Jacalyn Leavitt, Founder, Internet Keep Safe Coalition, Utah
Jackie Leavitt was recognized for creating the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), an organization that gives parents, educators and policymakers the information and tools that empower them to teach children the safe and healthy use of technology and the Internet. iKeepSafe educational resources teach children of all ages in a fun, age-appropriate way, the basic rules of Internet safety, ethics, and the healthy use of connected technologies.
In this podcast (MP3, 13.6 MB), Leavitt talks about the importance of understanding how to navigate the Internet safely. She touches on the creative ways her organization has helped kids and parents learn effective ways of keeping safe online. …
Lynda Bergsma, Professor, University of Arizona
Lynda Bergsma was recognized for her 17-year body of work, in which she uses media literacy education as a health promotion strategy for children, youth and families. Through Bergsmaâ€™s projects, teaching, research, writing, speaking and leadership, thousands of people across the United States and worldwide have learned to make healthy decisions in a media-saturated culture.
In this podcast (MP3, 13 MB), Bergsma discusses the importance of implementing media literacy education into curriculum. She notes that students today are bombarded with various types of media and they must be taught how to properly analyze and understand what they are consuming.…
Elana Yonah Rosen, Founder, Just Think Foundation, San Francisco
Elana Rosen was recognized for her work with the Just Think Foundation. The foundation provides students with the skills they need to become critical thinkers and creative producers on important issues they see in the media, such as First Amendment rights, body image and nutrition, global warming and immigration. The program engages young people in discussions about the types of media they are consuming and encourages them to analyze and evaluate that media for accuracy, completeness and appropriateness, and use media as a form of expression, demonstration of learning, and for self-empowerment.
In this podcast (MP3,15 MB), Rosen talks about the growth of the Just Think Foundation and the new national and international media literacy outreach the organization has planned. …
Craig Lindvahl and Joe Fatheree, Teachres, Effingham and Teutopolis high schools, Illinois
Craig Lindvahl and Joe Fatheree were recognized for their creation of the Aha Film Festival, an annual event they designed to showcase the work of students in multimedia classes from Teutopolis and Effingham high schools in Illinois. The festival sells out a 1,600-seat theater and includes industry seminars on the day of the festival.
In this podcast (MP3, 15 MB), the duo talk about the importance of hands-on learning and what the popular film festival means to their small Midwestern town. …
Jay Hoffman, Teacher, Tuttle Middle School, Vermont
Jay Hoffman was recognized for his work with a student-led news network composed of 12 students who deliver the news on a weekly basis. They work extensively with other students in the school as well as community members to produce, edit and broadcast their stories.
In this podcast (MP3, 13.5 MB), Hoffman talks about what goes on behind the scenes at the South Burlington News Network. We learn that participants make a habit of reaching out to the community and that several students were recently honored by C-SPAN in a yearly film contest. …
Gary Olsen, District Adminstrator, Dubuque Community School District, Iowa
Gary Olsen was recognized for his creation of â€œThe Garden Organic.â€ The cable television reality show teaches young students how to grow and prepare their own food, in partnerships with Hy-Vee Foods, Steveâ€™s Ace Home & Garden Center and the Iowa State University Extension Office. The program combines science, math, culture and the history of food along with basic food how-toâ€™s: growing, harvesting, preparing and preserving. Students are taped as they set out on their challenge to grow an organic garden with no artificial or non-organic pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides. The series, now in its fourth year, is broadcast on a Dubuque Community Schoolâ€™s own full-time 24/7 cable channel provided by Mediacom Cable.
In his podcast (MP3, 12 MB), Olsen recounts humorous events that have occurred during filming of "The Garden Organic," and what the kids and community have taken away from this educational reality show. He also talks about how significant business and community partnerships have been to the show. …
Ray Lund, Teacher, Thorton Academy, Maine
Ray Lund was recognized for his creation and implementation of Thornton Academy TV (TATV), a student-run television station. Lundâ€™s students have developed long-running shows and have made their TV station an important thread in the community.
