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ASU faculty present technology education workshop to middle-school students, teachers

August 25, 2009 -- A group of ASU faculty recently presented a Technology Education through eXploration of Teaching Science (TEXTS) workshop to 15 middle schoolDr. Mary Jackson Pitts, standing, provides technology instruction with Dr. Rebecca Matthews, seated, at the TEXTS workshop. students and 4 teachers on July 6-7. Dr. Mary Jackson Pitts and Dr. Lily Zeng, Radio-TV, Dr. Rebecca Matthews, Nursing, and Dr. Mark McJunkin, Teacher Education, instructed participants from  Marked Tree, Cedar Ridge,  Brookland, Highland, Swifton, Jonesboro, Nettleton, Valley View, Marmaduke, Batesville, and Westside school districts as part of the Summer Scholars course at the Jonesboro Health, Wellness, and Environmental Science (HWES) Magnet School.

Funded by an ASU faculty research grant, this workshop allowed ASU researchers to work out the details of teaching technology to 10-to-12-year-olds using science concepts in a summer workshop setting. Within 12 months, the team expects to create a strong application for grants sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Over the last 18 months, this multidisciplinary team has developed a technology curriculum, Technology Education through eXploration of Teaching Science (TEXTS), to allow teachers and students to experience a technological ramp from familiar, Dr. Lily Zeng works with students during the TEXTS workshop.hands-on concepts of science to less familiar, more abstract applications through use of information technology (IT). Collaborative technology opportunities for teachers and students were created by Drs. Zeng and Jackson-Pitts using Paint.NET, Audacity, iTunes, QuickTime Pro, and Windows Movie Maker. In two three-hour workshops, students created a script and produced 13 videos that were transformed into vodcasts (video podcasts) and posted to the webpage for ease in downloading. In addition, each child, each teacher, and the Summer Scholars administrator, Dr. Julie Lamb-Milligan, received a DVD with all the videos created by participants. The Jonesboro HWES magnet coordinator, Melinda Smith, received two DVDs for her use with her magnet grant.

Variations of this workshop have been presented to teachers and students from Mississippi Delta Schools and seven faculty from the College of Nursing and Health Professions in the spring of 2009. All products produced in these workshops were posted to the ASUTEXTS website. Future efforts will focus on development of Arkansas science and health standard-specific content with an environmental focus and for the creation of pre-and post-tests for the technology side of the grant. A $10,000 grant from the Horizon Institute of Technology augmented the $3,100 faculty research grant that allowed for purchase of software licenses, a camcorder, voice recorders, a still camera, and two laptops.

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