<< Scenario 7 | Home | Scenario 9 >>

Scenario #8 : 8th Grade Math Teacher

My students studied the Louisiana labor market in my math class. They used the internet to access the Louisiana Department of Labor’s Website and for the top 20 projected occupations in the state. The U.S. Department of Labor receives and distributes labor information from each state and updates its statistic daily. I next divided my students into groups. Each group selected five occupations and developed a survey for them. Each survey was used to query other individuals regarding the estimated annual income for those occupations. The students then assisted in analyzing the survey results using Microsoft Excel, comparing results to actual salaries as reported on the Department of Labor and the internet sites, calculating averages of estimates, and displaying the information in appropriate graph format. My students then presented their results the Board of Education as a PowerPoint to illustrate the importance of providing technology resources to schools in Louisiana.

***

Technology spectrum: The information needed to complete this assignment would be extremely difficult to obtain without the internet. Similarly, the data "crunching" is beyond the scope of most high school students without benefit of advanced spreadsheets. But the information that the web and spreadsheets provides is well within the understanding of these students. Not only that, but the students are encouraged to understand *why* they should have this knowledge.

***

Learning spectrum: The students involved in this scenario are very much encouraged to take a self-directed approach to discovering information that will be important to others citizens, regardless of age or grade level.

***

Rigor/relevance: This is another strong candidate for Quadrant D in the rigor/relevance chart. Students are required to synthesize and evaluate the data they've formulated, and apply it to real-life situations. The public service of making recommendations to the school board (rather than just posting information on a class website) makes this a particularly powerful learning experience for the students.

***

Recommendation: Gather the same employment information and projections for neighboring states, and from top states, and compare it to Louisiana's, to make the presentation to the Board of Education even more powerful.

<< Scenario 7 | Home | Scenario 9 >>