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III. ACTION PLAN:    A. Technology Access    B. ICT Literacy    C. Professional Development    D. Community Involvement     [Data]

ICT Literacy Toolkit
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1. Standards
2. Research
3. Case Studies
4. ePortfolio Support
5. Presentations
6. More Resources

Effective Projects Case Study


Semitic Religions Brochure at Hampton School District


This is a story about a project that started 6/25/1905.

For more information, please contact: Lisa Wenger at


The students are asked to create a three-fold (six panel front and back) brochure to explain the three Semitic religions.  They use the Publisher software program.  Students use their class notes to extract the essential information.  The rubric that they are given requires them to create a cover with a title and their name.  The three interior panels share 10 facts about each of the three Semitic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  The last two panels are reserved for a comparison chart and a current event.  The students print them in color and share them with their parents.  They are a strong assessment tool to share the accumulated knowledge that they have garnered over the course of the in the unit.  Writing and literacy skills are essential aspects of the process as well as critical thinking and analysis.


Funding: This project was supported by $0 from and $0 in local funds. The project illustrates how federal funding supports “Technology literacy for all students - Implementing systemic changes through robust curriculum integration with technology (includes student work with digital tools, distance learning courses, etc.).” The project addressed the following grades and content areas: 

   Gr6-8    EngLangArts      SocSt   


The Setting: Hampton Academy in a small suburban/seacoast community middle school.  We enjoy a reasonably up to date computer lab and two mobile labs with lap tops for a classroom of 25.  Funding for school programs is limited to local property taxes and some state funding.  Local community commitment to technology is fairly strong.  Economic factors do adversely impact us as tourism and small business can fluctuate with economic trends.


The plot: My colleague and I both teach the grade 7 curriculum.  We each have four classes, and they meet at the same time.  We therefore need to meet to decide and sign-up for use of the computer lab or the mobile labs.  This is not easy to coordinate as the building houses many teachers who regularly utilize each for their classes.  Each classroom contains five PCs for students to use in the classroom.  So in the event that the mobile labs and computer lab are occupied, we must ask our students to sign-out and use available classroom based computers.  This presents various supervision and management challenges.  Students are not allowed to use any computers where there is no adult supervision. Computer access for all students – is the biggest challenge.


The teachers: 2 teachers were directly involved. Two social studies teachers on two different teams- support para-professionals, and the computer teacher.


The students: 150 7th grade Social Studies students were involved in this lesson.Students needed to work independently as they researched and wrote the 1st drafts of their Semitic religions brochure.  They worked with partners in the proof-reading and editing process. They form of writing was informative and this required that they shared enough background knowledge and vocabulary to communicate affectively with an uninformed reader.  Once the brochure were completed and printed – they were shared with others in the class and their parents.


The data: Students pass-in their B/W copies for grading purpose along with their own self –assessment /rubric form.  Once the graded and corrected B/W copy is returned to students they then correct any errors and print out a final copy in color for sharing with the class, their parents and their portfolio.


The difference: Students whom formerly had no religious training, or who possessed social biases /stereotypes about religions found themselves liberated by realizing their affiliations and or connections to the three Semitic or other religious traditions.  Students often share how much they like this unit quietly and privately with us- because they had no previous understanding about religions/ history of the Semitic region/the middle east.  This is one of the early formal writing projects they have in the school year – so the process really helps them pull together their acquired skills, and build on them. Parents comment to us during parent conferences and notes they send in after reading the brochures – that they learned facts about the three Semitic religions that they were previously unaware of, and that they are impressed with their child’s ability to write, design and publish the three fold brochure on the computer.  Most share that they wish that they had this understanding themselves in their youth as it would have changed their “world view”.


Essential conditions: Availability of quality computer technology, software, and technical support for instruction and access.


Changes for the future: I wish that I had a set of class based laptops and or student owned and linked laptops.  This way this project could continue and expand throughout the year in numerous other units and integrated curricula opportunities in other subject areas.  We use to allow students to access their saved work from school at home in order to continue their work.  The availability of computers at home is not universal for all of our students.  This presents an inherent mandate to provide them with alternative resources during the school day and in local libraries.  School assigned laptops distributed on loan when children enter and upgraded as they age- for a nominal fee per month (similar to the musical instrument rental programs) and the option to purchase at graduation would improve computer tech skills and writing and executive skills. I like the way we currently handle grading.  Perhaps the brochures could be saved on-line to a teacher folder and viewed at a school web site.  This would save on paper and ink.  But personally the students benefit from the publishing process and the inherent pride of purpose that it gives.


Recommendations: Invest in maintaining and upgrading your technology to keep students challenged and competitive in the field and real world applications.  Support technology initiatives in the community.  Find out about grants and local companies who are willing to invest to improve the local skills that will be available for their employment pool.  What communities give they reap tenfold.


Telling our story: We (my colleague and I)  have shared the project with curriculum coordinators and administrators and colleagues during various staff meetings


Documents to share:  none at this time