"After School Enrichment Through Collaboration and Internet Resources"

Submitted by:
Harold Johnson, Dale Cook & Donna Ruttan
K.S.U. College of Education
September 13, 1996

Problem

Internet based resources and technologies are frequently accepted to be among the most exciting and potentially powerful educational tool of the decade. School systems, in response to this potential, have invested an enormous amount of time and funds to make Internet linked computers available in every school, if not every classroom. Unfortunately, community expectations frequently exceed school resources. As such, student access to Internet linked computers is often far less than optimal. Therefore, additional strategies are needed to expand student access and use of the "Net". Given that existing, school based, Internet linked computers are "booked" throughout the day, such strategies should focus upon the "after school" use of these same computers. Additionally, such use should be designed to not only meet students day- to-day educational needs, but to also develop resources that can be used by their peers and teachers during the school day. Finally, to be self sustaining, this "after school" use should also be designed to provide field, or practicum experiences for future teachers. This design would insure that preservice teachers would know how to apply Internet based resources and how to measure the impact of those resources upon their students knowledge base and learning styles.

Proposal

K.S.U. College of Education faculty, in collaboration with local school systems, will design, implement and evaluate a "pilot" after school enrichment program. This program would provide 12-18, fourth to eight grade students with the opportunity to use school based, Internet linked, computers twice a week for an hour and half. The students would be assisted in this use by four to six undergraduate education majors, two to three graduate education majors and one to two education faculty. Students computer time would be used to search the Net for resources that were needed to complete their home work assignments. In addition, students would search the Net for resources that are requested by their teachers and develop basic Web pages that reflected the resulting information. K.S.U. College of Education students and faculty would train the K-12 students how to search the Net for information, how to evaluate the relative worth of what they find and how to share their resulting information and insights with their peers and teachers through print and Web formats. Faculty and graduate students will also monitor and describe both what the K-12 students learn and how they learn during the course of the after school experience. The resulting information will then be used to conceptualize, write and submit foundation, state and Federal grant proposals that will serve to expand the pilot study into a full blown effort.