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Vol. 7, No. 8: April 17, 2001

 

IDEAS Website:A New Portal for Wisconsin's PK-12 Teachers

 

by John Fischer, IDEAS Project Director, UW-Extension

 

Technology-enhanced learning has become a hot issue in Wisconsin, not just in the higher education environment but in PK-12 education as well. The soon-to-be-launched IDEAS website is a portal that will provide Wisconsin educators access to high-quality, highly usable, teacher-reviewed content. The focus will be on web-based curricular, professional development, and other selected resources. These resources will help state educators use technology to meet the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards and create the foundation for a statewide knowledge management system.(View a demonstration model of the site.) The IDEAS website is currently being funded by the TEACH Committee on Collaboration, contracted through UW-Extension, and supported through the efforts of numerous organizations (see sidebar).

Who's making IDEAS happen?
A list of partners

Cooperative Educational Service Agencies
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
The Educational Communications Board
Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Teacher Education Center
Madison Metropolitan School District
UW-Madison Center for Biology Education
UW-Madison School of EducationóCenter for Instructional Materials and Computing
UW System
Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Wisconsin Education Association Council
Wisconsin Educational Media Association
Wisconsin Math/Science Partnership
WiscNET
Wisconsin Public Television
Wisconsin Technical College System

 

IDEAS was created in response to needs expressed by Wisconsin's teachers. What sets IDEAS apart from other websites geared toward teachers is that all of the resources available on IDEAS will be evaluated by Wisconsin teachers.Each piece will be assessed using a rubric that rates the resource's format, content, and learning processes. (View the rubric online.)PK-16 researchers in Wisconsin are working on inter-rater reliability to ensure the validity of IDEAS and the materials provided.In addition to quality, all of the resources on IDEAS will be aligned with the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards in the appropriate content area(s):language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and information and technology literacy.

 

Nathan Trick, online resources specialist for Instructional Communications Systems at UW-Extension, is the webmaster for the project.Nathan is committed to the development of the IDEAS site and database.The technology is being updated to support high volumes of user activity in the future.Currently, the site is under development and will be updated throughout the spring.The site will not be officially launched until August 2001, but educators from around the state (see list at bottom) are already working to populate the site with resources.

 

Eventually, IDEAS will be a central cataloging system for resources of all kinds, ranging from lesson plans to compressed video to professional development resources.There are plans to personalize the portal for more efficient and friendly user service.Teacher feedback on resources will also be posted for other teachers to view.The project will be promoted and demonstrated throughout the year at conferences and conventions such as the Wisconsin Educational Media Association in Green Bay, the Wisconsin Mathematics Council in Green Lake, and the Governor's Wisconsin Educational Technology Conference in Green Bay.

 

In order to populate the IDEAS site with worthwhile and proven resources, IDEAS is recruiting experienced, talented educators from Wisconsin to assist in the gathering of resources.These educators will be paid a stipend and focus on resources in one core area: language arts, science, social studies, or math.Each team will be made up of five people.There will be one person representing each of these levels in the four areas:elementary, middle school, high school, and the UW.There will also be one additional position on each team.If you are interested in working with IDEAS, contact IDEAS project director John Fischer at 608-262-3340 or via e-mail.

 

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IDEAS Project Participants

Name

Location

Content Area

Sue McIntyre

UW-Eau Claire††††††††

Language Arts

Barbara Porter

Fond du Lac

Language Arts

Steven Rosenberg

Fond du Lac

Language Arts

Dustin Schuhmacher

Fennimore

Language Arts

Debbie Whitmore

Waupaca

Language Arts

Julie Eiden

Waupaca

Math

Dale Feldt

Waupaca

Math

Elaine Hutchinson

UW-Stevens Point

Math

Amanda Winslow

Darlington

Math

Sara Woger

Greendale

Math

Brian Erskine

Verona

Science

Robert Hollon

UW-Eau Claire

Science

Arlene Kanno

Wisconsin Dells

Science

Louis Loeffler

Sun Prairie

Science

Pat Neuberger

Greendale

Science

Angie Catto

Menomonie

Social Studies

Jeff Horney

Shullsburg

Social Studies

Blia Schwahn

Eau Claire

Social Studies

Jill Stanton

UW-Stout

Social Studies