About 125 7th grade students at Mabry studied the US Constitution and the First Amendment to see how they impact their individual lives. The students also researched the nature of writing and editing a national newspaper. They also studied a government site on the internet to learn about amendments to the Constitution. And finally, the students all read technology articles in USA TODAY.
The students then synthesized all of the information gathered from these resources and generated interview questions. These questions were written with one goal: gather as much information from the answer as possible. Twenty-three students were selected from the group to pose their question to 2 very important gentlemen in an interview setting.
The interview was a live, realtime internet videoconference, using iChatAV with an iSight camera on an Apple* PowerBook, that was projected on a large screen in the theater, so other students were able to view the videoconference. Our 2 important national guests were the Technology Reporter of USA TODAY, Kevin Maney, and Ken Paulson, the Editor in Chief of USA TODAY. This videoconference with these leaders in society was truly a meaningful real-world research project for our 7th graders. I can not tell you how excited our students were to get to see and hear these gentlemen hosted live in our theater.
And one other important note: this project covers one of the new Georgia Performance Standards in Language Arts: research. Mabry teachers are already beginning to enrich our students' academic experiences with the new performance standards.
*Apple Computer is one of Mabry's Partners in Education.
Posted by Dr. Tyson