FROM the EDITOR Fall 2010

I have a real passion for education. One of my favorite things to do is to share ideas with others who are equally passionate about educating our children. So I was particularly pleased to get a call from our Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Normally, when a cabinet-level individual calls, you would expect a lot of formality – a secretary to the Secretary placing the call and getting you on the line so He can speak to you. No such pomp here. The call came in around 4:30 and I was greeted by “Hi, this is Arne Duncan.” It was like we had been talking for years. That’s Arne. Genuine. Passionate. And genuinely passionate about education. The Secretary laid out his ideas for the future of education in our country. Mostly broad brush strokes. Some detail. But what came through to me was his genuine interest and belief in the strength of our communities and our ability to transform our education landscape. I like his holistic approach to education; he incorporates it into the lives of students, their families, and the community. He also has a deep respect and reverence for teachers.

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Helping Schools Succeed TREATING TEACHERS AS THE PROFESSIONALS THEY ARE

What follows has been excerpted from 162 Keys to School Success:  Be The Best, Hire The Best, Train, Inspire and Retain The Best which was published by Eye on Education in July, 2010.

Ask people what is the most valuable resource America has and they will come up with a variety of answers including coal, oil, or other natural resources.  For me the answer is “its people.”  America has a talented, educated workforce.  Education has supplied this workforce with knowledge and skills that most nations fail to provide.  Yet educators are not valued in this society as much as they are in many other nations.  And we are losing them a rate where schools of education are incapable of replacing them as quickly as they leave.  Teachers “dropout” of school at a higher rate than students and among the reasons is low salaries.

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Problem Solved PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT For Sam, wherever you may find him

As I spoke last week at a huge Iowa K-12 education conference, I noticed commotion in the hall’s front row. After my keynote was finished, a person from that row came up to apologize for the disruption. She explained that the woman next to her had been checking her phone messages while I spoke.  The woman had discovered she was being laid off by e-mail, and was simply unable to control her shock and anger. The educator standing in front of me then said that she herself had been laid off last week after several decades as a teacher. Read More »

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Celebrating Improvement THE WOW FACTOR AT WORK

From our humble beginning at Conway High School in South Carolina until now, Jostens Renaissance has continued to focus on the power of teaching and learning across our nation. When Conway High School launched the CHS #1 Program on January 20, 1984, we knew that our quest to create lots of niches for lots of kids would begin to close the recognition gap on our campus. It was simple.  There was an achievement gap because there was a recognition gap! What we needed was an inside-out business approach that centered on our entire school community as the most important business in town.  We knew that we must elevate and appreciate the teaching profession because it drives the future – who and what our students will become.  Read More »

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The SEEN Interview: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan with Charles Sosnik

As Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan is placing schools at the heart of the community

SEEN Magazine: You grew up in an education family. Your father was a college professor and your mother ran a tutoring program for inner city children. Aside from going one-on-one with Michael Jordan, had you ever considered a different career path?

Secretary Duncan:   I’ve been lucky. I’ve always had two passions. One was education and one was basketball. I took a year off from college between my junior and senior year, which was pretty nontraditional, and worked full time on my mother’s program. Most of my friends were thinking about becoming investment bankers and lawyers and that didn’t feel right for me. I really wanted to test myself and question what I wanted to do with my life.  Over the course of the year it confirmed for me that that was what I wanted to do. So, I was lucky enough to play professional basketball for a couple of years, once I graduated from college, but still, education is the core of who I am. That year was just a really important one for me. It was who I was. I came out of that year really knowing this was what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve been lucky enough all my life to be able to follow my passion and this is what is closest to my heart.

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Building the Perfect School Campus Start with the END in mind

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

-— Wayne Gretzky
While going through some old boxes stored in our basement recently I came across one that included numerous yellowed high school report cards. Having graduated from high school over 30 years ago (yes, before the IBM PC), it was fun to reminisce. I took a very traditional line-up of classes in a very traditional sequence: Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry; Biology, Chemistry, Physics; World history, U.S. History; American Literature, World Literature; Spanish 1, Spanish 2, etc., earning “credits” toward graduation. I sat in desks aligned in neat rows and moved from class to class by the timed clang of a bell. 

