The Lesson:

Global Connections through Natural Disasters is a Project Based Learning (PBL) lesson developed to help facilitate collaborative, student-centered projects that integrate higher order thinking, real-world problems, and 21st Century skills. This Wiki is designed to be a teacher resource. Teachers who plan to replicate this lesson are more than welcome to use any of the content contained here. Suggestions for replication include, but are not limited to, WikiSpaces, ePals or any other email, blog or wiki hosting site.

Technology Rich Classroom (TRC) Program in Kansas:

The purpose of the Technology Rich Classroom program is to provide evidence that technology, when integrated into a technology-rich learning environment and supported by strong, on-going professional development, can produce changes in the classroom environment that results in improved student learning in the areas of reading, math and/or science. To do so, this competition supports grants to Local Education Agencies (LEA) and LEA partnerships to develop a collaborative team to:

  1. Build their capacity to integrate technology into the classroom using research-based instructional methods and professional development
  2. Provide data to support academic achievement through the use of technology in schools
Click here to see a video of TRCs in action!

Program Goals:
  • Students enhance their knowledge of reading, math, and science through 21st Century contexts and the use of 21st century learning tools.
  • Teachers improve their technology skills and use those improved skills to integrate technology across content areas at increasingly advanced levels of integration.
  • Support grantees' movement toward a self-sustaining technology rich learning environment.
  • School leaders are engaged in the support of TRC teachers, TRC classrooms, TRC schools and the TRC project.

Author Backgrounds:

Amber Rowland, MSEd is a Senior Project Lead for the Advanced Learning Technologies in Education Consortium (ALTEC) at the University of Kansas and is currently the Project Coordinator for the state-wide Technology Rich Classrooms, Title II-D initiative in Kansas. She was recognized in 2008 as one of the 20 emerging leaders in educational technology by the National School Boards Association "20 to Watch" initiative. She is seeking a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus is Special Education. She has taught students Kindergarten through 8th grade and served as an preservice instructor. She travels to local, state and national conferences like NECC, NSDE and ASCD training teachers on Project Based Learning, 4teacher tools, video conferencing and the general integration of technology in education.

Kari Stubbs, PhD is the Director of 21st Century Learning for BrainPOP. Previously, she was the Director of Professional Development for ePals, Inc. as well as, a Senior Project Lead at ALTEC, coordinating the Title II-D initiative in Kansas. In 2006 she was recognized by the National School Boards Association as one of the "20 to Watch" rising leaders in the field of educational technology. She is also a recipient of the Making it Happen Award, and was the National Teacher Training Institute, Teacher of the Year in 1997. Dr. Stubbs earned her PhD in Curriculum from the University of Kansas, where she received a graduate fellowship and was recognized as a P.E.O. Scholar. Dr. Stubbs has worked with the University of Kansas, ePals, ALTEC, Baker University, Blue Valley School District, and Kansas City Public Television. Her career highlights include presentations at national and regional conferences, such as NECC, NSBA T+L, NSDC, National Association of Elementary School Principals, Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, Kansas Annual Conference, and Mid America Computers in Education.