June 2008 – May 2008 shows 17% increase in visits to the Gateway over May 2007!
Over 1,000,000 visits and still growing! New resources, features and partnerships in the wings!
Last month we started the count toward our next million visits to the Gateway to 21st Century Skill since NEA began our sponsorship. As observed in last month’s update that is phenomenal! But, we are not satisfied that this pace is enough. We want the growth in visits to continue to escalate and the contents of our repositories to grow right along with visits so we can make an even bigger contribution to the lives we touch across the educational enterprise.
Behind the scenes at the Gateway we strive daily to expand on our partners and partnerships. We dialogue with other education resource providers, search the web for items we can include in our collection, write grant applications to help to fund our growth and expansion and explore emerging technologies to keep abreast of the most efficient and meaningful way for our members to find and use the resources that we catalog and provide in our searches. Every month we add new features and new resources to give our members more of what they need to meet the challenges they face everyday.
So, what kinds of things are in the works? What possibilities are we at the Gateway creating with all these activities? What might the future hold?
Let me drop a few names to give you some idea:
National Science Foundation, National Science Digital Libraries, WGBH Foundation, Center for National Language Processing at Syracuse University, Digital Library of the Earth Sciences, TeachEngineering at the University of Oregon, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, The Learning Federation of Australia, Curriki, American Heritage Foundation, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, OCLC, Siderean Software, American Association of School Librarians, American Library Association, Achievement Standards Network, State Educational Technology Directors Association, Council of State Science Supervisors…
And, this list could go on for pages. Many of the relationships we are forming and the grant applications we are writing are directed toward increasing our collection of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning resources. These areas are the focus of much discussion about the future viability of the United States’ workforce in the global economy. Studies have indicated that the typical US student is far behind many of their contemporaries from other parts of the globe. Traditionally these subjects were areas of excellence for US students but we have not kept pace as other countries have joined the 21st century competition.
We are pursuing more partnerships with providers of digital and electronic media. STEM education is very well served by aspects of electronic media. Podcasts, video, animation, electronic games, interactive applications and other technological forms of learning content can not only teach but also set the expectation for how the future worker will conduct their day to day lives. Not to mention that this is how most of our students conduct their private and social lives, right now!
Over the next few months many of these dialogues and partnerships will begin to bear fruit. As they do, the synergies of these partners and initiatives will multiply the resources, features and functions of the Gateway. We will keep you informed of all the great new capabilities and offerings come on line. It is an exciting time that is full of possibilities and promise. The next great steps in the history of the Gateway to 21st Century Skills are straight ahead.
Do you have a great idea for using the Gateway in your daily task that you would like to share? We would like to hear about it. Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org . We will be collecting your ideas and will feature them in upcoming updates that are distributed to each of the NEA state affiliates monthly.
NEA has partnered with the GEM Exchange, Gateway to Educational Materials, and JES & Co to support Gateway to 21st Century Skills, a website that combines state-of the art search technologies and a complete database of state academic standards for core subjects. The Gateway is your link to the resources you need to make learning meaningful and fun for your students.
New information about 21st century learning resources is being added every week to the Gateway. Don’t miss out on these great new additions. Here are just a few more recent examples of new items that you can find on the Gateway for you and your students:
Quest for The Rajah's Rice
After reading "The Rajah's Rice", a mathematical folktale by Dave Barry, students will complete a WebQuest. The WebQuest includes a compare/contrast activity, a recipe activity, and opportunities for more extensions related to the story.
Students design a Rube Goldberg Device using the six basic, simple machines. The students will make posters that illustrate the designs of their devices and that identify the simple machines involved. In addition, the students will write paragraphs to explain how machines work, mentioning the advantages and disadvantages of simple machines
Multicultural Diversity Turns the Wheels of Science
In this unit, students discover the great racial and ethnic diversity among renowned scientists worldwide, and relate this diversity to themselves, their families, school, communities, and society as a whole.
Red, Green, and Blue Mystery Liquids! Hypothesis or Inference?
Students are actively involved in the scientific method and inquiry as they form quick hypotheses based upon a teacher set of mystery liquids. Students will determine they need to make additional observations of the liquids to test their initial hypotheses and form inferences. Students may extend the lesson and inquiry processes as they design their own density experiment using liquids they decide upon and bring from home
Who Got Away? 18th Century Runaway Slaves
How successful were the escapes by runaway slaves in the 18th century? In this lesson, students will read advertisements for runaway slaves, consider which slaves may have been best equipped for escape and a new life, and speculate about whom may have successfully gained freedom
My Path to the Land of Dreams
In this lesson, students create a Welcome Book. The book will represent individual life stories written from the perspective of a culturally well-adjusted naturalized citizen or permanent resident. It should include personal and background information, as well as information about the native country, the status and the nature of immigration, and the overall experience in the new homeland as an immigrant or refugee. The book will conclude with a message to newcomers who are going to read it in the future. The students will use PC computers and laptops as publishing tools.