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Preserve America History’s Teacher of the Year

How do American history teachers bring facts to life? Do they pass around primary source documents and discuss them in context with historical events? Do they dress in period clothing and recite a monologue from a play that demonstrates the trials and tribulations of people of times past? Such classroom practices are not necessarily commonplace, and many times these memorable and cherished teachers do not receive the recognition that they so greatly deserve.

The Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Award aims to do just that, on both the state and national level. A $1,000 prize is issued to winning teachers in every state. Each state winner is submitted into the national competition for a $10,000 award. In addition, each teacher receives a collection of teaching materials for their school.

Nominations, submitted on the teacher’s behalf, are collected from colleagues and students alike. “There is no better testament to a teacher’s skill than the approval of their students and fellow colleagues,” says Lesley Hermann, executive director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute, the nonprofit educational organization that administers and co-sponsors the award.

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Visual mapping Connecting teachers with learning

Although visual mapping is already used by over 250 million people worldwide, including many of the largest companies in the world, it is still relatively little used in schools and unknown to teachers and students. However, once teachers and students get introduced to visual mapping, they find it a fun, engaging, and motivating approach to learning.

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Evaluating the educator Florida literacy specialist’s findings show need to rethink what constitutes teacher efficacy

How can low-performing schools identify which teachers are best qualified to improve student performance? Is there a relationship between a teacher’s characteristics and their belief in their own ability to be successful?

These are the questions Pamela Craig, Ph. D. sought to answer in her research examining whether certain characteristics had any correlation with language arts teachers’ confidence in their ability to be successful or “efficacy” when instructing at low-performing public Florida high schools. The specific characteristics evaluated in this study included, but were not limited to: gender, degrees, certifications, years of experience, number of years at current school and current courses. 

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Teaching Engagement

Engagement is obviously a central aspect of effective teaching. If students are not engaged, there is little, if any, chance that they will learn what is being addressed in class. A basic premise of this article is that student engagement happens as a result of a teacher’s careful planning and execution of specific strategies. In other words, student engagement is not serendipitous. Of course, no teacher will have all students engaged at high levels all of the time; however, using the research-based suggestions presented in this article, every teacher can create a classroom environment in which engagement is the norm instead of the exception.

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Can you and your students BUYA? BUYA (boo-yah) acronymto Bring Up Your Average

Do you give extra credit? Can we do a report or something?  These were questions that were asked after they received their first test grade back at the beginning of the school year.  For the most part, I have never given extra credit for my students.  I’ve always thought of extra credit as give away points and not meaningful to the subject matter being taught.  As I began to think about giving extra credit, I wanted it to be relative and for every student.  If I could only come up with an idea that was different and serve a curricular purpose while at the same time give students a chance to bring up their average. 

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Choosing to teach as a second career Should I fear it?

Fear is an emotion triggered by an impending or perceived threat or danger. It is something that we create in ourselves and is not an innate characteristic. Oftentimes we find ourselves in a state of fear as we go through a transition period in our lives like our first day at a new school, buying our first home, or even our first time flying. I experienced this same fear as I began my new career as a teacher.   

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Compassionate and accountable assessment A balanced approach to using zeros in today’s educational system

Today’s educators face a variety of issues that have the potential to divide people rather than unite them. One such issue is the “No Zero” policy. These policies are also called “ZAP” programs, which stands for “Zeros Aren’t Possible” or “Zeros Aren’t Productive.”

Teachers, parents, and students have their own understanding of a fair grading system, and the understandings within each of these groups vary considerably. Some teachers and administrators view zeros as discouraging and degrading, while others believe zeros help students learn life lessons about responsibility and work ethic. Some consider any grade, zeros included, as something students earn, while others view a grade as something assigned by the teacher.

When I first started my teaching career, it was my belief that students earn their grades. Students who did not turn in assignments did not receive anything above a zero. My thinking was rather simple: “if you turn nothing in, then you will receive nothing for a grade.” 

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The impact of new core standards on kindergarten education

The new K–12 Common Core State Standards were released by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers in June. Now it is up to individual states to decide whether to adopt them. The U.S. Department of Education has linked Race to the Top funds to adoption of the standards, creating a powerful financial incentive. But we have serious concerns about these standards, especially for kindergartners.

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March 2 Success How the Army helps with the ACT, SAT and more

In today’s world, tests are increasingly the end rather than the means. The world relies on tests to determine who will graduate, get a job, receive a scholarship, or even enter a government career as a firefighter, police officer, civil servant or military service member. How well young men and women score on standardized tests can have a great impact on their future. No matter your views on the politics of testing, as an educator, you care about your students and want them to succeed. At the same time, you know you cannot give every student the individual attention needed or wanted.

