The Career Connection to Teaching with Technology (CCTT) project is a geographically diverse endeavor by a consortium of schools, districts, curriculum experts, and partners. This project is creating a national collection of best practices, curriculum content, educational resources, and professional development online tools.
Mission Statement: CCTT seeks to develop standards-based curriculum materials and deliver them to the educational community through integrated technologies.
The focus of the project was on the work at the five hub sites, each of which was managed by an educator, funded by the grant. The five hub sites were: Advanced Technologies Academy, the Clark County School District, Las Vegas, Nevada; Omaha North High School, the Douglas County School District, Omaha, Nebraska; Sprayberry High School, the Cobb County School District, Marietta, Georgia; Manual Arts High School, the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, California; and Mainland High School, Volusia County Schools, Daytona Beach, Florida.
- Technology is positively changing the teaching and learning environment.
- Technology positively impacts student achievement.
- Students and teachers are partners in learning.
- Technology empowers teachers and students to become authors and publishers.
- There is strength in diversity.
- Authentic career applications enhance opportunities for students.
- The use of research findings on teaching and learning provides a greater depth and breadth to professional development.
The project evolved from creating lessons to emphasizing the training for creation of curriculum materials and models for creating materials. The means for accomplishing this were online. Expansion of this online work is a technological innovation. CCTT worked with Apple Learning Interchange (ALI) during years 3 and 4 to program a web site that combined resources from CCTT and 19 other Learning Interchange partners. The online effort and coordination of training was done during year 5 through the C2T2 Educational Systems, Inc., a corporation formed to sustain grant products.
Curriculum products include lessons, units, educational resources, training modules for the CCTT National Curriculum Mapping Institute and the National Digital Library of Congress, and entire courses of instruction, particularly physics at http://online.cctt.org/physicslab. Tools for teachers include an “Activeclassroom” web site at http://activeclassroom.com which allows development of class calendars, notes, activities, and links to active pages and curriculum resources. Teachers were trained in the use of tools and curriculum development at all five hubsites and at workshops in such venues as the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) and North Carolina State University.
Objective 1: Identify reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement standards, benchmarks and accountability measures for students.
National standards were first and foremost in the design of curriculum units and lessons. Hubsite managers were trained and teachers were shown how to focus on a standard and a fundamental idea which is core to their discipline. Content specialists from the major curriculum organizations, NCTM, NSTA, NCSS, and NCTE reviewed teachers’ work and provided guidance including working with teachers during the CCTT National Curriculum Mapping Institutes to develop lessons and units. Assessment was built into the units and lessons and centered on what students are to be able to know and do. Teachers were asked to edit and/or provide other examples of assessment used in their classrooms as their work was reviewed. Training for lesson writing online and using primary sources was done through use of the National Digital Library of Congress materials. Training materials are available for both the Curriculum Mapping and National Digital Library workshops.
Objective 2: Create a career connection to integrated core academic studies that increases the relevancy and authenticity of learning.
An advisory committee of business, government, and educational leaders was formed and met annually to provide input to the hubsite managers. The career connections which are based upon the SCANS report were incorporated into all training sessions. Several online courses were developed in conjunction with school-to-work programs in the high schools. These include Web Site design, graphics design, chemistry, physics, and CISCO networking. CISCO has its own curriculum, used at three hubsites. The physics curriculum is complete for five levels of high school physics.
Objective 3: Train teachers and students to access and utilize existing technologies, to create original instructional materials, and to collaborate with business partners in co-development of resources.
CCTT has developed an institute used at the hubsites as well as conferences such as FETC. This provided teachers guidance in submitting and developing curriculum online. The Apple Learning Interchange worked behind the scenes with CCTT personnel to customize the web site to CCTT specifications. Help screens for online “professional development” were added and reviewers commented online regarding lessons and units. Now that the partnership with Apple Learning Interchange is no longer viable, the curriculum efforts can be viewed at the C2T2 Educational Systems website, http://c2t2educationalsystems.com, offering varying levels of work and a web area for posting online lessons and units.
Objective 4: Contribute to national educational networks using telecommunications to disseminate products and best practices.
CCTT changed method of distribution, as originally planned in the grant proposal. A satellite network distributing content to dedicated servers proved not to be cost effective. As the Internet became more efficient and web sites more powerful, the distribution of materials and educational resources was accomplished through websites coordinated first by Apple and later by C2T2. The sustaining of this effort will be through equipment and expertise at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Florida, the lead school in the lead LEA, Volusia County Schools.
The review and field testing process has proven to be a complicated and time-consuming venture. For this reason, although several hundred lessons and units were developed, little is available in final form, available for public use. The process of finalizing materials and resources involved teachers, students, hubsite managers, content specialists, and online tools, but was very complicated due to the geographical diversity of the hub sites and curriculum content specialists.
CCTT in its final year focused on three particular products: the CCTT Curriculum Mapping Institute, National Digital Library of Congress (NDL) workshops, and ActiveClassroom. The institute prepares and guides teachers through writing and editing curriculum aligned to national standards online. The NDL offers primary source resources online from the Library of Congress. ActiveClassroom is an online curriculum management and organizing tool for teachers and for students, parents, and district personnel to see agendas, course outlines, and calendar. CCTT worked hard to put these three products into best form in year 5 of the project and to get them to the marketplace through C2T2 Educational Systems, Inc. A corporation formed by project participants and other educators. This corporation took on some of the work of moving these products into final form and trying to sustain the project and its best efforts beyond the 5 year time period 1997-2002. The products were displayed for sale at a number of national conferences including NSTA, FETC, NECC, and the national PTA conference.
Copyright © 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
All rights reserved.