In this lesson, students use scale drawings to solve real world problems involving perimeter and area. This lesson is best used as the culmination to a unit on perimeter and area.
Quickly learn to search the huge collection of free learning resource. (Click this link to view our video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYqho-SN-m4) Our brief, seven minute, instructional video is now available on the home page of the Gateway. It’s never been easier to boost your professional skills, add more fun and individualized instruction to your repertoire of competencies. Join our cadre of 21st century educators today.
Make your search for resources from the Gateway or great benefit from your NEA membership easier and faster. Simply visit: http://www.thegateway.org and download the National Education Association Toolbar from the link in the middle of the page. The toolbar is ready for you! It easy and it’s FREE!
Did You Know?
If your NEA state affiliate website doesn’t link to the Gateway to 21st Century Skills as a resource on your state website, they are surely missing the 21st Century boat. Tell them you need resources and a link to the Gateway! In terms of a teaching tool, it is one of the greatest benefits that NEA has ever made available to its members.
Wednesday and Tuesday, in that order, were the busiest days for the Gateway in the month of May. In fact, the Gateway is such a valuable and powerful tool that over 49% of the visitors added the Gateway to their browser Favorites or Bookmarks! In the last month, over 63%of the traffic came from people who have already bookmarked the Gateway to 21st Century Skills. A whopping 30% of visitors came to the Gateway from sites that link directly to the Gateway such as you would find on the NEA learning resource page and the Educational Resource Information Center (ERIC).
The Gateway to 21st Century Skills receives thousands of visits a month from dedicated educators all over the world. The community is developing into a diverse and interesting group with tremendous talent to share! Come and join us as we pioneer the way to the vision of a 21st century education.
Spread the word, invite a friend and help your fellow educators to participate in this special community that NEA has provided for its members.
Are Your Members Using the Gateway?
Welcome Oklahoma! Oklahoma, Connecticut, Wyoming, Wyoming Student Education Association, Hawaii, Maryland, Colorado, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, South Dakota and Tennessee and have all created versions of the Gateway that displays the state affiliate logos.
And now, not only will your affiliate members be greeted with a view of your logo but anyone who declares that they hail from your branded state will also see that affiliate’s logo. This will underscore your local commitment to provide the members of the profession with the tools and resources they need to succeed in driving up student achievement.
We want to hear from you. What would you like to see added to the Gateway? What improvements would you like to see? Send your suggestions, thoughts and observations on how we can make the Gateway to 21st Century Skills a more valuable tool for you, your students and your fellow teachers. Contact Bruce Walker at email@example.com.
Gateway to 21st Century Skills Statistics for May 2008
Lots and lots of educators are finding and utilizing the Gateway as in each month since we became sponsored by the NEA, we have experienced double digit increases over the previous year’s figures. The Gateway Community keeps getting bigger and we keep breaking records! April 2008 set another huge new record for traffic to the Gateway with 45,017 visits, a 17% increase over last May. In the month of May 2008, adjusted measures of traffic showed visitors visited 129,753 pages and created 1,003,271 hits.
Who’s Joining the Gateway?
From students and pre-service teachers to experienced educators in all parts of education to educators who teach other educator to educate, everyone finds value in the Gateway collection of learning resources. What a tremendously diverse and interesting group of people find their way to the Gateway! The community is growing in size and harnessing the awesome power that comes from a huge set of life skills. To show you what we at the Gateway have noticed we did some research on the diversity of members in the biographies written by new members applying for Gateway membership.
Here are some excerpts from the biographies of recent Gateway applications for membership. Members show their support for the Gateway by joining and it is Free! Membership allows you to make notes and comment about the resources you find on the Gateway. You can share those observations with your peers or make comments that are only for your use. It’s like your own personal Gateway to almost 50,000 quality learning resources.
I received my doctorate in genetics from Ohio State University in 1980. After 20 years in private sector research and development I returned to teaching in 2000. I get great enjoyment in stimulating interest and excitement about science among adolescents and teenagers. I currently teach middle school science at St. Matthew Parish School in Akron, Ohio. I hold a current teaching license from the Ohio Department of Education with certification in biology. I also have a special interest in technology integration into curriculum objectives and am a founding partner of AALM Instructional Technology Associates, Inc., an Akron, Ohio based curriculum technology consulting firm.
I teach International students at the college level. I currently am teaching reading, writing, and speech (communications).
I am grad student at the U. Maine for Technology. My goal is to be able to teach middle and high schools students’ math and technology.
I have just completed my student teaching and now I am preparing to take the PLT 5-9.
I am a new Instructor of Computer Drafting now working with High school students in a program called "GeneSys Works", in Houston, Texas. I have over 15 years experience as a graduate Civil Engineer, but recently changed careers to a better match of my personal interests and abilities.
I am a vintage English teacher. Currently in rural Iowa, I teach high school English and community college communication skills classes and arrange high school TAG activities. During the school year, directing the all-high school play and speech activities plus arranging various career-oriented activities take up many of my after-school hours. I like to include technology in classroom activities, but am more of a novice than an expert.