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What makes the best college?

“What’s the best college?” That is one of the most common questions asked of college counseling professionals. Our society is heavily focused on rankings of “the Best” – restaurants, sports teams, cars, cities, etc. In fact, the editor of the US News & World Reports Best Colleges Guide has claimed, “It is un-American not to have rankings.” As a result, the magazine has built its reputation and business model on that one issue.

From one perspective, it seems like a straightforward, empirical question that can be answered fairly easily based on some general measure(s) of quality. In fact, US News is not the only media or organization that has based their business model and success on providing students and parents with a list of the “best” colleges. Whereas it may be easy to quantify many of the things that we rank in today’s society, colleges are too varied and students are too nuanced to be able to develop any kind of ranking system that is helpful to finding “the best” college.

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STEM undergraduate program

Tell me and I’ll forget; Show me and I may remember; Involve me and I’ll understand.

-Chinese Proverb

The concept of learning by doing is by no means new. Indeed, it has gained increasing attention and favor in K-12 education during the past decade. Too often, however, once students reach college they find themselves in lecture-intensive classes in which student involvement is rare. Marshall University, located in Huntington, West Virginia, is reversing that trend through its undergraduate research programs in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

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Jump start your path to a graduate or professional degree with a dual admission

You’ve probably heard it said — or even said it yourself —  a bachelor’s degree today is the equivalent of what a high school diploma used to be years ago.  The bar has been raised and obtaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is often not enough in today’s competitive world.  Many students will need to continue their education in graduate school.  While it is great advice for most young baccalaureates to gain real world experience before immersing themselves back into the halls of academia for a masters or doctorate, what about those whiz kids who always stood out in high school?  You know, the one who knew she wanted to be a doctor since she was three years old.  Or, the one who’s going to take over the family business and needs an M.B.A. to manage it?  And how about the one who always wanted to go to law school and become a Supreme Court judge?   In today’s economy, students and parents need to ask the question, “Which university will help me reach my goals faster?” 

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Why post-secondary education for young adults with intellectual disabilities?

To answer the question “Why post-secondary education for young adults with intellectual disabilities?” we first need to look at the purpose of education. As John F. Kennedy said, “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”

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ELSA program provides path to college for challenged students Road to the Future

For most college students, the hardest part of getting to class in the morning is waking up. For Mike Mackowiak, a student in the graduate program of the Elmhurst Life Skills Academy at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois, the challenges of getting to college couldn’t be overcome with a shot of espresso. Considered intellectually and socially challenged with autism spectrum disorder, Mackowiak had to master not only the Chicago subway system but also his fears of going to college and fitting in.

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Notre Dame College’s Academic Support Center a ‘Refuge’

“For me, the Academic Support Center is more than a learning center. It’s a place of peace and quiet, a refuge away from the bustling campus.” These words spoken by Chariya-Marie (Char) summarize what Notre Dame College’s Academic Support Center means to its students with learning differences.

Char is one of 85 students enrolled in the center, which opened in 2006. Since then, it has helped students overcome learning disabilities through comprehensive services ranging from individual tutoring to action support groups and career advice. With adaptive equipment and personal attention exceeding those services required by law, the ASC unlocks the potential of its gifted students.

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Technology accelerates success in LD education Racing with Change

Technology, communication and brain research have dramatically affected the field of education, particularly LD education, over my 35 years in education.  This rapidly changing landscape associated with the Information Age and advances in brain research have affected today’s educators like science and technology have affected no other generation that precedes them in the history of mankind.  The explosion of information alone has stimulated the evolution of pedagogy and directed our understanding of how we read and learn from scientific studies that focus on brains with learning disabilities. 

 

Advances in technology/communication and neuroscience/genetics:

1973 - Modern cell phones are invented

1979 - Apple invents the first home computer 

1985 - Nintendo Entertainment System is released in US

1989 – The World Wide Web prototype system is built.

 

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Therapeutic Novels Teenagers experience healing through reading

What is Bibliotherapy?

