Baltimore City Public Schools
Learning Communities

U.S. Department of Education
Technology Challenge Grants Program

December 1, 1995


Executive Summary

The Baltimore Learning Communities project is a multi-faceted education program that utilizes distance learning, interactive cable TV and the Internet to connect schools to homes, places of work, and the community at large. The program provides extensive professional development training for teachers, directly involves parents in the education process, and extends a wide range of new educational opportunities to students at the middle and high school levels. This is a replicable program that addresses recommendations of e Goals 2000 Act, promotes life-long learning, and has strong school-work, school-home, and school-community components. The program has four main elements:
The School

School-based activities focus on mathematics, social studies, science, communication, and the arts. They complement findings of the Secretary's commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS), and emphasize competencies required by he job market. Students learn to plan schedules and budgets, improve interpersonal s s, conduct research, communicate information, locate career data, and use technology to facilitate learning. The Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education and Institute for Policy Studies, and the University of Maryland at College Park coordinate training in which teachers use new technologies to create customized curriculum products.

The workplace

The Baltimore Learning Communities project connects schools to the workplace through two-way interactive video connections and digital networks. Through is system, work supervisors at retail stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and other places of business interact with school professional staff to learn how to transform work experiences into learning experiences. Participating businesses develop learning learning:rich tasks that lead to "Service Certificates" for student employees. Supervisors receive guidance from Bell Atlantic instructors adept at the change process, and are supported by Johns Hopkins University staff knowledgeable about adolescent behavior.


The Baltimore Learning Communities project utilizes Internet connections to provide school and career information. Students query existing labor market databases to explore opportunities and salary structures in a wide range of occupations; teachers use electronic resources in planning and building curriculum products; and parents provide assistance at schools and community centers where inactive video and computers are available. This element of the Baltimore Learning Communities project contains Job opportunity benefits for both students and their parents.

Digital Video on Demand

Discovery Communications, Inc. (The Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel) is providing about 100 hours of educational video material for use in the project. This information, which is specially selected and indexed, includes professionally produced documentaries and other programming with valuable instructional content. It also contains professional development material created for programs such as "Teacher TV," which has aired on the Learning Channel. DCI is digitizing this programming to permit on-demand retrieval and high quality display via the Internet. All content is indexed to state and local learning goals, and can be located by keywords and phrases. Teachers may select segments of video material to meet specific instructional needs. Materials from other sources, such as the National Archives, are also available.

Partners in the Baltimore Learning Communities project contribute to the program's success in a variety of ways: Apple Computers and Bell Atlantic Labs are providing significant contributions in hardware and resources. Learning Matters, Inc. is producing CD-ROM's in support of the SCANS element. The Maryland Business Roundtable is facilitating the use of two-way video to allow students to "shadow" workers in a variety of occupations. The Maryland Institute, College of Art is helping middle school students produce TV programming through Baltimore Youth Television. The American Training Standards Institute, a non-profit organization, is linking school local area networks with a wide area network. The educational Film Center is providing interactive multimedia, software, videodiscs and video/print curriculum series. The Pelavin Division of the American Institutes for Research will perform ongoing evaluations, covering all four major elements of the project. Results of the evaluations and educational materials developed for the project will be disseminated through the Internet, professional publications, and documentary television.

Definition of Problem/Needs

Students live fragmented lives. Their worlds school, work, family, friends, and community -- are rarely connected. This separation is readily apparent when it comes to preparing for careers. Students' life experiences do not teach them what they "should know and be able to do" to earn a decent living. They do not learn the workplace competencies they need in either their academic or vocational courses. Part-time or summer work is often unavailable and, when found, the work tasks are often mindless and lead to no better future. School, work, counselors, and parents do not have the capacity to guide them as students make their career and other life choices. Youngsters who do not graduate from a four-year college are often left adrift. They have neither a credential to obtain a foothold on a career ladder nor the skills to climb it if they did.

