District Administration - February 2009 - (Page 14)

Curriculum CHRIS WILCOX, A FIFTH GRADE teacher at Lakeview Elementary School in Provo, Utah, feels that there is no greater inspiration to write than having one’s own stories published, but classroom projects to self-publish student work are often too labor intensive or expensive. So in January 2008 he founded a Web-driven business with other family members, MightyAuthors .com, and now students across the country are creating and printing out their own books either on loose paper or as softcover or hardcover books. Wilcox wanted to create a site that could be used to help teach writing in the classroom. He says companies that provide a similar publishing service charge prices that are too high for practical classroom use. e service is now used in more than 200 Utah schools, as well as in parts of California, Arizona, Florida and North Carolina. At Willow Springs Elementary in Draper, Utah, students used the site to make about 160 books for needy students in Peru this year. All the school’s students—from preschoolers to sixth-graders—wrote and illustrated the BRIEFINGS By Zach Miners Student Authors Publish Work through Web Fifth-graders at Timpanogos Elementary School in Provo, Utah, work on their stories before having them bound as books. books, whose costs were met through student fund raising. e site works like this: Teachers can pay a one-time enrollment fee of $50, or schools can pay a one-time enrollment fee of $350 to give students, parents and teachers access. From there, books range in price from $7.95 to $22.95, depending on the size, binding and cover. At Falcon Ridge Elementary in West Jordan, Utah, principal Karen omson says there are currently two chest-high bookshelves in the school’s library that are nearly empty—but won’t be for long. “ is whole area will be filled by the end of the year,” she says. “We’re striving for a community of writers, one where students understand the writing process, and part of that is having an audience.” Sheryl Wilcox, Chris’ wife and a cofounder of the site, acknowledges that there are other services online that will publish and bind student work, but she explains that MightyAuthors.com was developed by educators specifically with schools and teachers in mind. Texas Students Learn via Phone IN A NOVEL APPROACH TO BRINGING INTO THE classroom a 21st-century technology with which nearly all students are all-too-familiar, the Keller (Texas) Independent School District is rolling out what is usually ordered to be left in lockers: cell phones. Last month the 30,000-student district began a pilot program to outfit 55 students with smartphones, which provide basic computing and Web-based functions, through a grant from telecommunications company Verizon. e program will deliver curricular content to the students through the touchscreen phones, which feature slide-out keyboards, from Taiwanese vendor HTC. FAST FACT Teacher video Web site TeacherTube now boasts 220,000 regular users and more than 54,000 videos and is averaging 800,000 visitors every month. Source: e Dallas Morning News 14 February 2009 District Administration http://www.MightyAuthors.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - February 2009

District Administration - February 2009
Contents
Advertiser Index
Editor's Letter
News Update
Security
Curriculum
Crisis Response
Supervisor's Opinion
The Rise of the Virtual Teacher
Speaking Their Language
Alternate Transportation Routes
Opinion
The Aftermath of the New 403(b) Regulations
How Well Does This Web Site Work?
Problem Solution
New Products
Product Focus
Professional Opinion

District Administration - February 2009

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