The popularity of self-help books indicates that individuals use reading as a form of self-development and healing, and while many are able to seek professional help through psychiatric agencies, a great many more either cannot access psychiatric services for financial reasons or do not wish to, and that is where self-help texts come into their own. The term “bibliotherapy” means to experience healing through reading, and can be used alone or as an adjunct to therapy with a counselor. The reader identifies with the characters in a book and realizes that they are not alone with the problems they experience in their lives. When the reader becomes emotionally involved in the story they find it easier to express their own emotions, learn to problem solve and gain alternative perspectives.

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Skills for bystanders A look at bullying triangulation: Why bystanders don’t get involved

In the triangulation of harassment, there is a bully, victim and bystanders.  Much has been written on the power and control of why children bully.  Likewise, we understand the effects of victimization.  However, the role of a bystander is misunderstood and not emphasized in the literature.

 

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Technology transforms the autism classroom

Lauren Stafford has worked as an Intervention Specialist in the field of autism in public and private school settings in Virginia and Ohio. Ms. Stafford worked as an Intervention Specialist for Monarch School for 10 years, where she also served as an Academic Supervisor for four years, and acted as Entry Year Coordinator, LPDC Chairperson, Data Coordinator, and collaborator with Children’s Hospital Boston. Ms. Stafford is currently the Director of Instructional Design for Monarch Teaching Technologies.

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Empowering students through communication

Nobody has to tell me that bullying is real. I’ve lived it. From the time I started school in a small town in Texas, I was mercilessly teased, harassed, and called hurtful names. It was out of those experiences that I wrote Ima Nobody Becomes a Somebody. One reality about my situation kept me paralyzed — helpless to do anything about the constant bullying I received. And I wonder if the same may be true of some of the students in your classroom.

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Shaping student behavior

Teachers deserve our commendation and gratitude for the work they do for, as any educator will tell you, teaching is not an easy job. Witness the enormous turnaround among first year teachers—as many as half of them will leave the profession within five years. And often, in survey after survey, student misbehavior ranks high as one of the major forces driving this exodus.

Managing and motivating students is what teachers do when they are at their best. Teachers who do this well avoid power struggles, communicate high expectations, remain calm in difficult situations, and inspire even the most reluctant students. These teachers succeed because they know how to manage the mechanisms that positively impact student behavior.

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The Book Report Extraordinary, Ordinary People. A Memoir of Family

Written by Condoleezza Rice

From Crown Publishing – Random House

 

Rarely has education had such an important focus as that of the family of Condoleezza Rice. Her mother had five siblings, all born in the 1920s, and each graduated college. That’s a rare feat in any family. In the Jim Crow South of that era, it is remarkable.

A good illustration of the importance of education in her family can be seen in this passage:

 

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Fundraising Beneficial to students and the bottom line

As a direct result of current uncertain economic times, many schools and school organizations are relying on fundraising to bridge the gap (fill the holes) in their budgets. More so now than ever, the importance of a successful fundraiser is critical.

The benefits of fundraising can be two-fold. An effectively executed fundraiser can supplement tight budgets and possibly avoid program cuts. Just as important, the fundraising experience, can be both fulfilling and educational for the students involved. Select your fundraiser, then work with students to set a realistic (attainable) goal and develop a plan of action. Use this opportunity to teach students how to create a business plan. Engaging them to develop their own strategies for marketing, advertising, sales coverage, scheduling, and distribution will create a more meaningful and successful student experience. Use the “learning tool” approach for your next fundraiser to make it more effective, more educational, and more fun.

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Taking classrooms out of the technological dead zone Can you hear me now?

Wake up. Send e-mail. Shower. Read CNN.com. Commute. Update Twitter. The Internet era significantly altered the way most of us go about our daily lives. With smart-phones, wireless Internet access, blogs and social networking, we communicate and learn from each other in ways that are drastically different from just a few years ago. It should be no surprise, then, that today’s students retain and process information differently as well. Yet, many of the tools that we use to teach students — print textbooks, pencils, paper and blackboards — remain static.

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The Changing face of computing Get green with IT

(This is part three of a three part series.)

Throughout today’s school districts, students are encouraged to be environmentally conscious.  Recycling of paper, bottles and cans is now standard practice.  Children are encouraged to compost.  If you take a closer look at the computer labs, however, you will see a different story.  In most labs, you will find bulky PCs that consume a large amount of energy and contribute to classroom white noise.  The heat they generate is also substantial, almost always necessitating air conditioning which results in additional energy costs.  It’s a vicious circle.  But, now there is an alternative for districts to ‘green’ their IT departments and computer labs.  In this article, we will examine more than just powering down computers in the lab to how virtual clients just might be the key to school districts realizing a Green IT philosophy.