The educational needs addressed by this proposal are well articulated in the recently enacted School-to-Work (STW) legislation. The challenge is manifest in the growing unemployment and falling incomes of those with inadequate education. Joblessness (unemployment plus non-participation in the labor force) among minority high-school dropouts has increased from 6% in the mid 1960s to 36% in the mid 1980s. Low income workers of both genders, but especially males, are facing falling wages. Between 1973 and 1993, the average real wage of workers in the bottom quintile of earners fell by 11.7% and, for males alone, the average wage fell 20.6%. In 1993, 26.9% of all American jobs paid less than enough to keep a family of four out of poverty. Most often, these low-paying jobs are held by those without any post-secondary education. Indeed, the real (inflation adjusted) earnings of males with a high school diploma but no further education fell 20% between 1973 and 1993.

In Baltimore, these problems are especially severe. A profile analysis of BCS students, which addressed areas such as attendance, retention, and poverty reveals the following:

Many graduates of Baltimore City schools are ill-prepared for work or post- secondary education. As the characteristics of the 21st century work place have become better defined, another concern is that schools are not adequately preparing children and youth to engage in the kind of literate problem solving that will be prerequisites to effective functioning in an information-based society and economy (CSSO, 1990). It is not surprising then, that in the midst of the information revolution, virtually every aspect of schooling is being challenged to undertake radical transformation. The goal of systematic school reform is the creation of an education system in which all students reach more challenging performance standards associated with acquiring and using information, understanding complex inter-relationships and systems, and in which they work collaboratively with a variety of technologies (Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, 1991).

Through the design and implementation of related projects in collaboration with the University of Maryland at College Park and the Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore City Public Schools will establish the Baltimore Learning Communities project. This project will address these challenges in the three arenas that the School-to-Work (SIW) legislation identified as needing change: school-based learning, work-based learning, and the connections among schools, jobs, and the rest of the community.

The Baltimore Learning Communities project will use technology to transform and integrate the school, work, and community settings, thereby creating a school-to-work system. This project also proposes to utilize technology to enhance teachers' abilities to develop instructional models that will improve student achievement.

Students must work hard to succeed at school or at work. There are reasons why many Baltimore students lack the motivation. The family cannot be counted on ensure that students come to school ready to learn. Nutrition is poor. Violence is a continuing threat. Parents are not effectively involved. Students rarely see any connection between what they are supposed to learn and their lives outside of school. School lessons are de- contextualized and divorced from the real world. Reading, writing, and arithmetic classes often seem removed from any reading, writing, or arithmetic students will ever use.

Moreover, neither school teachers nor work supervisors can certify that the youngsters in their charge are acquiring the competencies or attitudes that will help them get on and climb a career ladder. Little in their situation motivates students either to acquire useful knowledge and productive habits or to apply them at school and work. Thus begins a vicious cycle. A lack of competence lowers self-confidence, leaving students hesitant to make the effort to become competent. The daily experience of Baltimore youngsters needs to change. Education must become relevant to earning a living. Part- time work must be available, learning-rich, and seen as a step on a career ladder. Education must also be focused on the development of skills in high level thinking and reasoning.

Because of a lack of employment opportunities, students rarely see what goes on at the workplace. The same may be true for parents, teachers, counselors and other adults whom students encounter frequently. Where there is employment, those who supervise the youngsters at work have little contact with their employees' parents, counselors, or teachers. Parents have no voice in what is going on and have no regular contact with school, community, or work personnel whom their children may see. In some cases, parents' literacy skills or knowledge base may inhibit communication even if contacts were made. This fragmentation lessens the impact of individual efforts to help students integrate school and work.

Applications of telecommunications technologies can be used as a catalyst for educational restructuring and reform (Kurshan and Lenk, 1995; Means, 1994). Applications of technology in educational settings change the content of learning and permit students to engage in more interdisciplinary and inquiry-based learning (Cuban, 1986, Marchionini & Maurer, 1995). When appropriately used, educational technologies enable teachers to interact with their students individually and in groups, and provide otherwise isolated teachers with opportunities to communicate with their colleagues and other professionals (David, 1993). Technology can also provide teachers with additional tools and information that will enhance significantly the quality of instruction provided to their students. However, while there are dramatic examples, such as Apple's Classroom of Tomorrow (Wirth, 1992), and the Jasper Project (The Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, 1990), of how technology can play a central role in the creation of communities in which all members engage in ongoing inquiry and meaningful learning, technology plays a relatively minor role in most school restructuring efforts (Ray, 1991; Cuban, 1993; Means, 1994).

