Stem talk line-up for Spring 2003:

February 4                 


Dr. JoAnne Ollerenshaw                

NH Department of Education

“Storytelling: Teaching Native American Students Using the Oral Tradition”


The oral tradition of storytelling is perhaps the oldest and most powerful tool for teaching and learning. Stories orally communicate history and knowledge. The stories told by Native American communities are particularly significant for communication about culture, heritage, language, and ways of knowing and doing. Native American pre-service teachers learned storytelling strategies to teach science using a standards-based curriculum incorporating Umonhon language and Umonhon culture aligned with the state's local renewal accountability plan in the reservation school. Examples of this experience will be provided during the presentation. -----



February 18     

Rose Doherty and Todd Leach

Rose A. Doherty

Assistant Dean and Director

Liberal Arts and Criminal Justice Programs

University College

Northeastern University



Todd Leach

Associate Dean

Business Administration and Information Technology Programs

University College

Northeastern University



“Virtual Survival: Strategic Planning for Distance Learning”


Institutions have used a number of innovative strategies and creative schemes to launch their distance learning initiatives. Over the past few years, we have seen many of them fail to reach self-sufficiency, including a number of highly visible efforts by well-known institutions.

Survival in the virtual world almost seems as difficult to obtain as post-Internet venture capital.  The factors that have determined the survival of today's distance learning operations will remain with us tomorrow, but there are new twists, new rivals, and new strategies to factor in if you want to be competitive in tomorrow's environment.  Knowing what has worked in the past, and anticipating what changes to expect from the future, are the best ways to avoid being added to the growing casualty list.



March 4   

Dr. Jesse Heines

Dept. of Computer Science

University of Massachusetts Lowell


“Creating and Maintaining Data-Driven Course Web Sites”

Numerous student and faculty surveys have shown that parties on both sides of the podium consistently laud the instructional benefits of course Web sites.  Many of us have worked long hours creating course Web sites to augment the instructional activities we use in our classrooms and labs.  Even with commercial tools -- general purpose ones as well as those designed specifically for course Web sites -- the task is time-consuming at best and laborious at worst.  But as difficult as creating a rich course Web site may be, maintaining it -- keeping its content and links current and updating the site when the course is revised -- is even more arduous.  Even for those of us who are highly dedicated and have the best of intentions, the amount of work that seems to need to be redone each semester is so frustrating that we often give up and leave things the way they were.  This talk will examine alternative approaches to specifying course content and links using XML and XSL as opposed to straight HTML (or HTML generated by course Web site creation tools).  It will examine the pros and cons of such an approach and present examples of how a good course Web site might be made even better by employing it, or at least made easier to maintain. It will also examine the serendipitous benefits of working in XML and XSL that allow material designed to be used for one purpose to also be used for another.  The goal of these approaches is to make course Web site creation and maintenance more efficient without impacting their benefits to student learning.



April 1                


Steven D. Brewer

Biology Department, UMass


“Supporting Collaborative Student Writing: Veni, Vidi, Wikiwiki!”


Collaborative learning, in spite of its tremendous benefits, is difficult for many instructors to implement successfully for anything other than low-stakes student projects.  Wikis are networked collaborative document development systems that can empower students to collaborate effectively by reducing the barriers to collaboration, increasing accountability, and providing more data to instructors on student participation.  Wikis are simple to use and can retain all previous versions of documents, which both safeguards student work and provides a

detailed history of a document’s development to the instructor.  I will present a detailed case history of the implementation and use of a wiki in one course, some solutions to problems encountered, and an analysis of successful student strategies in using the wiki for collaboration.

April 15

Maureen Brown Yoder

Program Director, Professor

On-line Technology in Education Program

School of Education

Lesley University


“Inquiry Based Learning and Technology: Using the Internet to Enhance and Invigorate Your Teaching”


What would Socrates' home page look like?  How would Piaget and Bruner use the Internet to captivate their students?  This session will help you explore YOUR best teaching strategies and how technology can enhance them.  Emphasis will be on inquiry and project based learning and teaching in any subject area from elementary through university level.  You may already be using the wealth of information, and the communication and collaboration opportunities made possible by the Internet, but you will see examples and learn strategies for optimizing its potential and revitalizing your teaching.


Dr. Maureen Brown Yoder is the Program Director of the Lesley University Online Graduate  Program in Technology in Education.  She taught in K-12 classrooms for 15 years and now works with teachers who are integrating technology in their schools.  Her most recent article appears in the February issue of Learning and Leading With Technology.



May 6       

Dr. Robert C. Barkman

Dept. of Education

Springfield College


“A Classroom Within a Company: An Innovative Partnership to Teach and Inspire Tomorrow’s Scientists and Engineers” 


Authors: Robert C. Barkman, Ph.D., professor of biology/chemistry and education, Springfield College, Springfield, Mass;, J. Kenneth Maltese, project director, Springfield Water, LLC, Springfield; Nora Burke Patton, president, Burke & Company Public Relations, Springfield; and Erline L. Provost, director of science, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield. 


          Various researchers have investigated the reasons why science has often alienated students, especially females and members of minority groups.  For example, minorities and females often have a negative attitude of the usefulness of science in “real life,” and this attitude contributes to their lack of participation in science.  By creating a “Classroom in a Company,” this project seeks to use the world outside the classroom as a resource to bring interest, variety, and work-related dimensions to learning in subjects across the curriculum for the entire fifth grade of Springfield Public Schools.  Moreover, the curricula will help teachers raise student achievement by meeting the state’s standards in science/engineering, math, and language arts.  The project proposes to link professional and curriculum development of math and reading to the authentic science and engineering experience students receive during a one day program at the city of Springfield’s wastewater treatment facility.  The key to the success of this project is a unique school-industrial-college partnership.


          The objectives are three:  1) Create and deliver a professional development program that maximizes the elementary teacher’s participation in the “class within a company” program and benefits from the curriculum.  2) Develop a curriculum around this state’s curriculum frameworks and the pedagogy to implement it that seamlessly integrates the “class within a company” with the elementary curriculum for math and reading.  3) A third objective will be to research the efficacy of the proposed curriculum and professional development program for enhancing both students and teachers understandings of science and technology and raising students’ math and reading skills.  Through both formative and summative types of evaluations, the proposed professional development program and curriculum will be assessed.