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School based health care: How it is funded

(This is part three of a three-part series on school-based health care.)

School-based health centers (SBHCs) provide primary care, mental health services, and sometimes oral health care to students where they are: in school. In the final part of this three-part series from the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC) we will explore how SBHCs are currently funded, some of the financial challenges they are facing, and how they will benefit from the health care reform legislation.

Sources of Funding for School-Based Health Centers

Research and evaluations have demonstrated that, in addition to being a common sense approach to ensuring that all children and adolescents are healthy and achieving to their fullest potential, school-based health centers (SBHCs) are cost-effective investments of public resources.

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Motivating teen girls with a personal fitness program

Have you ever wondered if it was possible to get teen girls excited about exercise and eating healthier? Do you think it is possible to successfully reach that student who “has never liked physical education class”? Here’s what some of the girls from Springfield High School in Akron, Ohio had to say about their “Personal Training Class” (a physical education elective for juniors and seniors).

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Creating memorable learning experiences

“Travel is broadening” is a time-worn cliché that is used because it is true. Travel by its very nature is educational, as travelers encounter numerous objects, ideas and experiences different from their everyday lives—landscapes and architecture, people, ideas, and cultures.

For school groups, the inherent educational value of travel can be greatly enhanced by incorporating visits to museums, science and nature centers, zoos, botanic gardens and historic sites into your class trip.  In addition to their standard tours and exhibits, most museums also offer special programs keyed to local or state standards of learning for K-12 school groups.

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Educational experiences outside the classroom are in your backyard Free interactive field trips generate unforgettable lessons

Daycare counselor Chasity Richardson and her students look on in amazement as they come eye to eye with a snake. The students are not in any danger, they are actually learning about animal science, math, geography and basic animal responsibility at their local PETCO. They’re learning in a way that is unforgettable. By spending the last sixty minutes petting ferrets and watching birds eat their favorite food; these children now understand the responsibility that comes with adopting a pet. Read More »

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Get out of the classroom and into history at Louisiana’s State Parks and historic sites

Louisiana’s 21 State Parks, 17 Historic Sites, and one Preservation Area offer you and your class a uniquely rewarding experience of our state’s natural beauty and historical riches.

Each one of the State Historic Sites was selected for its historical, cultural or archaeological significance. Museums, artifacts, outdoor displays and interpretive programs are some of the ways each area tells its remarkable story. From historic Natchitoches, founded in 1714 as the oldest European settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territory, to the culturally diverse Cajun Country, visitors can find some of the state’s most fascinating history. Every year, more than 50,000 students get a first-hand look at events that shaped Louisiana’s culture and society.

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It’s never too early to talk science!

The South Florida Science Museum believes that it is never too early to talk science!  That is why our 7ft tall Senor Stuffee is so popular among our young visitors.  The Senor Stuffee program is designed to stimulate science inquiry and exploration.  Senor Stuffee is a large, child-friendly, “stuffed” doll whom the young children enjoy climbing on and exploring inside and out.  This doll introduces young children to human anatomy, personal health and hygiene, and healthy eating habits in an age-appropriate hands-on manner. Read More »

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The Lost Sea Proud to be a Civil War Trail site

Civil War Trails is a multi-state program that identifies, interprets, and creates driving tours of both the great campaigns and the lesser-known Civil War sites. Directional “trailblazer signs and four color interpretive markers with maps, illustrations, and text have been installed at more than 700 previously uninterrupted sites. In September, 2009 the Lost Sea was proclaimed a Civil War Trail Marker. This was because of the salt peter that was mined in the cave for the making of gunpowder. Read More »

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Waycross — Georgia’s natural wonder

Welcome to Waycross located in the heart of beautiful Southeast Georgia at the northern tip of the Okefenokee Swamp Wildlife Refuge – the “Land of the Trembling Earth!”  Waycross is a nationally-recognized Main Street City filled with Southern hospitality and charm.  From the historic downtown district to the swamp lands of the Okefenokee, there is something here for everyone.  Read More »

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Fort Discovery Interactive science center to go

