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Voice Over: Students in Mark Folta's biology class are getting a lot of things right these days. This is a living example of 21st Century Teaching and Learning going on today at Lakota East Freshman School. Technology is intertwined with traditional dissection labs. The project is a collaborate effort. Students interact with each other and Mr. Folta. It's a combination that works well for Trevor
Trevor, Freshman student at Lakota East Freshman School: The labs that we do, it's like a hands-on kind of activity. And you can get into what you're learning about instead of just hearing about it.
Voice Over: This lab involves students finding living organisms inside a golden rod plant. They use data to identify the parasite and track their findings to compare with other classes. Mr. Folta faces his students when he teaches and encourages interaction. He incorporates technology whenever possible including posting review games online for this student .
Trevor, Freshman student at Lakota East Freshman School: We're basically already in a world of technology if you can add to school where it's not usually there you can understand it betterbecause we can already understand the technology
Mr. Folta, Biology Teacher at Lakota East Freshman School: We have so much more to show them these days. The world wide web has really opened up a lot to teachers so that they can get more resources, more pictures, more videos to show students what we're talking about.
Voice Over: Deadline's loom for students and their mini production companies in the digital video class at Mariemont High School. Teacher Larry Goetz supervises projects in which students create videos, record school activities and performances, and even produce newscasts. Students say creative freedom allows them to learn more.
Courtney, Senior Student at Mariemont High School: It's a whole new way to learn things and actually remember them because it's fun. It's something fun you can do, it's not just a boring you know book report or something. You can actually make it come alive.
Voice Over: Mr. Goetz says the students take the skills they learn in his class and apply them to projects for other subjects. He says the mission of educators is prepare students for the future and this class teaches them about time management, team work, creativity, and accountability.
Larry Goetz, Digital Video Teacher at Mariemont High School: I don't think you can afford not to have some kind of class like this anymore because the kids, this is part of life. They do this everyday anyway. Why not give them some direction, show them the value of it. It's not just entertainment, it's actually a very important skill. It's really a mind set.
Voice Over: Blake, a Mariemont senior says the requirements of the class, completing projects from start to finish, communicating with colleagues, meeting deadlines, will be invaluable.
Blake, Senior student at Mariemont High School: The way that we're learning in here with definitely help in college especially with like, you're on your own in college. You've got to learn it all on yourself, read the books. It's not as teacher oriented as high school. Definitely think that aspect will help us in the future.
Voice Over: Precision and detail are critical in Brian Lien's Engineering Your Future Class at Princeton High School. Students here are designing a cell phone. It starts with isometric and graphic designs. Then the real fun begins with model magic as they shape their design in a true to scale prototype. It's the hands on work that makes the difference.
Ademkemi, Senior student at Princeton High School: It helps to retain the information. Learning from a book, you know it for that moment, but when you work hands on you can feel what you're doing. You have visual and you use your five senses to do what you need to do.
Voice Over: Engineering classes like this gives students a real taste of the different engineering fields. Students also can earn college credits. Princeton has a cooperative partnership with the University of Cincinnati. Online engineering lectures by U.C. professors are homework for these students so that class time is fully devoted to projects. Mr. Lien says he keeps his students motivated with creative labs.
Brian Lien, Technology Education Teacher at Princeton High School: Because it actually is a connective, they feel it they touch it, it goes into their long-term memory. When I test my students on just lecture material, and when I test them after we do a lab, their tests scores are so much higher after we do the lab work.
Voice Over: Unique sounds and smells fill the classroom at Winton Woods High School. This is music in society. It is a non-performance class that is a relatively new offering for teacher David Bell in his thirty-one career of teaching vocal music. He introduces not only music concepts but also world culture. And technology is playing a big role. Students sample the tastes of the Middle East and learn about it's music through a smart board presentation. Mr. Bell asks questions and students use their responders to click in their answers. The boar displays immediate results.
David Bell, Vocal Music Teacher at Winton Woods High School: There's a bit of sort of that peer pressure to not excel right now. And what this does is it gives them a safe way to express their prior knowledge that they have through the responders. And once they've staked out an opinion through the responder then it's easier for me to begin to draw them out on a more advanced level.
Voice Over: Mr. Bell also incorporates a word wall with vocabulary terms affiliated with music. Students created posters of the words to help recall the meaning.
Sequoia, Senior Student at Winton Woods High School: All students have different learning techniques. Like me I need to see both and hear. Some might just visually see it or verbally need to hear it. It helps because you get both of the sides so that way its going for all your students.
Voice Over: Its engineering in action at Wyoming High School. This is project Lead the Way, a satellite offered by Great Oaks. Students here take an introduce to engineering as well as principals in engineering class from an engineer. Teacher Ty Fitzgerald entered the teaching profession not to long ago after a successful career in engineering. He conducts his class just like in the real world. They have a group meeting to discuss group projects and then break off into teams.