In his podcast (MP3, 9.6 MB), Lund discusses the enthusiasm his students demonstrate as they work to develop shows for the station and the media-related careers they pursue after graduation. …
Tony Alteparmakian, Teacher, Foothill High School, California
Tony Alteparmakian was recognized for his innovative method of documenting classroom lectures. He uses audio and visual devices that record his pen strokes and speech as a video. He then adds class notes, pictures and videos and uploads all of it to YouTube for students to access at their convenience.
In this podcast (MP3, 10 MB), Alteparmakian talks about what led him to incorporate such rich technology into the classroom and how far-reaching his online lesson plans have become. …
What's it like to apply?
The deadline for 2009 applications is less than one month away! We thought it might be helpful for individuals who are considering applying to hear from a couple of previous LIL winners, so we recently spoke with RaSheda Workman and Dan Meyer about their application experience. Listen to their podcast (MP3, 8.2MB) and remember, the deadline for applying is December 17, 2008 at 12pm PST! …
Raedell Coogler and Jessica Fredricks, Teachers, Bethune Academy, Florida
Raedell Coogler and Jessica Fredricks were jointly recognized for the partnership between Bethune Academy and the Pierce Orphanage in South Africa to raise cultural awareness between the two groups of children. With the assistance of Bright House Networks and programming from Cable in the Classroom, students are learning geography, how to be good citizens, how to be good stewards of their resources and how important it is to help others.
In their podcast (MP3, 19MB), Coogler and Fredricks discuss their main goal of the fundraising projects: to enhance their students' and communityâ€™s awareness of the circumstances of others while teaching them how to be good citizens and stewards of their resources. …
RaSheda Workman, Teacher, Sunshine High School, Alabama
RaSheda Workman was recognized for her work with the program â€œEyes Wide Open,â€ which exposes middle and high school students in rural and under-served areas to the issues that perpetuate persistent poverty and teaches them how to become effective change agents for their community. Workman was nominated for the award by her former employer, Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.).
In her podcast (MP3, 23MB), Workman discusses how, through the lens of anatomy, she taught her students everything from the effects of health policy on people living in poverty and the value of advocacy work to combat inequities, to the importance of becoming informed decision makers in order to enhance their quality of life. …
Jenann Wakefield, Web Developer, Mesa County Valley School District, Colorado
Jenann Wakefield was recognized for the development of â€œParent Bridgeâ€, a secure web application providing access to parents without computers in the home to login through computer kiosks in grocery stores. These kiosks allow parents to access their childrenâ€™s information, including posted messages, grades, assignments, attendance, lunch transactions, standardized test scores and other student data. They also provide a way to easily communicate with their childrenâ€™s teachers.
In her podcast (MP3, 10MB), Wakefield discusses the increase in parent involvement in their childâ€™s education, citing a survey that found 80 percent of parents who use Parent Bridge initiated conversation with their child because of something they read on Parent Bridge. Within the last two academic years there have been over one million logins. …
Dr. Cheryl R. Seals,District Administrator, Okaloosa County School District, Florida
Cheryl Seals was recognized for her work with the â€œAcademic Excellence Societyâ€ (AES), a collaborative effort between local schools, parents and community members to strengthen the academic portion of a studentâ€™s school experience in Okaloosa County, Fla.
In her podcast (MP3, 18MB), Seals discusses the Academic Excellence Societyâ€™s wide variety of programming, and notes the district has been making great strides in closing the achievement gap. Last years F-CAT scores show tremendous progress from the year prior. …
Dan Meyer, Teacher, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District, California
Dan Meyer was recognized for improving algebra instruction by creating and posting a video lesson for teachers online that was watched by other educators and downloaded more than 6,000 times in two weeks.
In his podcast (MP3, 14MB), Meyer discusses the importance of using nontraditional techniques to engage students, such as using videos, and he is excited about the future of teaching because of the increased sharing and collaboration among teachers via the Internet. After posting his videos and lesson plans on his blog, they were downloaded more than 6,000 times from users all over the world. …
Chuck Estep, Curriculum Resource Consultant, Monroe County Intermediate School District, Michigan
Chuck Estep was recognized for forming a partnership with the Monroe County Historical Museum to foster a better understanding of Monroe Countyâ€™s rich and unique local history among students and teachers. Through virtual field trips (VFTs), made possible via Monroe Countyâ€™s video distance learning technology, students are able to learn about history in a new and more engaging way.
