history.

Teachers from both schools prepared their students for the interactive videoconference by reviewing the packet of materials sent to them in advance. They also talked with their students about expectations and learning goals for this special session.

ACELINK supported the project by helping with scheduling the event, coordinating technology support with Fort Wayne Community Schools, and providing funding for the program costs.

For information about other programs from the Challenger Center, see their website or contact schaufes@ipfw.edu.


Representative Espich Partners with ACELINK

On Wednesday, April 12, three area high schools participated in the IPFW Virtual Town Hall Meeting (Fort Wayne, Indiana) with Indiana Representative Jeff Espich. The Representative, also chair of the House Ways and Means committee, joined students from Elmhurst, Leo and Paul Harding to discuss the state budget, spending priorities and answer students' questions. Andy Downs, IPFW's director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, moderated the discussion from IPFW's Kettler Hall. Students from each location interacted with the Representative in the live two-way video meeting supported by ACELINK and a multipoint control bridge at East Allen County Schools.

The next Town Hall Meeting will be May 12, and our guest will be determined soon. For information on signing up for this free program, contact Sandy Schaufelberger at 260-481-0747 or schaufes@ipfw.edu.

To talk with Professor Downs about other topics he can present via live videoconference, send him an email at downs@ipfw.edu.


Art & Science Combine in Hands-On Learning

On March 17, Mike Gibson's New Haven, Indiana (EACS) 6th grade science class participated in an interactive videoconference with the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. ACELINK supported the program with funds from our Foellinger Grant, and we helped Mr. Gibson schedule the program.

The Center for Puppetry Arts provides hands-on puppet building workshops via videoconferencing and tailors them to specific classroom topics and curriculum. The arts are infused with science, social studies, language arts and other disciplines to create a dynamic, interactive virtual classroom for a virtual field trip experience.

In this program, students build a Spider Marionette while participating in learning activities about how spiders and insects differ, web vs. wandering spiders, and the lifecycle of a spider.

According to Mr. Gibson, "The program went very well. The students enjoyed it very much. The science content was also good. Thanks for the opportunity to use this new technology." Posted by Picasa


ACELINK Connects Lugar to Schools

On Friday, March 10, five Fort Wayne, Indiana area high schools participated in the IPFW Virtual Town Hall Meeting with Senator Richard Lugar. The Senator--connected through the US Senate Studios-- joined students from Bishop Dwenger, Carroll, Elmhurst, Leo and Paul Harding to discuss his views on energy and the Nunn-Lugar legislation. Lisa Grier, IPFW's first Lugar Scholar, moderated the discussion from IPFW's Kettler Hall. Students from each location were able to interact with the Senator in the live two-way video meeting supported by ACELINK and a multipoint control bridge at East Allen County Schools.

The next Town Hall Meeting will be April 12, and our guest will be State Representative Jeff Espich. For information on signing up for this free program, contact Sandy Schaufelberger at 260-481-0747 or
schaufes@ipfw.edu. Posted by Picasa


Leo & Heritage Watch Autopsy

Anatomy students at Leo and Heritage high schools (East Allen County Schools) watched a virtual autopsy from Columbus, Ohio on Feb. 14.

"Thanks for making the program possible. It was a worthwhile experience for the teacher and students. Just what I like to see and hope more teachers would do. Project based learning with real world application!" -- Mark Daniel, Leo High School Principal, Leo, Indiana.

"The program was so awesome. The kids loved it. Thank you for all your help. The kids have how the man died all figured out all ready." -- Angie Snyder, Leo teacher

The program was provided by COSI Columbus, and ACELINK funds were used to pay for the content. For information on how to use this funding, contact Sandy Schaufelberger at schaufes@ipfw.eduPosted by Picasa


Congressman Souder Partners with ACELINK

US Congressman Mark Souder joined the IPFW Virtual Town Hall Series in February in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Four high school government classes were able to interact with the congressman: Bishop Dwenger, Carroll High School, Leo High School & Paul Harding High School. Andy Downs, Director of the IPFW Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, moderated the event. Congressman Souder spoke to students about his committee work on illegal drugs and the role of the federal government in education.

