The program at Seminole Ridge is unique for two specific reasons. The curriculum is organized into “scenarios.” These are open-ended projects that can have a variety of acceptable solutions, are flexible in the way they are solved, and requires students to accept the responsibility for learning what they need to learn and structuring their time and resources to solve the problem. The curriculum is managed with an interactive web site (you’re looking at it!) I created to provide students with 24-hour access to the classroom materials at home and in the lab.
Scenario Based Education: To summarize the curriculum, the students are given an interdisciplinary, scenario-based project that relates to a specific technical career. Students are given 5 days to complete the project and they have another day to document their work in a portfolio format. The portfolios contain research notes, brainstorm sketches, rough drafts, the final project, and a report that follows a generic rubric that is used for all projects. The projects are open ended in the sense that the students are given very few limitations and specifications, they are free to be as creative as they choose within the prescribed limits given in the scenario memo. There is no curriculum in the traditional sense of the word. Students are given the same resources that they would find in the workplace; there are no videos, “activity guides” or computer based tutorials to guide them through their activities. They use the included operator’s manuals for the equipment or software, the Internet, commercially available books and reference manuals, and their peers who have already completed the assignments they are working on. The projects are academically rigorous, include math, science, English, and reading components and include multiple assessment methods (project, report, rubric, presentation, etc.)
Innovative Delivery: There are 44 computers in the lab, one for each student. The browser is in the start menu and the kids jump to Brainbuffet as soon as they open the Browser. Students go to the Students section of the site and retrieve their project brief and specifications. From that site, they can also link to the Project Links page and view web sites that relate to their project (sites are added as students find new sites that were helpful for their project.) Or use search engines and books in the lab library for research. This web page replaces the curriculum binders in most labs. True research replaces the step-by-step instruction found in most Technology Education curriculum
Students participate in projects such as:
Logo Design and Branding
Business Card Design
Page Layout and Design
Video Encoding for Web
Interactive Web Design
In addition to the Scenario based projects, more traditional teaching methods are also employed when appropriate. This includes, but is not limited to: lecture, research projects, current events, technical program tours, guest speakers, scientific experiments, and class projects.