Ty Fitzgerald, Project Lead the Way Teacher at Wyoming High School: If they're working on a project one person is responsible for, another person is responsible for another set of tasks, they have to put it together and they have to make it work. They have to have that team work and that's so important in industry. If you can't work in a team environment you just wont make it.
Voice Over: Steven, a senior, has his sights set on an engineering career. Today's project will go from the drawing board to the experimental stage. Students must build a ping-pong ball launcher using parts taken from an old robotic machine. The class groups students together in and also offers collaboration opportunities beyond these walls. Steven collaborated with Milford students in an online project to design a three dimensional coffee table.
Steven, Senior student at Wyoming High School: I'm a very visual and hands on learner so the more I can use my hands on objects and take them apart and physically see what they're made of and how they work, that helps me learn more how to be an engineer.
Ty Fitzgerald, Project Lead the Way Teacher at Wyoming High School: They're getting the communication skills that you need to be successful, you're getting the team work stills you need to be successful as well as the leadership skills you need to be successful when you get out into industry.
Voice Over: Powerpoint presentations, online assignments, and MP3 feedback are all part of what was once was a traditional literature class. At Milford High School teacher Betsy Woods works with her advanced placement literature students. Hannah is a senior working with classic literature but with a new modern twist.
Hannah, Senior Student at Milford High School: You can't get by without using technology no matter what setting in. We're still reading books, you're still opening books, you're still understanding the novels you've done in the past, but you have so many more resources when it comes to expanding and learning in different ways.
Voice Over: Ms. Woods utilizes wikispace.com as well as turnitin.com to give her students more opportunities for collaboration for papers and reports on assigned readings. The use of technology equipment certainly sparks interest for her students but the concepts of collaboration and creative freedom can be done with no equipment at all. She said students learn more by posting their work for the world to see and not just one teacher.
Betsy Woods, English Teacher at Milford High School: You're not the only source of knowledge in the classroom. You model learning more then you model teaching. Because we have the answers at our finger tips and we can go find them during the class period, it's a better way to teacher.
Voice Over: Before this class convened on the first day of school they met online for discussions about their summer readings. It was a chance for students to get know each other and see varying opinions.
Cameron, Senior student at Milford High School: I get to see the opinions of everyone else. People from all different walks of life and everything like that they've got different opinions then me. They notice things that I don't notice and I notice things they don't notice.
Voice Over: In the past collaboration meant cheating not it has an entirely new meaning and purpose.
Betsy Woods, English Teacher at Milford High School: Its important part of education today, the collaborative effort. And as far as cheating goes, I don't think it really goes there I think it's more about learning from each other.
Voice Over: It's not too early to start thinking about college in the Hughes STEM Program in the Cincinnati Schools. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. And those four areas are the focus for this new program. Allan Frecker teaches history but for this project the lesson is all about his student's future. The STEM program was created through a unique collaborative process involving Cincinnati schools, the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati State, and corporate partners such as Proctor and Gamble, Duke Energy, and General Electric. The curriculum exceeds state standards and also goes an extra step to prepare students for careers of the future.
Allen Frecker, History Teacher with Cincinnati Schools: We're also looking at centering them towards the future in providing a better student who's more prepared for college and that student who has those types of skills when they get out of college they're going to be able to use in the work place.
Voice Over: Dr. Kelly Obarski job title is with U.C. but her commitment and passion is helping the students here at Hughes. She serves as the liaison between U.C. and Hughes to ensure students are getting what they need and staying on track.
Dr. Kelly Obarski, UC/OSLN Assistant Academic Director: Our goal is to create an environment where the students are in the communities and they're learning about careers, they're learning about jobs, about the 21st century skill that will propel them through college and into the workforce.
Voice Over: This hands on collaborative assignment began with campus visits to the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State. Teachers collected video and photographs of their experiences. Students then took what they learned about college and rolled it into a video. They're brainstormed ideas and storyboard concepts and then transformed their paper ideas into colorful moving images edited from the video and pictures. Terry says this kind of assignment helps him to visualize success. Also knowing that colleges are taking a vested interest in him makes a big difference.
Reporter: How does that make you feel, as a student, knowing you have that kind of support?
Terry, Freshman at Hughes STEM: To be honest, it makes me feel special because we basically are getting all the attention so it's alike a lot of success coming our way so it's gotten us in the right way.
Voice Over: The program intentionally sets a high bar for student achievement. When these students are ready to graduate, Hughes STEM High School will hold a strong reputation for developing future leaders.
Asheika, Freshman student at Hughes STEM High School: They will know where I came from. They will know what we're about and they will high expectations for us and we can live up to it and we will do better. It will make me do better because I know somebody is watching me.
Allen Frecker, History Teacher with Cincinnati Schools: The goal isn't what is the teacher want from you the goal becomes what do you want for yourself.
Voice Over: The 21st Century Student is...
Student: Open minded