1. Description of Our Community
Our community of Farmington, Missouri is located about 60 miles south from St. Louis, Missouri. Farmington has a population of approximately 16,000 residents as of July 2011. Farmington is located in the county of St. Francois. St. Francois County is located in the Mineral Area region of Missouri. St. Francois County has a population of approximately 65,000 residents as of July 2011. Our CyberFair project interviews were taken from about a 60 mile radius around Farmington. Our school, St. Paul Lutheran School, has just under 300 students in K-8. St. Francois County population info from: Google Public Data. Farmington, MO population info from: Google Public Data.
2. Summary of Our Project
Our CyberFair project entry is named CAPS. CAPS stands for Career Action Planning for Students. It is a online Moodle course/website where people can come and learn about their career field of interest and is found at http://stpmoodle.com/login/index.php. There are many different pathways and careers on this site. Students are able to read interviews from the professionals in their specific careers. We are doing this project so we can help middle schoolers, high schoolers, and even adults find a career at which they would like to pursue. We have shared the website URL and guest login (stpguest) and password (guest1) at our story site and have advertised the guest site within our local community.
We created three CAPS sites. One of them is our CAPS work area where we wrote about our field trips with personal reflections. Our second site is the CAPS Moodle course, where we provided information about careers and uploaded interviews, almost 50 in total. This is the site that we will be sharing with the schools in our community. Our final site is the CAPS Google site. This is where we are putting together our story to share with the world.
The first field trip we took for CAPS was to KFVS12. We watched a live television news broadcast while we were there. We interviewed three people, and we had other interviews from them emailed to us. To get more interviews, everyone in our 7th and 8th grade classes interviewed someone they knew. Then we uploaded them to our CAPS Moodle course. To promote our project, a few of us also went to KTJJ radio station and explained what CyberFair is and what our project was about. Maridee Lawson also came and interviewed us for the Farmington Press newspaper. Throughout the project we realized that every career uses technology, and that is why we are trying to let kids know what they need to learn and know how to use it before they go into that career field.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The main problem we had was scheduling field trips, because we had to schedule around sports activities and tests that we had in other classes. Also, it was hard to go on field trips because we have such a large class; we didn’t have enough drivers since we do not have a bus system. We had to problem solve these issues to make our activities successful. Other problems were finding time around our normal class technology requirements to learn Moodle course management. We also practiced many of our editing skills in writing when we transcribed all the numerous interviews. They took a lot of time!
5. Our Project Sound Bite
We have discovered many different jobs that we didn’t know about, what is involved with education and training, and how important current technology plays a role in the job market. From every interview we learned that technology is used in some way, large or small, so it is very important that we learn everything we can about technology for our own career paths. Providing an online informative site will make it easier for students in our community to make one of the most serious choices in their lives.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Most standards of the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) NETS (National Educational Technology Standards for Students standards http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students/nets-student-standards-2007.aspx are met by this CyberFair project. We also follow guidelines as presented by iNACOL standards for learning (International Association for K-12 Online Learning http://www.inacol.org/research/nationalstandards/) Research and collaboration online allowed us to apply our digital skills. We will be better prepared for the future by securing these standards as daily classroom practices. We practiced emailing etiquette, online responsibilities, Moodle course management, and reflective writing.
Writing skills of grammar, spelling and mechanics, plus skill in expression were met in the Missouri Show Me Standards in Knowledge http://dese.mo.gov/standards/comarts.html and Performance Goals http://dese.mo.gov/standards/process.html.
We feel that Internet technology made us able to accomplish our goal much better than traditional methods. Using Google Forms allowed us to gather more career profiles because the data method is simple and easy to understand. We collaborated efficiently with mobile phones, emailing, and Google Drive. Dropbox application and management of a Moodle course were new elements we learned with this project.