Sunday, September 16, 2001

Summer School for Teachers - PeachStar's Teacher-In-Residence Program

This summer PeachStar kicked off its first ever Teacher-In-Residence Program. As part of this effort, teachers from all across Georgia came to the Georgia Public Broadcasting facility in Atlanta to learn new skills and work with PeachStar staff to develop support materials for use in Georgia classrooms.

The program, which ran for four weeks, was divided into four different segments, with each week focusing on a different subject area. Week One, entitled Workshop In A Box, taught teachers the important skill of integrating multimedia into PowerPoint presentations for use in the classroom. Week Two, entitled Art Across the Curriculum, focused on developing lesson plans that integrated art across subject areas. Week Three, entitled simply Count On It!, concentrated on developing support materials to supplement the original PeachStar elementary math series, Count On It! Finally, the program finished up with Week Four, entitled Georgia Studies/Georgia Stories: The Primary Connection. This group developed multimedia lesson plans that support the original PeachStar series Georgia Stories. These lesson plans draw on primary source material from the state archives and will eventually be posted on the Georgia Stories website.

As part of the Teacher-In-Residence program, participants have agreed to take the knowledge they have gained and work they have done over the summer back to school with them in the fall. Each participant will implement in the classroom the skills learned during his or her particular week, as well as giving a general presentation about the resources available through PeachStar. Letters will be sent to participants' schools shortly after the beginning of the school year to let principals know all about the work their teachers have done over the summer and about the important information they will be sharing with the school community.

We at PeachStar are very excited about the opportunity to work with Georgia educators to develop resources we feel confident will help them to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. We're not the only ones who are excited about the advances PeachStar is making in educational technology, though. Here is what some of the participants in our Teacher-In-Residence Program had to say about their experience:

Millicent Bess, Haven Elementary (Chatham Co) "I'd really like to thank PeachStar...for reading my mind. I've wanted to learn how to use multimedia in my classroom and I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn to do it...and not only to learn, but to be able to go back to my school and incite teachers about doing the same thing."

Catherine Tyler, Hawthorne Elementary (Clayton Co) "I think the hook is to get other teachers to not be intimidated and be overwhelmed, but to show them it's hard work in the beginning, but once you catch on to these concepts like video streaming and hyperlinks and putting them in a presentation, you you're not only an excellent classroom teacher, but you do have expertise in the area of technology. I feel ecstatic about the sense of accomplishment...that makes it worthwhile."

Sonya Boyd, Shaw High School (Muscogee Co) "Having been here this week has reinforced my impression that PeachStar remains a leader in technology for educators in really is a tremendous opportunity for all of us, whether we're classroom teachers or media specialists or guidance counselors. Whatever our position, we need to be taking advantage of this."

We thank all of our Teacher-In-Residence participants for all of their hard work and look forward to hearing their success stories throughout the coming year!