Friday, December 12, 2008

Visits to Mary Lind Foundation and Newport Mesa

Mary Lind Foundation
I visited Michael Barnes at the Royal Palms Recovery Center, which is one of three residential treatment centers for homeless recovering addicts. They have a computer lab in the building, and also several computers at each of the other centers. Residents can take a variety of classes in the lab, including computer skills and GED preparation. The instructors are provided by Belmont Adult School, part of LAUSD.

Michael is working with the computer skills teacher, Corinne, and their project will be to create an online community for their residents, with the hope that after leaving the program this will give people a way to stay in touch, and to let their teachers and counselors know how they’re doing. The students will help to create the site, and start using it as part of their computer class, and then will be familiar with it by the time they leave.

Newport Mesa Adult School
I met with Martha Rankin, the Assistant Principal, and Mandi Spottsville, ESL Instructor, both TIMAC participants. Martha has been a proponent of technology integration, and it was fun to see all the classrooms with SmartBoards installed and teachers using them. I also got to see some wonderful videos made by students in the video production class.

Martha started a blog for the school last year through which she shares program information, meeting agenda, assessment data, and planning documents. The goal of their project this year is for Mandi to take over the blog, post on it, and encourage the teachers to participate more in the blog as well. Martha will mentor Mandi on how to develop the blog. They have specific goals, like increasing the number of teacher tips posted, and adding podcasts and video.

Mandi will be working with a couple of mentees to organize the content on the blog and create a new Teacher Made Materials section. They will also be encouraging teachers to post their own tips rather than having them all come from Martha and Mandi.

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