Which School Will You Choose?
How it works:
Eighth-grade students experience a great deal of anxiety deciding which high school to attend. Most students and parents do little research, and selecting a school is mostly done on word of mouth and reputation. This project provides students with the opportunity to lay the groundwork for selecting a school. Students also discover the history of the Internet and create Web pages in html with basic word-processing software. These seemingly mutually exclusive activities are joined in a culminating project where students put together the information regarding different high schools that they have researched via books and Internet sources. The final products are Web pages that incorporate what they have learned writing html with the content they have accumulated from their research. These pages provide more information than what most students have available when making this important decision. Through this unit, students prepare a base not only for themselves, but for future students who will go through the same stress-filled process.
Students know the characteristics and uses of computer software programs, understand and apply the basic principles of presenting an argument, and apply decision-making techniques.
Required materials include computers with Internet connection, web browsers, basic word processing software (such as SimpleText, WordPad or Notepad), and a television or LCD projector.
Students involved in this project should have basic word-processing skills. This is a project for eight graders (although it can also be done with seventh grade students) that practically any student can participate in. It can be done in groups, but should be done individually since each student's needs are different.
Although this project is technology based, Which School Will You Choose? is a stress-buster for students going through the high school selection process. Due to the fact that they are tackling this important decision via the project-based process, students focus on it more as a project than as a personal decision. They also develop useful computer skills.
Teachers should download pictures and possibly print out information if Internet access is unstable at the school. It is always good to do so because, with technology, things that can go wrong at some point will.
About the teacher:
Anthony Salcedo is laptop
coordinator at the Mott Hall School, the first inner city public school to
start a laptop program. He was a keynote speaker at the Microsoft Laptop
Summit 2000 in Seattle, Washington, and has presented at numerous
technology conferences around the country. He has received recognition
from three superintendents for his achievements.
Anthony is also a certified NFTE instructor and has worked as a translator
in the Caribbean for a division of the United Nations. He was an adjunct
professor for NYU and
Mercy College and is in his 11th year of teaching in the New York
City public school system.