Monday, November 3, 2008

Classrooms of Tomorrow - TODAY!

O’Neill Public School is taking part in an exciting opportunity with Apple Computers in the next month aimed at improving 21st century education.

ACOT2 is the acronym for “Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow - Today.” Built on a foundation of research, this 3-stage initiative identifies weaknesses in current high schools in the U.S. and urges reform immediately, before any more students become disengaged or drop. The final stage of ACOT2 is a 9th grade curriculum project otherwise known as CBL or “Challenge-Based Learning.” Some of the attributes of CBL include:
• Multiple points of entry and multiple possible solutions
• Interdisciplinary
• 21st century skill development
• Technology access and web 2.0 tools
• Students DOING something, rather than just learning ABOUT something
• Local solutions and taking action to improve the world outside the classroom

O’Neill High School was selected as one of six schools nationwide to pilot a part of this curriculum. They will document progress to share with the rest of the world when the curriculum is finally published and released. To prepare for teaching this two-week Challenge-Based Learning unit, a team will travel to Apple in Cupertino, California on November 20-21 for training. Members of O’Neill’s team will include Katie Morrow, technology integration specialist, Charlene Paris, 9th grade Science, Deb Barelmann, 9th grade Math, and Hayley Herzog, a senior student who will work on documenting the pilot through photography and video. In addition to learning more about ACOT2 and the unit that they will be piloting, this team will also have the opportunity to work with the five other teams involved (schools in Kansas, North Carolina, Texas, Hawaii, and California), Apple Education experts, and professional media instructors from the New Media Consortium. More information about ACOT2 can be found at:

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