Wednesday, November 25, 2009


OHS staff gathered for a first-ever "Speed Geeking Smackdown" after school on Tuesday of this week. Staff members could bring a quick technology site, tip, or lesson idea to share, or could just watch the event. Each presentation was restricted to a 3 minute timer. All participants enjoyed the event and hope to repeat it again in the future.

Below are notes from the session:

Video highlights will be posted soon:

Monday, November 16, 2009

O'Neill hosts Apple LLI event

O'Neill High School hosted its second "21st Century Learning Leadership Institute" on November 11-12, 2009 sponsored by Apple. Teams of leaders from over a half-dozen area schools listened to presentations from OHS teachers, administrators, and students and got the opportunity to witness 24/7 Learning in action. Some of the resources from this year's institute are linked to the site below:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Challenge Based Learning at OHS

Challenge Based Learning

has been taken on in many forms in OHS classrooms this school year.

Some of the classes and projects that have had a CBL-base to them include the following:

  • 8th Grade History with Mr. Hostert. Students are choosing their own "Big Idea" in the world around them, doing research, and creating a solution that they think makes a difference. This is an ongoing project that builds on students' independent interests and teaches the research process as well as multimedia production to share student solutions.
  • 9th Grade Girls' Health with Mrs. Myers. Students formed teams and are researching the U.S. Health Care Crisis. Arming the teams with websites and community experts as guiding resources and alarming statistics about the need for Health Care reform, students will create presentations that suggest solutions for this real-world current problem.
  • 8th Grade Technology Trends with Mrs. Morrow. "Saving Face" is the name for teaching Internet Safety under the facade of a challenge. How can we protect unsuspecting students younger than us how to stay safe on the Internet? Teams of students create solutions to help educate their peers and take action in today's digital world.
  • Elementary P.E. with Mr. Morrow. Mr. Morrow challenged his 5th and 6th grade physical education students to form teams and rise to the challenge of promoting physical education in their school and community. PEPCo (Physical Education Promotion Company) Teams are entirely voluntary and work during their studyhall and recess time to create various solutions to this challenge including, podcasts, video production, and an after-school exercise club to name a few.
  • 10th grade Biology with Mrs. Paris and Mrs. Mueller. Students are challenged to apply their knowledge of biomes to take action on global climate change and its associated problems. This unit will include video casts from the Arctic Tundra explaining how actions locally affect the polar bear population, as an example of a direct, real link to the effects of the problem.
These are just a few of the ever-increasing examples of how integrating 21st century skills by use of the Challenge Based Learning framework can positively affect our curriculum and our students' learning environment. Varying in duration, focus, age level, and overall structure, there is no one prescribed formula for successful CBL integration. However, a common element in these and in examples to come, is the engagement of the students and the important role of a teacher as guide and mentor. More to come as these students show the world how they can "take action and make a difference."