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!