Although technology, and particularly the National Information Infrastructure (Nl), has the potential to function as a powerful mechanism to improve the quality of teachers' practice, and ultimately student learning, a number of factors limit its educational utility. At least three major problems must be addressed in order to significantly effects technology has on student learning:

The enactment of Goals 2000: The Educate America Act assigns priority to the expectation that students leave school having demonstrated competency in subject area courses such as social studies and science. Although it has been suggested that the "all students" in statements such as Goals 2000 may not refer to students with severe cognitive disabilities, (Kauffman, & Hallahan, 1993), calls for a literate, thinking work force most certainly pertain to a large group of children and youth who are at risk of school failure because of language or cultural differences, or mild disabilities (Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, 1989). The Baltimore Learning Community (BLC) Project will integrate telecommunications technology and systematic school reform in ways that transform learning opportunities for all children, especially those placed at risk. These goals will be accomplished through the development, implementation, and evaluation of an innovative combination of CD-ROM and telecommunications technologies that will improve the learning opportunities for students and teachers in middle school science, mathematics, English, fine arts, and social studies classes and in high school mathematics, science, English, and fine arts classes. In addition to a primary emphasis on enhancing teachers' planning and instructional capabilities, the project will also link the classroom with both the home, community, and particularly the workplace. The project is an unprecedented collaboration by a consortium of public school educators, educational video producers, computer hardware manufacturers, telecommuncations services providers, state education agencies, business and community organizations, and university researchers to exploit the full potential of the NII. The project has the following goals and objectives:
Goal 1:
Demonstrate effective pedagogical and organizational approaches for integrating high-quality resource materials including video, graphics, sound and text delivered by CD-ROM and telecommunications technology, into middle school mathematics, fine arts, English, science and social studies classes and in high school mathematics, science, English, and fine arts classes.
Goal 2:
Demonstrate an effective strategy for integrating ongoing professional development opportunities into the day-to-day activities of teachers through use of the NII. Graduate or continuing education credits will be offered to participating teachers.
Goal 3:
Demonstrate a solution to the hardware and software challenges of providing "on-demand" delivery into public school classrooms, of high quality, instructional video and other material available through the NII.
Goal 4:
Develop and evaluate the organizational, educational, and technological supports necessary to create interactive communities that provide ongoing learning opportunities for teachers, students, and families.
Goal 5:
Increase the percentage of BCPS students who leave school with a high school diploma and who are prepared for productive employment and/or post-secondary education.

Baltimore Learning Communities Project Design


The Baltimore Learning Communities project will create an ongoing partnership involving the Baltimore City Public Schools, higher education, private industry, state government, professional associations, and other government and community organizations. Accomplishment of the project goals will result in the integration of a number of existing and emerging telecommunication and instructional technologies and in the development of staff competency in the use of these technologies to revolutionize instructional programs. During the initial phases of the BLC Project, the two major collaborators (the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland at College Park) will design and implement complementary project-s in selected middle and high schools in Baltimore City.

The University of Maryland component of the BLC Project (which will be referred to as the Maryland Electronic Learning Communities or MELC) will provide schools with direct, on-demand access to high quality instructional materials that include material produced by Discovery Communications Incorporated (DCI) for the Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel, as well as material from other sources, such as the National Archives, The Space Telescope Science Institute, and Maryland Public Television. The DCI video content will be indexed and stored on servers located in Baltimore and College Park, Maryland. Teachers' access to these resources will be facilitated by a software interface that enables the user to locate and retrieve instructional material linked to specific local and state curriculum goals and student assessment measures. This software will be developed at the University of Maryland Center for Automation Research's Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) using prototype applications that already have been field tested. Additional technical support in this process will be provided by Apple Computer Inc. Each component of the project is described conceptually in the program design section of this proposal and a complete summary of the architecture and technical aspects of the project is presented in Appendix A.

