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Welcome to the "LIBRITO PENSEMOS VERDE project" wiki!


This wiki represents an effort to create a Digital Storytelling Workshop for Costa Rican students, grades 2 - 6.

It is my hope that the students are ready for their tasks, and will benefit from the powerful combination of using language and technology together. Student goals include:

1. Become active learners during classroom time.
2. Show initiative, participation and effective results from online activity when practicing communication.
3. Produce a clear message that weaves, emphasizes and repeats the theme of respect for the environment throughout the book project.
4. Produce original work that exemplifies the material in an authentic and meaningful way.
5. Evaluate peer’s work in simple terms in order to provide effective and constructive commentary.


NOTE: This wiki has been created by Fran Siracusa. Content is initially being developed for EME 6945 Teacher Inquiry (Summer 2010), a graduate course at the University of Florida.

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CONTEXT:

I am a K-12 Spanish teacher in Clearwater, FL who has taught high school Spanish for the last 14 years. Next year, I am transferring schools in order to be an educator in elementary and middle school. I will still be teaching Spanish, but with a special focus on integrating 21st century tools to enhance teaching and learning with younger children.

Due to personal and professional interest, I have been afforded the opportunity to teach English and technology abroad in rural Costa Rica this summer through a volunteer program with Asociación Crear. Through research performed in another UF course, I investigated the concept of “Bridging the Digital Divide.” I have found that this concept can apply to students here in the United States, or abroad perhaps in underdeveloped countries. It also applies to those who have monetary means and those who do not. Technology equity and access are major factors, and it is my belief that the educators themselves and their ability to design and manage multimedia projects in the classroom will be the greatest factor of student success.

La Asociación Crear has a mission, whose goal is to “provide a venue where children and young people can develop their artistic talents through creative art-education initiatives, while simultaneously learning life-long skills that will offer them a wider and more fulfilling range of employment opportunities in the future…aim to enforce an environmental consciousness in our students so that they may take that awareness back to their homes and continue to educate future generations…within each lesson/activity, there is always an academic foundation as well as an English component…aim to promote higher-level thinking and questioning through our studies of current social and environmental issues (CREAR website.)”

My proposal entails developing a Digital Storytelling Workshop for Costa Rican students, grades 2 – 6, called Librito Pensemos Verde, which means “Think Green Booklet.” At this point, I am not sure what specific content will be the focus. Possibilities of focus-topics include: environmental awareness, English language and culture, art, neighborhood cleanliness, and more. The student projects may be housed on a teacher website, with the intent of publishing, and later evaluation by American and other foreign students. Cross-cultural exchange videos hopefully will lead to future communication exchange.

My idea is based on the “Digital Hero Book Project” in Africa. Following Asociación Crear’s vision, my project will emphasize environmental consciousness. The goal of the Librito Pensemos Verde project is for the participants to develop learning and innovation skills, “future-focus,” and communication skills. The emphasis will be on content, but with great value placed on the technology exercise. At the end of the project, each student will have a hand-bound or digital storybook of their own making. Their projects will document their understanding, self-reflection, interests and skills.