Most people may find it interesting that Augusta, Georgia plays host to the National Science Center (NSC). The NSC is an educational organization created under Congressional authority with Public Law 99-145 in 1985, amended by the 1996 Defense Authorization Act. The NSC is a partnership between the U.S. Army and a not-for-profit corporation with a mission to support improved math and science education and technological literacy in the nation, through interactive exhibits and educational programs. Read More »

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Atlanta History Center honored to be only stop in the South for Lincoln exhibit

This fall, Lincoln makes a stop in Atlanta with the nationally touring exhibition, With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition. On display at the Atlanta History Center from September 4 – November 7, 2010, the exhibition commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of our nation’s most revered presidents.   Read More »

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The World of Coca-Cola A refreshing place for learning and fun

Over one million people from around the world visit the World of Coca-Cola each year and each brings his or her own Coca-Cola story with them.  Some may remember sharing an icy cold Coca-Cola with salted peanuts poured inside with their grandfather as reward for a hard day’s work in the garden.  Some may recall the giant metal sign on the Little League fence where they played ball as a child that noted the sponsorship of their local bottler.  Read More »

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Fun at Chimney Rock

Educators looking for a place to make their students say “wow” will find that Chimney Rock is the place to be. With a nearly 1,000-acre classroom of outdoor fun, Chimney Rock has lots to keep kids amazed.

Start by venturing into the tunnel leading to the Park’s 26-story elevator. Both the tunnel and elevator shaft were blasted into the mountain using eight tons of dynamite back in 1948 and 1949. Quite the engineering feat in its time, students can learn about the construction project through signage and pictures.

After stepping out of the elevator, visitors make their way out to the Chimney, 315ft above the parking area and more than 1,000ft above the valley floor, and take in the 75-mile views of Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge. Head up the Skyline Trail to Exclamation Point passing fascinating geologic formations The Opera Box and Devil’s Head along the way. As students walk down the Outcroppings Trail, they’ll find many more unique geologic formations.

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Take a walk on the wild side of education The NWTF’s headquarters is the ultimate outdoor education experience

Ten-year-old Evan smiled as he climbed out of the Forest Service helicopter from his tag-along mission to improve habitat for wildlife.  The hum of the propellers and the roar of the engine in the flight simulator were something he didn’t want his friend Keisha to miss.  He found her across the room holding a wild turkey feather and listening to a wise Native American elder tell stories of how his people used wildlife to sustain themselves long ago.  The two fifth-graders and their classmates were in the middle of an exciting field trip to the Wild Turkey Center and Winchester Museum in Edgefield, S.C. Read More »

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Make new memories on an OUTER BANKS FIELD TRIP

As the bell rings in the 2010-2011 school year, there are many more educational choices to include on your next Outer Banks’ field trip. Tourism representatives from the sixteen Northeastern counties of North Carolina have developed itineraries that give visitors reasons to stop along the way. With little or no cost, these experiences that are rich in history and environmental education can revive your annual field trip to the Outer Banks. Read More »

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Roanoke Island Festival Park

Imagine a land with no cars, buildings, or running water. The only other people had a different culture and spoke a different language. The land was vast, pristine, and natural. This was Roanoke Island when English explorers stepped off their ships. Roanoke Island Festival Park, across from the Manteo waterfront, is a 25-acre interactive attraction, representing the first English settlement attempt in 1585. Read More »

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Experience living history on the Waccamaw River

Kingston Township was named in honor of Great Britain’s King George II and officially opened for settlement on February 26, 1734. This was part of South Carolina Governor Robert Johnson’s “Township Scheme” to increase security within 100 miles from Charleston along the waterways. Among the first were the “Poor Protestants from Ireland” that chose to make their new life in Kingston Township.  Read More »

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A sea turtle sensation

Located in the heart of a city that has rescued countless buildings and structures, a new type of history is being saved: endangered sea turtles. A trip to Charleston’s #1 attraction, the South Carolina Aquarium, and visitors will see firsthand the magic of our beloved reptiles of the sea. The Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital, South Carolina’s only sea turtle rehabilitation center, provides injured sea turtles a second chance at survival. For those who get a chance to see it, a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Turtle Hospital will provide visitors with one of the most unique and unforgettable experiences. Read More »

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Discover Berkeley County Re-defining adventure

If you’re looking for the “Southern Jewel” everyone is talking about, you’ve finally found it! Berkeley County, South Carolina, located just minutes from Downtown Charleston and 1 ½ hours from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is cradled in what is quickly becoming known as the “emerging new south” and offers visitors a 12,000 year old education.