The MELC component of the BLC project initially will be implemented in at least twelve science and social studies classrooms in three Baltimore City middle schools serving students from low income families. Teachers in all of these sites will have the capacity to engage in video communication with one another, with the University and, eventually, with many other members of the Baltimore Learning Community.

The Johns Hopkins University component of the BLC Project (which will be referred to as the Baltimore Initiative or BI) will establish communications networks (including interactive cable television, Internet access, and full-motion 2-way television) among selected schools, work-sites, and community centers that will increase the education and training opportunities for students in their many potential learning environments. Students will learn about technology and the other skills needed in the workforce of the future as they use technology to communicate across classrooms and to access and gain information needed to accomplish their enhanced school assignments. Teachers will learn about new technologies as they develop CD-ROM curriculum materials (with support from higher education and the technology industries). They will also learn about the skills required in the workplace of the 21st century as they use the technology to consult with experts from a variety of professions, and they will receive continuing education or in- service credit for what they learn. Those who supervise students at work and will increase their supervisory abilities and learn about technology and the other skills required in the modern workforce as they use the network to communicate with other supervisors, teachers, parents, and other experts in technology, education and supervision. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, parents a become more effective educators of their children as they too are more fully integrated into the worlds of school and work through interactive cable television and increased access to the internet.

The components of the BLC Project will facilitate best pedagogical practice by embedding the ongoing professional development of teachers in the day-to-day activities of planning and orchestrating instruction. Toward this end, the technologies explored as well as the software developed in this project will guide teachers in a process of planning and decision-making in which their selection of instructional materials systematicaly supports specific, meaningful instructional goals. Furthermore, interactive electronic communities focused on the learning activities in the classrooms of the participating teachers will be created using features of the software interface to be developed by the project as well as the existing e-mail and list facilities of the lNTERNET.

An Advisory Board will be established to monitor the progress of each of the initial components of the BLC Project. The Advisory Board will be composed of representatives from each of the partner universities, staff from the public schools involved, representatives of collaborating businesses and other agencies, and appropriate BCPS supervisory staff. The BCPS Coordinator of Instructional Technology will chair the Advisory Board. The role of the Advisory Board will be to review the ongoing progress of project components and to recommend appropriate modifications.

It is expected that there will be specific interrelationships established between the two main components of the BLC Project, particularly during the expansion phase in years 4 and 5. The next section of this proposal will present the implementation plans for the MELC and BI components of the overall project. This section will conclude with a description of projected interrelationships expected to be established between these components as they are implemented.


The system to be demonstrated in the MELC component of the BLC Project will enable teachers to design free standing instructional modules that incorporate the high quality video materials they retrieve from the regional server as well as pictorial and text content they retrieve from other NII sources. These modules can then be stored on a hard-drive in the school for unlimited use during instruction or posted to the regional server to be shared with other teachers locally or at sites elsewhere in the country or world. These modules will create a context for a variety of interactive learning activities that capitalize on the 10 telecommunications potential of the NII. These activities could include communications among teachers and students working at geographically distant locations, communications among students, teachers, and discipline specialists g. biologists, chemists, historians, geographers, etc.), and involvement of families and local community members in the learning activities that take place in the school.

On-Demand High-Quality Instructional Material

A primary goal of the MELC component of the BLC Project is integration into science and social studies classrooms of top quality instructional content available through the NII. We emphasize the use of the term integration because in our project, the use of instructional material is embedded in the larger context of effective instructional design. Toward this end, DCI will provide approximately 10a hours of digitized video material especially selected and indexed for this demonstration project. This material includes professionally produced documentary and instructional content pertaining to a wide range of natural and social science content as well as professional development material created for programs such as Teacher T.V. that have aired on The Learning Channel. One-page descriptions of such programs are included in Appendix B.

This DCI content will be digitized at the highest feasible resolution to permit on- demand retrieval and high quality display via the NIL All content will be indexed to state and local learning goals and assessments using a mulfaceted approach that will provide access through descriptive keywords/phrases (e.g., for objects depicted in video segments) and thematic keywords/phrases that are tagged by curriculum topics (e.g., science- biodiversity). The indexing system will enable teaches to select segments of video material ranging in length from a minute or less up to 22 minutes to meet specific instructional goals. An illustrative example of the digitization and indexing process is included in Appendix A along with an example of an indexing system currently used by DCI for organizing analog format program material.