The March program will feature Senator Richard Lugar, and it is scheduled for Friday, March 10 at 9:30 a.m. Posted by Picasa


THE PULSE: Islam and the US Videoconference

Bishop Dwenger & Anthis plan to participate in a unique videoconferencing series (for grades 9 through 12) that addresses what some people are calling the "clash between Islam and the West" and particularly, the United States. It consists of two parts:

Videoconference I: What do we know about Islam?
Description: BDHS and 2 other interactive schools will discuss what they know about Islam and debate how this religion is perceived in the United States. A GNG staff member moderates from a fourth location. Anthis plans to join as a "view-only" site.
Date: February 15th @ 9 am EST, 11 EST, 1 pm EST, 3 pm EST (schools choose one)
Duration: 50-60 minutes
Cost: $100 for interactive schools.
Read: Preparatory lesson plan on Islam (Discovery Channel)
Watch : Political cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad against Islamic law controversy across the(PBS)

Videoconference II (with special guest): Discussing the Principles of Islam with Ahmed Younis (Muslim Public Affairs Council)
Duration: 50-60 minutes
Date: Thursday, February 16, 2006 at 11 am EST
Cost: $125 for interactive schools, including bridging fees and scheduling. Limited to 4 interactive schools (first come, first served). $90 for view only schools (umlimited space).


Forensic Entomology: The Role of Insects in Crime Scene Investigations

"The Forensic Entomology videoconference from COSI Columbus was outstanding. The presenter was well prepared and had the students on the edge of their chairs. The students asked engaging questions and the presenter was able to give engaging answers. It was truly a first class presentation. I would love to be able to see this again in the 3rd Trimester."


Mark Mettert, Teacher
New Haven High School


ACELINK Supports FAME Performances

The FAME (Fort Wayne Arts & Music Education) project has been a popular art/music education program in our area for years, but this year teachers will have a whole new way to participate! Working with FAME, IPFW's School of Visual & Performing Arts, and area schools, we are encouraging classrooms to join a small-group performance by two-way videoconferencing in Allen County, Indiana.

ACELINK funds can be used to cover the $50 cost of a performance delivered by two-way videoconferencing. Teachers would need to go to the ACELINK website for an application form, plus they'll need to work with their technical support staff to get equipment setup and tested before the program starts. Remote participation is limited, depending on equipment availability and support needs.

Kim Brown, FAME scheduler, can work with teachers to help them find a date and originating partner for this exciting project. Kim can be reached at: 260-436-3857 or dandkbrown715@msn.com.

IPFW Pilots Two-Way Video Dual Credit Course

This Spring, students from four locations are simultaneously taking Psychology 120 via two-way videoconferencing. Originating from a classroom on IPFW's campus, students at Bishop Dwenger, Heritage, and Woodlan can earn high school credit plus college credit in this unique program. Most of the students participating in the pilot program were not previously enrolled at IPFW.

The class meets on Monday and Wednesday afternoon so it doesn't interfere with school schedules, and each remote school provides an adult facilitator for the session. The Allen County Education Network carries the synchronous videoconferencing content to each location, and students can communicate with the professor through class-time conversations, email or IPFW's course management program: WebCT.

IPFW plans to offer additional dual credit courses by two-way video in the fall 2006 semester. They also offer dual credit in several other formats, including online courses. For information about these courses or the technology, contact schaufes@ipfw.edu. For information about the IPFW dual credit program, contact Ann Brown at browna@ipfw.edu.


Zoology Students Connect with Zoo Expert

Students at New Haven High School connected with the Lee Richardson Zoo to learn about birds in flight through videoconferencing on January 19. Mr. Mettert, classroom teacher, signed up for the program through ACELINK, and about 60 students were able to talk with the Zoo, which is located in Garden City, Kansas. In addition to learning some great information about how birds and bats fly, the students also saw a couple of special guests from the zoo...an albino dove and a screetch owl.


Hoodwinked! director connects with students

IPFW's School of Visual Arts hosted a question-and-answer session with Hoodwinked! animated movie director, Corey Edwards, on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Students from Bishop Dwenger, Heritage, and New Haven High School were able to join IPFW students in a live chat with Corey about his new movie.

The Allen County Education Network was used to connect the three remote sites to IPFW using videoconferencing equipment so students could participate in the session without leaving their schools. Mr. Edwards was in Fort Wayne, Indiana to attend a special premier showing of his new animated film. He attended college with IPFW professor, Mark Ridgeway.


IPFW Links Schools with Mayor

Today we hosted the first IPFW Virtual Town Hall Series with our guest, Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard. Three local schools joined the discussion with IPFW's Andy Downs. The schools were: Bishop Dwenger, Carroll High School and Aboite Elementary. The Mayor talked with students about the importance of the "innovation infrastructure" that he's been strongly supporting in Fort Wayne. He talked to students from the City/County building via the Allen County Education Network and IPFW's distance learning resources.

Students asked great questions like, "How could technology be used to advance opportunities for the Arts to students in Fort Wayne," and "Who has the mayor worked with to create his technology philosophy/policies".

The next program in the series will be February 10 at 9:30 a.m. and our featured guest will be Congressman Mark Souder. Schools can still join the series by contacting me at schaufes@ipfw.edu.