actively engaging learners in interdisciplinary curriculum through the integration of technology

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  • This article was downloaded by: [Eindhoven Technical University]On: 22 November 2014, At: 02:41Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,UK

    Computers in the Schools:Interdisciplinary Journal ofPractice, Theory, and AppliedResearchPublication details, including instructions forauthors and subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/wcis20

    Actively Engaging Learners inInterdisciplinary CurriculumThrough the Integration ofTechnologyKaren Dutt-Doner a b , Marty Wilmer c , CathyStevens c & Lisa Hartmann ca University of Southern Maine , USAb undergraduate teacher education program TEAMS(Teachers for Elementary and Middle School),Department of Teacher Education , 504 Bailey Hall,Gorham, ME, 04038, USAc Scarborough Middle School , 44 Gorham Road,Scarborough, ME, 04074, USAPublished online: 11 Oct 2008.

    To cite this article: Karen Dutt-Doner , Marty Wilmer , Cathy Stevens & LisaHartmann (2000) Actively Engaging Learners in Interdisciplinary CurriculumThrough the Integration of Technology, Computers in the Schools: InterdisciplinaryJournal of Practice, Theory, and Applied Research, 16:3-4, 151-166, DOI: 10.1300/J025v16n03_04

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J025v16n03_04

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    http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/wcis20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1300/J025v16n03_04http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1300/J025v16n03_04http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J025v16n03_04

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    http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

  • Karen Dutt-DonerMarty WilmerCathy StevensLisa Hartmann

    Actively Engaging Learnersin Interdisciplinary Curriculum Through the Integrationof Technology

    SUMMARY. Global Warming: A Heated Debate is an interdisciplin-ary WebQuest project developed to target science and technology con-tent standards in the State of Maine Learning Results. By implementingthis interdisciplinary, technology-based group research project, wehoped that students would become more interested and involved in theirlearning, better understand and practice research skills, be able toretrieve more current Internet information for their research projects,support each other in their learning, and have a better understanding

    KAREN DUTT-DONER is Assistant Professor, University of Southern Maine,Coordinator of the undergraduate teacher education program TEAMS (Teachers forElementary and Middle School), Department of Teacher Education, 504 Bailey Hall,Gorham, ME 04038. E-mail: karend@usm.maine.eduMARTY WILMER is Teacher, Scarborough Middle School, 44 Gorham Road, Scar-borough, ME 04074.CATHY STEVENS is Math & Science Teacher, Scarborough Middle School, 44Gorham Road, Scarborough, ME 04074.LISA HARTMANN is Technology Specialist, Scarborough Middle School, 44 Gor-ham Road, Scarborough, ME 04074.

    [Haworth co-indexing entry note]: Actively Engaging Learners in Interdisciplinary Curriculum Throughthe Integration of Technology. Dutt-Doner, Karen et al. Co-published simultaneously in Computers in theSchools (The Haworth Press, Inc.) Vol. 16, No. 3/4, 2000, pp. 151-166; and: Integration of Technology intothe Classroom: Case Studies (ed: D. LaMont Johnson, Cleborne D. Maddux, and Leping Liu) The HaworthPress, Inc., 2000, pp. 151-166. Single or multiple copies of this article are available for a fee from TheHaworth Document Delivery Service [1-800-342-9678, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST). E-mail address:getinfo@haworthpressinc.com].

    2000 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved. 151

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  • Integration of Technology into the Classroom: Case Studies152

    of reliable and unreliable Internet resources. This paper outlines our projectin trying to implement technology into our teaching. We reflect on ourexperiences as well as provide suggestions for others. [Article copies availablefor a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678. E-mailaddress: Website: ]

    KEYWORDS. Interdisciplinary curriculum, research, Internet, activelearning, cooperative learning, technology integration

    BACKGROUND

    Global Warming: A Heated Debate is an interdisciplinary projectthat has been developed as a result of a mini-grant awarded by theScarborough (Maine) School Department. These grants support teach-ers in developing assessments that measure student progress in meet-ing the State of Maine Learning Results (K-12 performance standards)(http://www.scarborough.k12.me.us/middle/quest/resourc.htm) and/orpromote the use of technology to meet the Learning Results. Thisproject is based on the instructional model of a WebQuest, the develop-ment of which originated with Bernie Dodge, a professor at San DiegoState University. WebQuests are designed to effectively use the learn-ers time. In addition, the goal of a WebQuest is to extend and refineknowledge about a topic.

    In this project, students take on roles as members of various groupstestifying before a special subcommittee whose task is to recommendwhether or not the U.S. Senate should ratify the Kyoto Protocol, aninternational agreement that outlines varying target levels for reduc-tions in greenhouse gases for industrialized nations. A lot of contro-versy exists regarding the topic of global warmingscientists havegenerally agreed that it is happening, but the extent to which it is beingcaused or accelerated by human activity is not so certain. Mandatedreductions in greenhouse gas emissions will almost certainly haveeconomic impacts on many industries and consumers (e.g., in the formof higher fuel taxes and material costs, decreased consumer choice,lost jobs, etc). So what should we do if we are not sure of the causes orthe outcomes of a problem? Can we afford to wait and take our chanceswith the outcomes until more is known, or should we act now, even ifthat action is costly? Students use various resources, many of them

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  • Research 153

    online, to prepare a presentation for the subcommittee, giving thepoint of view of their interest group. In being asked to consider howsome of the other groups may rebut their arguments, students arealso able to see how the same scientific and economic data may beslanted or used differently by groups of differing points of view.

    This project is targeted at middle school science curricula, but alsoinvolves social studies and language arts. It could also be modifiedand implemented at the high school level. We implemented the projectin two classrooms: in a multi-age, grades 6-8 mainstreamed classroomthat was team-taught and in a seventh-grade science class. The drivingforce behind the design of this project was to target the science andtechnology content standard in the State of Maine Learning Resultsentitled Implications of Science and Technology: Students willunderstand the historical, social, economic, environmental, and ethicalimplications of science and technology (p. 77). In addition, the stu-dents will demonstrate their ability to meet Inquiry and ProblemSolving standards, Civics and Government/International Relationsstandards, Economics/Economic Systems of the United States stan-dards in the social studies, and Research-Related Writing and Speak-ing standards in English language arts. Specific middle grades per-formance indicators that we feel this activity addresses are that thestudents will be able to:

    1. Use search engines and other Internet resources to collect infor-mation for research topics.

    2. Work, write, and speak effectively when doing research in allcontent areas.

    3. Assess the ways in which the United States government has at-tempted to resolve an international problem.

    4. Identify how the fundamental characteristics of the UnitedStates economic system (e.g., private property, profits, competi-tion, and price system) influence economic decision making.

    5. Explain how personal bias can affect observations.6. Constru

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