 

Churches and History

Berkeley County is rich in history, and legends. Many who visit the area tour the historical churches located throughout the county. These churches date back from the 1700s and have been immaculately maintained so locals and visitors can step back into time. The St. Stephen Episcopal Church dates back to the early 1700s and has been preserved in original condition. The church features beautiful stained glass windows and original woodwork throughout.

 

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Go behind-the-scenes at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. offers guests the opportunity to go above and beyond the traditional theme park experience. Learn what it takes to open Busch Gardens every day, check out the inner workings of the park’s world-class coasters or meet amazing animals up-close. No matter the interest, there is something for everyone with a Busch Gardens behind-the-scenes experience. Read More »

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Virginia Living Museum adds new interactive exhibits

Virginia’s natural heritage comes alive for students when they visit the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, The museum introduces students to more than 250 living species native to Virginia through exhibits, discovery centers and interactive hands-on exhibits.

This fall, the museum will offer new 20-minute presentations that student groups can add to a self-guided visit. “Our fast-paced, interactive science presentations truly bring science to life,” says Education Director Chris Lewis. “Imagine the thrill of safely getting up close and personal with wild animals and touching real museum specimens that are usually only seen behind glass cases. These are the kinds of experiences you never forget.”

“Amazing Animals: Up Close and Personal!” offers students hands-on interactive opportunities in a small group setting. Choose among three topics:

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Norfolk offers wonderful learning experiences

Located conveniently along the Mid-Atlantic coast between Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, Norfolk, VA is the ideal destination for action-packed and affordable, educational tours. With an abundance of outdoor activities, historical and cultural attractions, this seaport city offers exciting choices for new learning. Read More »

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National Museum of the Marine Corp Hands-on learning and curriculum

Since the opening of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in November 2006, more than 70,000 students and youth groups have visited and participated in the museum’s education programs, both formal and informal. The formal activities target hands-on learning and curriculum offerings for elementary, middle and high school students and teachers. A major element of this is a school outreach “Teaching Trunk” program that takes Marine Corps reproduction artifacts and equipment from various historical eras into schools prior to student visits. Classroom activities are distributed to the teachers before the students arrive at the museum in order to reinforce specific Virginia Standards of Learning taught in the classroom. Read More »

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Family learning ... family fun

The Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia and the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine have been a favorite destination for families for years – and this season is no exception. Read More »

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Step back in history in Jefferson County

“Discover It All” in West Virginia’s Eastern Gateway. About an hour from the Baltimore-Washington Corridor, you can pursue learning in a multitude of ways while having fun - be it history, outdoor activities, or most anything else.

An super abundance of history can be found here in Jefferson County — from Revolutionary times , starting with the George Washington family history in the area, and going through John Brown’s Raid and the Civil War.

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ED OUT Outdoor classrooms enhance learning and fun

ED OUT is an exciting new partnership that uses parks, forests, and refuges as outdoor classrooms to enhance fun and learning during the summer, better prepare students for the next school year, and encourage outdoor recreation experiences that help America’s youth fight the epidemic of childhood obesity. 

ED OUT resulted from discussions among Prince William (Virginia) County Schools (PWCS) leadership, senior federal executives and leading national recreation officials at a June 2009 awards program at the U.S. Department of the Interior honoring the school system’s role in Monarch Live, a remote learning program highlighting the birth and migration of Monarch butterflies in the Americas. The campaign is led by PWCS, the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and the USDA Forest Service (FS).

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Collaborative Learning and Professional Development

Professional development needs to change. We know this. 

With the advent of the social web, learning is anytime, anywhere, networked and collaborative. And learning in this way is already being done in large measure by our students, without us. While more national organizations are calling for the teaching of 21st Century skills and the shift to a learning community framework, few models exist for preparing educators to understand how to be a co-learner with their students in this fast-changing learning landscape.
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Our Goal: to reinvigorate the spirit of American education.  The Southeast Education Network, through SEEN Magazine and www.SEENmagazine.us, presents resources, ideas and techniques to help educators become more effective while growing personally and professionally. SEEN Magazine is dedicated to educators, school administrators, and the education community.