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bigbear.jpg (8729 bytes)Overview

All students at Beardsley Junior High School (BJHS), in Bakersfield, California, have access to a computer/technology center that contains thirty-two 700 MHz Athlon computers, running Windows 2000.  All machines are multimedia equipped and are capable of producing a wide range of audio/visual (A/V) projects.  The center houses a scanner, as well as a laser jet printer, two inkjet printers, and three full-screen monitors that allow students to observe modeled lessons and inspect online projects from virtually anywhere in the lab.  Software provided for the students includes Microsoft Word 2000, PowerPoint 2000, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Complete National Geographic: 108 Years of National Geographic Magazine on CD-ROM, Microsoft Excel 2000, Microsoft Access 2000, Microsoft FrontPage 2000, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Grammar Games, and Accelerated Reader. Online support is available at <http://www.beardsley.k12.ca.us/bjhs/>.

The BJHS computer/technology center is connected to a local area network (LAN), as well as a wide area network (WAN) through the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office.  All students who have returned the District’s acceptable use policy, signed by a parent or guardian and student, have access to the World Wide Web (WWW).

The computer/technology center contains video cameras, video and audio mixing/editing equipment and software, video title generators, special effects software, computers, and lighting equipment.  Students use the aforementioned equipment and software to produce campus announcements and public service broadcasts.  Additionally, every room on campus contains a television with cable hookup.  Through the use of a video-broadcasting cart, all students can view student generated video projects from within their classrooms.  Projects are created in lab and broadcast through cable connections.

Computer Lab Curriculum

A Level III CTAP TechMentor for the County of Kern, California, develops all of standards-based computer lab curriculum.

Expectations

All students are expected to learn the responsible use of technology and information.  Having discussions that relate to acceptable Internet use, netiquette, and copyright laws does this.  All students are presented the guidelines found in the Beardsley School District Acceptable Use Policy and are made aware of the personal consequences of inappropriate use of the Internet.

All students are provided ongoing computer and audio/visual field vocabulary studies.  Thus, all students are expected to know proper terminology when referring to hardware and software issues.  This guidance extends into computer training sessions that provide the content to help students communicate effectively using word processing, database, and spreadsheet programs.

All students are expected to utilize electronic media (CD-ROM, Internet, Intranet, e-mail) to collect information on a variety of subjects.  The use of technology tools (multimedia authoring, presentation software, Web browsers, digital cameras, video equipment, and scanners) for individual and collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities allows this to occur.  An ongoing attempt to utilize telecommunications for collaboration and research with other school districts, agencies, and businesses is taking place.  Recently, students helped produce a commercial video about the district for a local contractor who is building new homes in the district.  Their video production plays on a continuous loop in the contractor’s model homes.

All students are expected to prepare and present cross-curricular projects, utilizing computer-based skills.  Ongoing collaboration with the English and history departments helps drive cross-curricular processes.  Both seventh and eighth grade students are responsible for completing a term paper that counts for English, history, and Computers grades.  The math department will soon incorporate math curriculum into lab projects.

During the eighth grade year, all students are expected to use presentation software to complete classroom assignments and present work.  Currently, PowerPoint is utilized for this.

All students use skill-based software to learn or refine core curriculum skills.  Students use Grammar Games to improve their knowledge of English grammar.  In addition, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing helps students improve their typing ability.

Next year, all students will be given a unit of study enabling them to apply strategies for identifying and solving routine hardware and software problems that occur during everyday use.  This is in accordance with the future State technology standards.  Each student is expected to demonstrate that standard by taking both a written and demonstration test.

The concept of computers in the workforce is stressed throughout the course.  To help students demonstrate knowledge of current changes in information technologies and the effect those changes have on the workplace and society, students study career choices by investigating www.jobprofiles.com to gain a better perspective of the technology skills that are needed in the workforce.  In addition, lab instructors continually keep that concept on the forefront.

All students are expected to research and evaluate the accuracy, relevance, appropriateness, and bias of electronic information sources.  Those concepts are stressed throughout the course, as well as within all curricular areas.

All students are expected to acquire a sufficient level of computer skills in order to pass the computer final with a score 60% or higher.  In addition, all students, by the end of eighth grade, should be typing at least 40 words per minutes with a 90% accuracy rate.

What Is Being Done

The technology center opens daily at 7:15 AM to ensure that all students have opportunities to use campus computers and to provide students who miss lab times to make up missing assignments.  In addition, credentialed technology staff work closely with the BJHS English and * Math departments to ensure that proper alignment to State standards occurs.  Each month, a curriculum update worksheet is placed on a server.  The document is accessible to all teachers.  Each worksheet has a four-week English and math curriculum outline (update) that includes standards-based lessons.  Each week, lab instructors inspect the worksheet in order to coordinate their lessons with the addressed standards from the English and math departments.  The utilization of the server has made campus wide standards-based collaboration convenient.  At the end of each month, lab instructors give their completed standards-based worksheets to the principal who leads the ongoing collaboration process.  The process is mandatory for all BJHS teachers.

All students are encouraged to take part in many activities that include History Day, writing across the curriculum that involves typing assignments for other classes, student letter writing, graphic art assignments, essay contests, video productions, and career oriented studies.  In addition, students create reports and maintain an electronic journal.

Objectives

The following is a list of objectives that computer lab instructors pursue to complete for all students throughout their year in the technology lab:

  1. Students will learn to prepare reports utilizing word processing, graphs, charts, databases, and spreadsheets.
  2. Students will learn how to use electronic encyclopedias as research tools.
  3. Students will learn to search the Internet for appropriate materials.
  4. Students will learn computer and audio/visual terminology.
  5. Students will learn how to produce audio-visual projects and participate in all areas of productions, such as acting as cameraperson, actor/actress, editor, special effects supervisor, director, scriptwriter, reporter, and graphic artist.
  6. Students will improve their spelling and grammar through guided language arts activities.
  7. Students will be involved in standards-based cross-curriculum projects that focus on language arts, history, cultural awareness, and mathematics.
  8. Students will learn and improve typing skills.

Assessment/Measurement

Both formative and summative assessments occur in computer class.  At the beginning of the school year, students are given a battery of proficiency tests to determine ** typing skills, document format ability, degree of knowledge of searching the Internet and electronic databases, and computer field vocabulary comprehension.  Rubrics are used to help establish test scores.  The same battery is given at the end of the school year when students’ scores are analyzed to determine mastery.  A score of 60% or above - in all areas - is needed to pass the battery.

Steps are being taken to aid students in meeting Level III Advanced [Student] Learning Proficiency set forth in the “DRAFT Technology-Based Performance Standards for Students” at http://ctap.k12.ca.us/grants/stdntstds.html.

*As previously mentioned, the technology staff is working on efforts to incorporate the Math department into lab curriculum.  Currently, English and history studies are being pursued.  Nonetheless, curriculum updates include English and math standards-based indicators of study.

** Students’ typing skills are determined by the use of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, a software-based typing tutor.

For more information, you can contact Ernest Lewis, BJHS Technology Coordinator/Instructor, by email at erlewis@zeus.kern.org, by phone at 661-392-9254, or by snail mail at the following address:

Beardsley Junior High School (Attention Ernest Lewis)
1001 Roberts Lane
Bakersfield, CA 93308
661-392-9254

Copyright 2001-2002, Learn with Ern Productions
All Rights Reserved

Web author: Ernest Lewis

Last Updated on 08/16/10 03:15:20 PM