In his podcast (MP3, 27MB), Estep discusses how VFTs arenâ€™t just videos, they are interactive programs that involve artifacts, reenactments, video vignettes and time-period clothing. One notable VFT focused on the War of 1812 and the Battle of the River Raisin. With the Monroe County Historical Museum, the program offered numerous sessions over a period of two weeks to students across the county. To date, more than 70 classes and nearly 2,300 students have been virtually transported to battle sites for a lesson in the regionâ€™s history. …
Diane Downs, Louisville Leopard Percussionists, Kentucky
Diane Downs was recognized for creating the Louisville Leopard Percussionists, a non-profit community organization for students aged 7-12. This community-building program helps students develop music appreciation, performance skills and proficiency on a variety of percussion instruments.
In her podcast (MP3, 24MB), Downs discusses the success of the Leopardsâ€”the group has traveled nationally, performing jazz, Latin, pop and original work. The children rotate playing a full range of percussion instruments, which Downs says has given participants creative skills and confidence. The group has recorded six CDs. …
David Considine, Professor, Appalachian State University, North Carolina
David Considine was recognized for his ability to model a management approach that enabled him to introduce media literacy to an educational institution and sustain that innovation for more than a decade, creating multiple media literacy entry points for students, supported by numerous faculty at both the graduate and undergraduate level.
During his podcast (MP3, 24MB), Considine discusses the definition of media literacy, and separates it from simply using media. Media literacy, he says, isnâ€™t just â€œteaching with media,â€ itâ€™s â€œteaching about the media,â€ and helping students build the skills needed to critically analyze and deconstruct the abundance of media present in our nation. …
Don Cerrone, Teacher, Jonathan Levin High School, New York
Don Cerrone was recognized for partnering with Cablevision, the Independent Film Channel (IFC) and the Bronx borough president to offer students the opportunity to create a film documenting the history and rise to excellence of William Howard Taft High School and the Bronx, the fall and decline of the high school and the Bronx and the return to glory of the Bronx and new schools like Jonathan Levin High School which is housed in the old Taft High School building. The project, â€œRecapturing Glory,â€ focused on the use of enhanced technological materials to promote a higher standard of education and expression.
In his podcast (MP3, 36MB), Cerrone discusses the way in which the filming and production of the documentary, as well as the content, â€œopened students up to an understanding of the environment in which they live and generated in them an interest in capturing history on film for current and future generations.â€ …
Donna Bownds, Teacher, Clear Creek Elementary School, Texas
Donna Bownds was recognized for partnering with Time Warner Cable to implement â€œTake a Vet to School Day.â€ Local veterans visited the school and shared stories about their service, while linking their work in the military and in their current jobs with the learning that is occurring in the classroom. This was a part of a national initiative by The History Channel. The project aims to strengthen ties in the community, bring history to life in classrooms and recognize the contributions of local veterans and their families who must deal with issues associated with deployment.
In her podcast (MP3, 19MB), Bownds discusses the significance of the event, given that the school is located on the Fort Hood Army base and that 99 percent of the students are dependents of military personnel. She said the event was a unique opportunity to involve the entire community. …
Lisa Quinn, Teacher, Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School, Pushing the Envelope Award
Lisa Quinn created the Millennium Ambassadors Program, a one-month program that invites 8th- through 12th-grade students to travel to Panama for a once-in-a-lifetime cross-cultural exchange. The program gives students the opportunity to live among the indigenous Ngobe Bugle Indians, learn Spanish and share their computer skills. While in Panama, the students keep up with other coursework via the Internet.
Quinnâ€™s podcast (MP3, 19 MB) covers the challenges the school faces as a cutting-edge cyber school, the positive feedback from Millennium parents and students, how the program began and where it is going, and what it means to be a cyber teacher at a distance-learning school.
