On campus and in communities throughout the state, IMSA is using technology to ignite and nurture teaching and learning. The “generative use of technology” is central to IMSA’s mission and these programs are just a few examples of how technology is extending IMSA’s work for educators and children throughout Illinois and beyond.
The IMSA-ComEd CyberQuiz 4Kids Challenge located at www.imsa.edu features stimulating mathematics and science brainteasers and word problems for Illinois students in grades six through nine. Students who submit correct answers to one of the monthly CyberQuiz challenges are entered into a monthly random prize drawing for an iPod and also an annual random grand prize drawing for a portable computer or four tickets to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois. The IMSA – ComEd CyberQuiz 4Kids, made possible because of the support of ComEd, a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation, supports classroom learning by enhancing student interest and motivation in mathematics and science.
The IMSA Kids Institute® IMSA on Wheels (IOW) Website offers online science demonstrations and experiments to a worldwide audience and is the Web streaming repository to four volumes of the IMSA on Wheels DVD series http://www.imsa.edu/programs/kidsinstitute/wheels/.
Webinars featuring a Vitreous Retinal surgeon and the Kane County veterinarian are broadcast to IMSA Excellence 2000+ (E2K+) participating schools. These experts described and discussed their careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and answered questions from E2K+ students.
IMSA Excellence 2000+ students solve complex problems by participating in the online/virtual Illinois Problem of the Month and the International Riddle, open to students from Illinois, Iowa, Israel and New York. More than 830 E2K+ students participated in the Problem of the Month in 2007-08.
IMSA Excellence 2000+ classes from schools in Aurora, Bloomington, North Aurora and Springfield, along with schools in Israel, New York, and Iowa participate in the annual International Virtual Competition hosted by the Mitchell Excellence 2000 group in Israel.
21st Century Information Fluency provides online training and resources for educators in Digital Information Fluency: the ability to find, evaluate and use digital information effectively, efficiently and ethically. All services, including courses, workshops, interactive tutorials and Internet search challenges, are provided over the project’s Website, http://21cif.imsa.edu which receives more than one million page views annually.
The Illinois Virtual High School (IVHS) provides “anytime, anyplace” offerings to thousands of students in high school and some middle school classrooms throughout Illinois. Today, one out of every three high schools in Illinois uses IVHS services. It also provides online professional development courses for Illinois educators. IMSA was a founding partner of the Illinois Virtual High School (IVHS) and today fully manages and administers the program on behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
IMSA PBLNetwork (Problem-based Learning) technology applications include an emerging online environment that features professional development follow-up, discussion, a wiki, a PBL unit/tutorial, research and resources. In addition, educational and program DVDs are available as well as video and teleconferencing with Illinois or out-of-state partners such as NASA. Also, computer conferencing tools are used to share work between sites. IMSA’s Problem-based Learning website (http://www.imsa.edu/programs/pbln/) received more than 320,000 hits during the 2007-08 year, many from undergraduate education students from throughout the country and abroad who want to learn about problem-based learning.