In addition to the material to be made available from DCI, participating schools also will have access to a wide variety of materials from other sources, including public institutions such as the National Archives (existing curriculum modules produced by the Archives Educational Services and other Archives materials specifically keyed to curriculum topics) and the resources that currently exist on the INIERNET. These materials, along with the DCI video segments can the be embedded in an instructional module using the software interface that will be described below. One intent of the MELC component of the BLC Project is to evaluate the strategic and technical issues that must be considered in integrating materials from such diverse sources into a classroom learning environment.

Regional Servers

The DCI content will be stored on secure video servers to be located in a Baltimore City School in Baltimore and later at the University of Maryland in College Park. These serve will provide the digital video to participating schools and be configured as read-only sites to ensure data integrity and persistence. In addition, the existing server capability of the IJMCP computer center will be used to manage electronic mail, video conferencing, Internet access, and some software distribution services. A detailed description of the hardware configuration and overall architecture of these servers is included in Appendix ,

Broad Bandwidth Networking

Networking and video-on-demand technologies currently are in a state of rapid development and evolution. This project will be designed using existing technology with the understanding and expectation that we will incorporate new technologies into the BLC Project as they are available. For example, MPEG-1 is in common use as a compression format but MPEG-2 is currently in the process of moving from the laboratory to production use. Since digitization is quite expensive, the project will begin with MPEG-2 to avoid the later necessity of re-digitizing material committed to MPEG-1.

Similarly, there are multiple trends in the development of broad bandwidth telecommunications. The telephone industry is pursuing multiple paths of development that include pure copper-based, fiber, and wireless solutions as well as hybrid solutions that combine media. Regardless of media, an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) approach is prudent in the initial phases of the project. To this end, lines will be leased from Bell Atlantic (See Budget Narrative - Appendix C). However, the cable T.V. industry is rapidly moving toward deployment of digitally-based interactive services based on coaxial cable or coax/fiber hybrids and use of "cable modems" and "set-top boxes." For example, COMCAST Cable Communications Incorporated and TCI Cable project roll-out of cable modem technology in the Baltimore area in the second year of our project. This projection fits well with our project goals and timelines. We believe that in the very near future, cable modem technology will be a viable and affordable option for providing interactive services to schools. Therefore, this component of the BLC Project will employ cable technology to the maximum feasible extent. It is anticipated that the participation of cable service providers will increase over the life of the project as cable modem technology moves from the current prototype feasibility testing stage to deployment in test beds such as the BLC Project.

School Settings

The MELC component of the BLC project will be implemented in at least three middle schools in the Baltimore City Public School district. Schools will be selected on the basis of a set of criteria to be developed jointly by BCPS staff, the project co-directors, and major project partners (DCI and Apple Computers). Selection criteria will include consideration of current technology initiatives in the schools, anticipated administrative support, teacher interest, and physical plant variables such as within-school wiring and equipment security.

This component of the BLC will be implemented in middle schools because the instructional goals and organizational structures at that level readily support the high levels of curriculum integration and focus on higher order thinking that will be the focus of this component of the project. However, the pedagogical and technical systems to be demonstrated in the project can easily be extended to both the elementary and high school levels. Similarly, while the specific focus will be on social studies and science content, integration with other subject areas such as language arts or mathematics will be an essential component of the instructional approaches and strategies that will be demonstrated.

Each participating school in the model will include at least four teachers and four classrooms. This will ensure sustainability by creating a local community of stakeholders in each school that is reinforced through the distributed community. Each classroom will have five networked workstations that students may use individually or in groups. One workstation will include a high-resolution video projector for classroom presentations and a video camera that may be used to link the classroom to other classrooms in the school or anywhere in the world via the NII. There will be a server located in the school that acts as a bridge/router taking information from the regional servers and routing it to the appropriate classroom workstation. The server will also be used to store active instructional modules (See Appendix A for details).

