I run an after school program using the GenYES model. I've enjoyed it because it gives me the opportunity to get to know students better and I like the bond we've developed as a group. I also like how we are able to explore technology on a more informal basis. After all, an after school program is supposed to be fun, first and foremost!
Part of the philosophy of this program is that teachers and students work together on technology based projects. To be perfectly honest, we've had limited success with this; teachers' schedules sometimes prevent them from investing time with us. A few teachers have really been generous with their time and effort, and the above link is the result of one such collaboration. Music teacher Cathy Janovjak met regularly with Jeremy, one of my sixth grade students, to develop a set of web pages. Today, they basically finished this project after months of hard work and Cathy was pleased as punch. She decided on this project initially because she wanted to be supportive of Jeremy, one of her chamber music students. During the course of working with him, Cathy also came to realize how useful her web pages could be to her music program, too. She had initially been ambivalent about web pages, but as she delved into the project, she became convinced of the value of a web site. Take a look around the site..Jeremy and Cathy posted pictures, helpful info regarding music stores and teachers, and copies of practice compositions authored by Ms. Janovjak.
I am so proud of both Cathy and Jeremy. Jeremy is an extraordinary student and techie. This year, he has grown so much and I've particularly enjoyed seeing his sense of humor become more apparent. I've also appreciated how Cathy has visited our class almost every Friday, always ready to work. This success of this project gives me faith that we can facilitate more of these collaborations.
By the way, Jeremy used RapidWeaver to design this web site. He did a lot of additional coding in HTML and made the cute musical favicon in Photoshop, I think.