Mobile Instructional Computer Classroom For Elementary And Middle Schools


Project Director: Dr. Gary J. Senn
Master Teachers:
  • Lee Gilland, East Aiken Elementary School, 1994
  • Jane Timmerman, Aiken Elementary School, 1994
  • Loretta Goodman, Allendale / Fairfax Middle School, 1995
  • Kay MacDonald, Kelly Edwards Elementary School, 1995
    Project Duration: July 1, 1994 - June 30, 1996
    Granting Agency: South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
    Funding Amount: $110,000
    Deliverables: 30 Macintosh PowerBook 520c computers, EDTE 531, Student program.
    Population: Teachers and Students from Barnwell and Allendale Counties.

    The purpose of this project was to provide science and mathematics enrichment activities using computer technology to elementary and middle school students. These students were from the area served by the Central Savanna River Area (CSRA) SSI regional mathematics and science resource HUB sponsored by the National Science Foundation. This project was based on the successful project, Computer Technology For Elementary And Middle Schools (CT FEAMS) conducted by the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center (RPSEC) in 1992 and 1993. In the CT FEAMS project, students within a 30 minute drive of the RPSEC were transported to the RPSEC to engage in science and math activities using computer technology. The major goal of the MICC FEAMS project was to provide similar opportunities to students not in close proximity to the RPSEC. Schools in this area have a larger percentage of minority students than the state average. Additionally, these schools were considered rural and underprivileged and did not have access to many of the technologies available in more privileged areas.

    It was too far to transport the students from these schools to the facilities at the RPSEC. The schools did not have adequate facilities to conduct a computer technology program to enhance mathematics and science. Therefore, it was necessary to bring the computers to the students.

    Approximately 1000 students were served during the two years of this project. The students participated in a series of science and mathematics activities that incorporated computer and laser videodisc technology. The student activities culminated with a science or mathematics project that the students created using multimedia tools on the computer.

    The teachers of the students enrolled in a course which demonstrated how to incorporate computer technology into the classroom. The teachers participated with and guided the students during the student programs. This provided teachers with hands-on experience in how computer technology could be used in instruction.

    Undergraduate students were involved in the teacher course and the student program. This helps to ensure that teachers and students receive more personalized attention. The undergraduates also benefited from the teaching experience they received. This is valuable to education majors. Undergraduate science majors who have participated in similar programs have shown an interest in careers in science education as a result of their positive teaching experiences.

    Teachers who participated in previous computer technology programs became teacher mentors and assisted the teachers enrolled in the course. Past computer technology programs have demonstrated that this approach benefits the teachers in the course because they receive more attention and can relate to someone who has recently been in a similar situation. This approach also benefited the teacher mentors since they received more experience which enabled them to improve the computer technology skills they bring to their own classrooms.

    Since it was necessary to bring the computers to the students and teachers who benefitted from this project, a Mobile Instructional Computer Classroom (MICC) was developed. The MICC will consists of 30 portable computers, 1 instructor computer, a large-screen computer projection system, a laser videodisc system, a printer, a digital scanner, a modem, a CD-ROM player and a networking system.

    A summer orientation program was offered to provide training to personnel from other HUB sites. This provided them with the training necessary to conduct a MICC FEAMS program in their HUB Region.

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    URL: (June 1996)