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Thomas Gregory, Teacher, Gahanna High School, Cable Partnerships Award
In an effort to generate support and raise awareness and funds for the building of a Veteranâ€™s Memorial, Thomas Gregory collaborated with Time Warner Cable to showcase a student-produced documentary featuring local veterans and current servicemen and women on Time Warnerâ€™s Local On-Demand channel.
The documentary is part of Gregoryâ€™s To Serve and To Honor unit, which began shortly after a Gahanna Lincoln High alum lost his life in Iraq. Motivated by the loss of a friend and community member, students helped create the unit, resulting in an award-winning documentary and more than $130,000 raised to design and build a Veteranâ€™s Memorial outside of the school.
Listen and learn (MP3, 20.5 MB) how Gregory has impacted not only his students, but his entire community.
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Tony Knapp, Principal, NASA Explorer School-North Ridge Elementary, Cable Partnerships Award
Hoping to expand his studentsâ€™ interest in math, science and technology, Tony Knapp successfully implemented the NASA Explorer School program at his school. As part of the program, students are motivated to learn by participating in after-school clubs, designing experiments, competing in national technology and science competitions, and learning directly from NASA astronauts and other math, science and technology experts. Additionally, the schoolâ€™s partnership with Time Warner Cable has given students access to television production and to the NASA Channel and NASA programming and activities.
In his podcast (MP3, 11 MB), Knapp talks about a couple of the experiments that students designed and conducted for NASA, the resources both NASA and Time Warner Cable provide, parent involvement and the online resources NASA has available for other schools.
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Scott McLeod, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota, General Excellence Award
Scott McLeod helped co-create the first graduate program in the country that prepares technology-savvy school leaders. McLeod is co-director of the nationâ€™s only university center dedicated to school technology leadership issues, the Center for Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). CASTLEâ€™s groundbreaking curriculum has been shared freely with 15 other universities that have since used the materials to revamp existing classes, create new courses, and even develop new graduate programs.
In his podcast (MP3, 17.5 MB), McLeod talks about how CASTLEâ€™s program is different than others, the benefits and challenges he sees in making technology leadership courses required for all school administrators, and what the future looks like for administrators, technology, and blogging.
For more on his thoughts (and those of like-minded individuals), be sure to check out his two blogs, Dangerously Irrelevant and Leader Talk.
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Mechelle De Craene, Special Education Teacher, Very Special Techies, General Excellence Award
Mechelle De Craene is contributing a new voice to the world of social computing with Very Special Techies, a grassroots project that encourages media literacy through multimodal learning opportunities for students with special needs.
De Craene said students in Very Special Techies have more of â€œa voice,â€ an authentic audience (beyond the teacher) and more technology skills than students in special education classes without technology. In addition to using media to aid in class instruction, De Craene started a class blog that serves as a virtual peer support group for her special needs students. Through blogs and digital storytelling, her students have shown increased writing motivation, more comfort with technology, and improved reading scores on standardized teaching.
Listen to De Craeneâ€™s podcast (MP3, 10.5 MB) to hear more about Very Special Techies and where you can find resources to enhance your classroom.
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Louise Brown, Volunteer, Wood-to-Wonderfulâ€™s Reading is Toyrific, Cable Partnerships Award
Louise Brown was recognized for her work managing Wood-to-Wonderfulâ€™s Reading is Toyrific, a literacy outreach program that motivates young children from low-income families to read by pairing each student with a local volunteer mentor and providing each with their own library of age-appropriate books and corresponding toys.
In her podcast (MP3, 13.5 MB), Brown discusses how Wood-to-Wonderful expanded and created to Reading is Toyrific. Learn about the kids in the Reading is Toyrific program, the challenges they face, what obstacles Wood-to-Wonderful faces as a grassroots organization and how Comcast and its employees have helped Reading is Toyrific thrive.
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Cable's Leaders in Learning: In Their Own Words
The Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards is Cable in the Classroom's annual awards program to recognize administrators, educators, community leaders and policymakers who demonstrate vision, innovation, action and transformation in education. The objective of the awards is to promote and encourage innovative learning practices by honoring individuals who have transformed an aspect of education on a large or small scale.