If you have any problems, Frank
Rodgers (CI's Education/Outreach Director) can be reached at home
after hours at 304-258-7657.
Oh Deer! Environmental Forum 2011
Oh Deer! Forum Section
It's Your eForum
too - Teacher Suggestions.
Please ask students to take the
survey before they begin.
Why we ask for
Control Codes on forms
Crafting the Perfect POV.
When the eForums conclude . . .
Discussions Form - Getting it Right.
eForum Lesson Plan
(you can also reach lesson plans through
the Teacher's Room)
OH Deer! eForum 2011 emails.
Cacapon Institute's challenge in conducting Environmental Forums and
other Potomac Highlands Watershed School activities is to provide a
setting where the content is highly relevant to the required curriculum,
where everything a teacher needs can be readily found, and where
everything works. Making everything work can be more difficult than it
appears, because every school system installs filters on their computer
networks to both prevent students from accessing inappropriate material,
and to prevent harm to their computer system from accidental downloading
of malicious software (viruses, spyware, malware, etc.). Because every
school system, possibly even every school, does this differently, it is
our challenge to develop content and processes that work everywhere.
For example, we do not have a required "user name/password" system (the flash
activities have a "visitor's" bypass), we do not post streaming video (although we
would love to), and we take care that eForum activities do not "feel" like a
chat room to school filters that would then kick them off.
How subtle can
the problems be? Pretty subtle. For example, the original file
names for our Flash activities (like Stream Cleaner) included the
word "game." Some systems (one in a Missouri library, one in a WV
school system) had filters that automatically kicked a user who tried to
access these activities off the web because of the word "game"
in the file name. We
learned of the problem because people told us about it.
If you need
something that you can't find, or if something doesn't work for you, we
won't know unless you tell us. So, please, let us know – and we will do
everything in our power to fix it.
It's Your eForum
too - Teacher Suggestions. We
really encourage participating teachers to share their experiences and
offer suggestions. We do listen, and make every effort to respond in a
substantive manner. After all, this is your eForum as much as it is
CI's. Some examples of teacher comments helping shape the eForums:
Laura Picard (Jefferson High, WV)
commented that the SCE Forum was a bit intimidating for her students
because it is “VERY text heavy.” Laura suggested it might “be
easier to have more bookshelves which open to…small chunks of
content”. In response, we added a graphic “book shelf” with
clickable links to act as both a navigational aid and to help
visually break up the text into "chapters." The bookshelf is
repeated at the bottom of every section, and also includes "books"
that take you to the POV posting area, and to the eForum Vocabulary.
The lessons themselves have not changed, and the main content
remains on the eForum's home page to avoid having students get lost
in a maze of links.
Sectional worksheets were
added in 2009 at the request of Brooke Swecker Martin from Turner
Ashby High (VA). They were modeled after worksheets prepared
by yet another teacher, Laura O'Leary (North Hartford High, MD) for
2008's Oh Deer! eForum.
teacher Bill Moore (Hampshire High, WV) developed a new method for
developing consensus that was added to the Teacher's Tip's page .
These are instances where
participating teachers have provided suggestions and examples of how
they use the eForums that have made a material difference in the quality
of the experience.
Please ask students to take the
survey before they begin. The teacher code is optional,
strongly encourage their use. You
may assign a different code as an identifier if you have multiple classes
Why we ask for the
"Control Code" on forms?
Control Codes are assigned by teachers, not CI.
this to prevent mischief by students and by "unauthorized" users. The
potential for mischief is vast, and one of our jobs is to make sure that
none of it makes its way to your school computer screens. For example,
the control code should help deter any temptation students might have
to toy with the survey (for example sign on as a different school and
answer all the questions “wrong”). " We also read every
submittal before manually posting it on the website. With numerous
classes participating, that will keep us plenty
busy during the Thoughtful Questions period.
Crafting the Perfect POV.
should be crisp, concise, and persuasive. The optimum
length for a POV is from 250 to 600 words. Too short
and it cannot adequately cover the material it needs to address.
Too long and it frightens other students away - and the dialogue
When the eForums conclude,
we'll ask participating teachers to fill out a short survey to help us
know what went right, what could use improvement, and how the experience
impacted your view of the use of computers in the classroom. We'll also
schedule a time for a conference call where we can all just informally
talk about it. For example, a conference call following our 2006 Oh
Deer! eForum led to a number of significant changes to the time frame
and to the POV page format.
Thoughtful Discussions Form. While we have simplified the original Thoughtful Questions
form for the SCE Forum 2010, this part of the forum has traditionally
created some confusion among participants - with much resulting
confusion on the receiving end here at CI. Please share the video
at right with your students prior to the start of the Thoughtful
Hands-on Projects. For
schools in D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia the SCE Forum,
coupled with a hands-on activity, meets the Meaningful Watershed
Education Experience (MWEE) requirement. We can also support
Oh Deer! related projects if they have a watershed component. The
eForums also help meet 21st Century Learning guidelines. We offer technical and
material resources to help participating schools continue the eForum
lessons by implementing their own watershed stewardship project,
projects like these. Classes might plant a riparian
buffer, establish a watershed friendly schoolyard management plan,
control erosion, or do any number of best management practices (BMP).
Schools don’t need to be near a stream - terrestrial projects like
controlling rooftop and parking lot runoff are also watershed BMPs.
Education and community outreach are important BMPs too, so, if a class
produces posters or flyers we can help with costs and materials.
Top of Page
November 7, 2011
Good morning teachers,
Well, it took a while to get the Oh Deer eForum
going, but now we seem to have a critical mass to have the
Thoughtful Discussions (TD) that make our eForums such a powerful
learning experience. The TD phase is also a time when some of the
students get their entry on the TD form backwards and cause Cacapon
Institute a lot of headaches trying to straighten it out. So,
please take a few minutes with your class and run through the video
at this link on the eForum updates page:
The TD part of the video begins about three minutes in.
I plan to keep the POV entry form open through
this week to give stragglers a chance to join in.
As always, do not hesitate to contact us with
any questions at
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