Friday, June 12, 2009

Connecting With Subject Area Experts

>Are you looking for a way to connect your content with real life experiences for students? Are your students struggling to see the relevance in reading a particular story or learning a particular critical thinking skill? Would you like to have a Nobel Laureate show your students how he or she uses the skills your are instructing?

The open source teaching project is an excellent tool to make real-world connections between your curriculum and the work done everyday by industry leading professionals.

A recent article in the THE JOURNAL stated this about the site:

"The open source teaching project is a Tennessee based program that helps students make real-life connections to academic content. It is a free digital resource that brings students up close with leading professionals across a variety of fields to help them see the real-world relevance of their studies."

This program send interviewers to speak face to face with experts in a range of fields. The interviews are posted online and are free for anyone to access. They also include teacher resources, lesson plans and blogs.

One section of the site contains interviews with college admissions officers. Districts who have utilized these interviews in instruction have witnessed a distinct transition in the way students organize and prepare college admissions materials after taking part in these lessons.

A majority of the interviews are audio only. However, they are in the process of adding video components as well. Included on the site are the questions that are asked for each area of expertise. I found this to be a valuable resource. With the technology we have available in Jefferson we could easily conduct some of our own interviews. We are also setup to host video conferencing sessions. These questions would be useful for those projects.

I encourage you to take a look at this resource. If you are interested in putting together a lesson using these tools I would be happy to assist. If you would like to organize your own video conference or interview with a subject area expert please let me know. I am always here to assist.

Enjoy this new resource!

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