The Road to Success: Learning from the Winners

By Solomon, Gwen | Technology & Learning, June 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Road to Success: Learning from the Winners


Solomon, Gwen, Technology & Learning


Hoping to involve your students in a technology-based contest? Thinking of entering or nominating somebody for a teacher recognition program? Here's inspiration from past winners.

What's the appeal of educational technology contests? "It's not really the prizes," says Yvonne Andres, whose Global Schoolhouse runs the annual International CyberFair competition. "A contest creates the venue that's an incentive for teachers and students to do their best and to be acknowledged. It validates the achievement when others recognize it. Often the certificates are even more important than the prizes."

Educational technology contests are designed to promote excellence. They encourage teachers to find the best ways to integrate technology into the curriculum and motivate their students to learn new things in new ways. They allow fellow educators to learn from successful models, and provide new, and sometimes surprising, opportunities for the winners. We'll look at several popular competitions with examples of winning entries, and we'll take a look at what makes a chosen entry a winner.

Competitions Involving Student Teams

CyberFair (www.gsn.org/cf)

"Share and Unite," the theme of the Global Schoolhouse's International CyberFair contest, encourages schools and the communities in which they live to use the Internet to share resources, establish partnerships and work together to accomplish common goals. Says GSH president Yvonne Andres, "We want a safe and strong community in which students live and learn together. We want to teach our students to be good global citizens who appreciate and respect the diversity of the world around them. Information technology can facilitate these goals."

Students ages 5-18 work in school-based teams to learn about their community and share that information with the world on Web pages. Each team chooses to focus on one of eight categories--from historical landmarks to environmental concerns to local music and art. First- through fifth-place schools plus honorable mentions are named in each of the categories, with a variety of prizes awarded by contest sponsors.

The key to this contest is a peer review component. The Web pages are evaluated by six other teams, in addition to a panel of expert judges. And since a jury of one's peers is the hardest audience to please, you know that the winners have done a great job.

Although all the work for the CyberFair Web site must be completed by students, the entry must be submitted by a supervising adult from the students' school. In addition to displaying the student sites, coaches must write about the process, learning objectives, and impact. "This narrative," says Andres, "really explains the process that goes on behind creating the Web site; a compelling story is more important than technical bells and whistles. Teachers should show how students have personalized information; what the impact is on student attitude, learning, and behaviors; and how inclusive this project has been. The greater the participation--among students and community members--the better."

The impact on students is obvious in "Local Leaders Sailing to the World" (cyberfair.gsn.org/panchiao/index. htm). Students from Pan-Chiao Senior High School in Taiwan interviewed 15 local leaders in various fields. The resulting Web site teaches the qualities of leadership and profiles people who exemplify them. Students met with political figures, artists, members of the media, environmentalists, and even worked with the Ministry of Education. They say that Chinese students often give others the impression of being silent and passive. This project broadened their perspectives and helped them to overcome the shyness they felt when interviewing important figures. Students report, "It was an entirely novel experience for the students and teachers who participated in it, and for Panchiao Senior High School; and it is an experience that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Road to Success: Learning from the Winners
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?