Funded by a Competitive Technology grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the iAdventure program started out as a professional development program for 50 teachers in the Warrensburg R-VI school district, allowing them to participate in an intensive training course focusing on creating and using iAdventures. The class was designed to provide as much individual assistance as possible, involving only five teachers at a time, meeting for four days (two days in a row, then two more days the following week). Additional optional sessions were held on Saturdays, for teachers needing more time or assistance. The sessions met during the school day (substitute teachers were provided) so that teachers could give their full attention to the class. During these four days, teachers learned a variety of Internet skills, how to use an image-editing program, how to create and modify web pages, and then used these skills to create their own iAdventure, to be used with their students. This was a highly effective approach for professional development, and even won an award, the Best Practices in Professional Development award, from the Missouri Educational Technology Professionals Association (METPA).
iAdventures are designed as creative, inquiry activities, with students working in pairs, each pair using one Internet-connected computer. This creates a need for a group of 12 or more computers in each school where participating teachers wish to use iAdventures (although they could be modified for almost any situation, even a single computer classroom).
Although the initial iAdventure professional development program is completed, iAdventures are still being created on a regular basis by teachers and by undergraduate and graduate students (particularly at Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri). The result of this is that there are now several hundred iAdventures available on the iAdventure web site, and an unspecified number on other web sites.
I frequently work with teachers as they create their own iAdventures, and have developed a variety of helper materials to facilitate this task. All of these materials are available on this web site.
A typical workshop or class that is designed to help teachers create iAdventures would consist of the following topics/skills:
- Introduction to the Internet and World Wide Web
- Advanced web searching techniques
- What an iAdventure ISN'T: WebQuests, Web Treasure Hunts, Interactive Web Simulations, Virtual Field Trips
- What an iAdventure IS
- Locating and using digital images
- Working with digital images
- Creating and editing web pages
- Evaluation of the quality of iAdventures
- Student assessment for iAdventure conclusions and products
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