Curry School bringing
classroom technology to Bermuda
Curry School graduate student Philip Molebash, left, works with
Joey Robinson, one of the lead Bermuda teachers incorporating
technology into the classroom.
By Ida Lee Wootten
U.Va. educators began working with teachers in Bermudan schools
to help them learn how to use technology in their teaching, something
unexpected happened: more of Bermuda's history will make its way
into the electronic annals.
in U.Va.' Curry School
of Education went to Bermuda this summer to help mathematics
and social studies teachers modify traditional methods to incorporate
technology in their instruction. The teachers are learning how to
include the use of computers and software packages in their courses
and what resources are available on the Web.
accessing such primary sources as soldiers' diaries online through
Center for Digital History, the teachers learned new ways to
make history seem personal and more interesting for their students.
Having long decried the lack of Bermuda history in textbooks, the
teachers decided to start a project in which high school students
will interview island residents to gain first-person accounts of
Bermuda's development. Their recollections, when placed on the Internet,
will serve as a means of preserving the country's history.
faculty will return to the island in November to continue helping
teachers gain skills in using Web-based studies. In addition, a
U.Va. graduate student is based in Bermuda this fall to help teachers
with the digitized history project and other uses of technology
very exciting to work together to tell Bermuda's untold story,"
said Glen Bull, co-director of the Curry School's Center for Technology
and Teacher Education. "The work will help change how history
is viewed in Bermuda."
partnership grew out of overtures last fall from Bermuda's Ministry
of Education. After contacting U.S. education officials to learn
which institutions might help the country incorporate technology
into public school teaching, Bermudan officials learned that the
Curry School has become widely known as a model for integrating
technology into content areas. Bermuda officials visited the Curry
School last fall to learn what services could be provided.
with Bull, Joe Garofalo, the other co-director, who specializes
in mathematics education, and Cheryl Mason, an assistant professor
who specializes in using technology in social studies instruction,
proposed making on-site visits to acquaint teachers with educational
technologies. They will also supplement those visits with holding
videoconferences to allow real-time feedback on instructional strategies.
Curry faculty expect that the program of videoconferences for the
Bermuda teachers will span two years.
faculty call such an approach "collaborative education."
Using a whiteboard on which participants can write, the videoconferences
unite Curry faculty with teachers in diverse geographic locations.
Through high-speed connections via Internet2, faculty and teachers
can engage in discussions and share ideas in real time.
July videoconference on web design allowed Curry students to give
Bermuda teachers feedback on their web sites. "It was rewarding
to see the teachers so visibly excited about their web pages and
the feedback they were receiving," Mason said.
support from the Provost's Office, the Curry School has built two
videoconferencing rooms and is planning two more in Ruffner Hall.
"Collaborative education underscores the Curry School's commitment
to public service," Bull said.
it comes to math, Garofalo has demonstrated how to involve high
schoolers in mathematical thinking through the use of graphing calculators,
geometry programs, spreadsheets and other technologies.
emphasis is on how technology can improve the student's educational
experiences," Garofalo said. "For example, we use technology
to enhance mathematics teaching and learning in ways that cannot
be done without it. Technology allows us to represent and apply
mathematics in ways that are not feasible with only paper-and-pencil
center co-directors, Bull and Garofalo work with an interdisciplinary
group of U.Va. faculty and graduate fellows to help local school
districts as well as peer institutions design, implement and assess
curricula that integrate technology into teacher education programs.
A self-governing British colony consisting of seven main islands
and about 170 small islets, totaling about 21 square miles, located
approximately 650 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
62,570, about 60 percent African descent and 38 percent European,
Founding: named for Spanish navigator Juan Bermudez, who discovered
the islands in the early 1500s; around a century later a ship
of British travelers bound for Jamestown, Va., was shipwrecked