For a full week in July, area teachers gathered at Houghton College to be a part of an up and coming program aimed at working in the field of digital literacy. We are blessed in this area to have so many great content area teachers. Throughout our workshops, we see interested, talented, and dedicated professionals striving to give of their best to their students.
To that end, CABOCES has partnered with Houghton College to provide professional development for teachers who wish to increase their knowledge of technology and digital literacy that will propel their learners through the 21st century. Led by Dr. David Bruce, Associate Professor of Learning and Instruction at UB and Dr. Sunshine Sullivan, Associate Professor of Education at Houghton College, Rural Voices, Rural Visions closely resembles City Voices, City Visions. This is a program based out of Buffalo State University that provides educators and students with digital video resources to augment classroom learning. In this area, though, the focus is on those in rural communities.
Rural Voices, Rural Visions stresses not simply the use of technology, but the transformational power of technology. We cannot simply use technology for technology’s sake; we need to use it in ways that impact learning and give students another tool in their toolbox. Dr. Sullivan is hopeful that Rural Voices, Rural Visions will “provide a peek into the world of professional learning communities around digital literacies in a rural context, a gap in educational research and practice”.
Through Rural Voices, Rural Visions, the goal is to have teachers teach composition using varied modalities, not simply using essays or papers to reflect knowledge of content. For example, how can we use film to supplement classroom learning? According to Dr. Bruce, “When we discuss compositional issues such as audience, point of view, transitions, specific details, etc., the video theme provides a useful framework for discussion. This is especially crucial if the coursework involves print compositions. For those students who struggle to get their ideas on paper, I have found it to be helpful to refer back to their videos as a reference point.”
What a great opportunity we have in our region to work with such dedicated educators! Please contact me if you are interested in finding out more about Rural Voices, Rural Visions. We’d love to have your expertise!
By: Alexandra L. Freer, CA BOCES
This is the question on the minds of Lego League teams this fall. The 2014-2015 Lego League Challenge is World Class-Learning Unleashed. Students will redesign how knowledge and skills are gathered in the 21st century. Teams will teach adults about the ways that kids need and want to learn. Get ready for a whole new class, World Class.
Teams have been hard at work since the school year began to prepare for the Southern Tier Lego League Tournament on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at Houghton College. It's exciting to see the program continue to grow in our region and new schools have formed teams this season.
First Lego League, a world-wide robotics program, was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in Science and Technology. Each year a new program is designed to motivate kids to get excited about research, engineering, math and problem solving, while building self confidence, knowledge and life skills.
The Nielsen Phys. Ed building at Houghton College is the place to be this Saturday to see about a hundred 9-14 year old students, their coaches and families, and over 3 dozen volunteers discover innovative ways to explore robotics while having fun! Please call or email BOCES Student Programs at 716-376-8284 if you'd like more information. Also, check out this link: firstlegoleague.org/challenge/2014fllworldclass.
Times are approximate:
Opening Ceremony - 12:15 - 12:30
Competition Rounds - 12:30 - 2:15
Alliance Round - 2:15 - 3:00
Awards Presentation & Closing Ceremonies - 3:00 - 3:30
The mantra of the program is always its’ Core Values, which are as follows: