LIVE FROM THE SUN, like every PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE project, offers a set of integrated, multiple media components. If this is your first P2K experience, that may sound like a daunting mouthful.
So let's deconstruct the buzzwords:
"Multiple media" means that P2K combines the power of technology (the Internet), television (videos) and the teacher (hands-on lessons) to provide a current, pedagogically sound and engaging learning experience that takes both you and your student "out of the box."
"Integrated" merely means that you and your students will benefit most if you use all 3 media. We describe P2K projects as "100% hands-on, 100% video and 100% online"--which doesn't make much sense mathematically but does reflect the fact that sometimes "1+1+1" is much more than 3. Each component--the video programs, the hands-on Activities and the online resources--deliver more powerful learning opportunities if used together than using any one alone.
Does that mean that you have to implement P2K in only one, approved way, or that you must go to a workshop to be "trained in P2K"? Absolutely not. There are some tips, which experienced teachers share online, but these Modules are extremely flexible, and can deliver the goods in classrooms that have widely varying amounts of technology--from "access only at teacher's home", to the "one computer class", to fully-equipped labs. P2K projects can also be adapted "up and down" to work with students in elementary grades, as well as those in high school.
Let's take each component in turn and describe its unique contribution.
100% Hands-On--THE CONTENT There are 20 Activities in the printed Teacher's Guide that embody key scientific concepts related to the Sun and exemplified in research which students will see on TV and online. As you'll see by referring to the STANDARDS CORRELATION CHART, they also coincide with a large number of the National Science Education Standards that most teachers are now required to cover. The Teacher's Guide can only present national standards, not 50 different sets of state guidelines, but online at this LFSUN site you'll find correlations to each of the 50 state standards that show you more clearly how LIVE FROM THE SUN can function as a curriculum replacement unit.
Each Section of the Guide is organized around one of our key themes (THE SUN AS A STAR, HOW THE SUN WORKS, THE SUN-EARTH CONNECTION and THE SUN IN HUMAN HISTORY) and each has at least 4 Activities that cover specific concepts like magnetism, or convection and radiation. Certain Activities are simulations of procedures or processes used by solar researchers, some of which will be seen in the videos or referenced online. The necessary student worksheets and handouts are included with the Guide pack and/or Kit as blackline masters for easy duplication. If you are team-teaching, there are social studies, language arts, math and technology extensions for many of the Activities. Related URLs have been reviewed by our educator advisory team and the best ones are listed with brief descriptions.
Closing Activities allow you and your students to review concepts, procedures and experimental outcomes to assess what has been learned and to evaluate how well the learning goals stated at the outset have been accomplished.
100% Video--THE CONTEXT The videos take your students to scientific locations and research sites that are not generally accessible to the public. They'll go behind-the-scenes at key solar research facilities like NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and look close-up at state-of-the-art instruments like the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope (part of the National Solar Observatory) on Kitt Peak, high above Tucson, AZ. And most importantly, they'll see the people behind some of the most interesting and sophisticated experiments being done today. They'll meet these men and women in the videos, simulate aspects of their experiments in their classrooms and then be able to interact with some of them online. And despite the project's name you do NOT have to watch the videos live.
100% Online--CONTACT and COMMUNITY The Internet is truly revolutionary, perhaps as historic a development as Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. LIVE FROM THE SUN utilizes the power of this new technology to bring your students experiences which cannot be delivered using more traditional media. There are 3 basic components to our online resources:
INFORMATION: direct access to real-time data, the latest visuals, graphics and reports from sources like NASA, NOAO, and Lockheed Martin progress reports and developments from ongoing missions and experiments in close to real-time. Resources, references, hot links to other great sites and a content archive organized around our 4 key themes.
INTERACTION with the science community: FIELD JOURNALS and BIOGRAPHIES bring solar research to life in memorable anecdotes and incidents and SITE TOURS introduces the real-world locations our video crew visited.
There's lots of talk about "virtual communities"--but PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE has seen it happen, and we know it's a real and valid part of projects like LIVE FROM THE SUN. Look at the archives of discussion groups from previous projects for examples of the kind of teacher-to-teacher support that's possible. Check out the Center for Children and Technology's External Evaluation of earlier P2K projects to see how educators like you have successfully used this kind of resource. Then, sign on, take a tour, subscribe to the mail lists and share your ideas and your questions with a community of teachers, all lifelong learners like yourself, all innovators creating the new world of interactive learning which the Internet permits.
Online, just as in your classroom, it's you who will be making it all happen, but be assured you've got a lot of creativity, encouragement and support behind you!