Software and Interface

A customized interface to allow searching of the video server and creation of customized presentations will be created. The search interface will use a dynamic query approach that allows teachers or students to set search parameters with pop-up menu selections and sliders and immediately see icons representing video chunks, texts, and instructional modules meet the criteria. The most important search parameter that will be included in the interface will target materials linked to specific learning goals identified by state and local assessments of student achievement. Selecting a specific icon (e.g., a video chunk icon) will display a low resolution (thumbnail) video clip. Using this tool, teachers or students can select objects for inclusion in a presentation. A simple presentation tool modeled on a graphical web browser/editor will allow users to sequence objects and add simple text overlays. A third tool will allow teachers to fill in a template that documents a module for submission to the rest of the community (sec Appendix A Figure T.5 for a prototype mockup of the template). In addition to the customized software, a suite of commercial applications will be provided by Apple Computer to support other activities (e.g., Apple FirstClass for communications and Apple Quicktime Conferencing for videoconferencing).

Creation and Posting of Instructional Plans and Materials

Teachers, individually or in teams will typically use the system to develop their instructional plans by specifying curriculum outcomes and examining modules and materials indexed for those specifications. Entire instructional modules created by other teachers or university faculty and graduate students may be selected for use or teachers may choose to create customized modules by aggregating video, text, and graphic units from the regional server, doing simple editing (e.g., cropping, adding text or overlays, etc.). These modules will be stored locally until they are used in class, at which time, the teacher or students can interactively retrieve additional material as needed to extend or amplify discussion and learning. Modules that teachers (and students) create can be added to the public server by completing an electronic template. These modules can be annotated with video logs captured during classroom use to illustrate teaching practice. As other teachers use these modules, they can recommend that they be added to the secure server to ensure authority and persistence. In this way, teachers will be empowered to become publishers of peer-reviewed teaching practice.

Classroom Use of Modules

The modules teachers create will include segments of video content retrieved from the regional server, material retrieved from other NII sources, and text or graphics the teacher creates. During instruction, the modules can serve a wide range of instructional functions, including demonstration of new information, juxtaposition of concept exemplars, presentation of challenging problems with which students can interact, and a variety of performance assessment activities. Because the entire module will be stored in digital form at the teacher s workstation, there will be unlimited capability to access any of the materials randomly, ensuring a high-level of flexibility.

After teachers are familiar with the features of the software and hardware systems to be developed on this project, the effort and time required to create and use instructional modules is intended to be roughly comparable that required for use of traditional text-book materials. Our goal is that a module could be created in less than an hour and would serve the instruction delivered over five to eight school days. In middle school classes, this corresponds approximately to the planning and instruction associated with a typical science or social studies textbook chapter (Nolet & Tindal, 1993). Of course, as teachers move toward instructional designs that incorporate shared teacher and student interactions around meaningful problems and communications with others outside the classroom, the planning and instructional processes teachers employ likely would bear less resembance to those required for use of traditional curriculum materials. For example, we anticipate that teachers will make effective use of the networked environment that will be created in each classroom and incorporate student interactions among various electronic community members.

Timeline of Events

Based on the budget cuts for the first year (October 1995 - March 1996), this period --ill be used as a startup phase in which we concentrate on establishing basic connectivity in the twelve classrooms rather than on initiating the video-on-demand system. We will use the first-year funding to provide Internet domain names and services for each dashers/teacher (teachers with home computers will be provided with modems for home use). We will begin development of a video indexing scheme and prototyping of the interface that maps instructional outcomes to content but will not acquire the server or software until the second year (April 1996 - December 1996). This means that prototype video modules will be first tested in the Fall of 1996 at the earliest. Teachers will participate in Internet training during the Spring of 1996 and orientation to video and collaborative work in the summer and Fall of 1996. The overall revised work plan is included in Appendix D.

Implementation Plan for the Baltimore Iniative
(BI) Component

A Vision Of School-To-Work On The Information Highway

The goals of the BI Component of the BLC Project can be best understood by imagining the potential outcome in the year 2005 or so. What might the School-to-Work (STW) connections look like if the goals of this project are achieved? Successful school reforms will be achieving the National Education Goals. Every state will have implemented its own successful STW program. Skills standards will have been adopted by industry clusters working with the National Skills Standards Board (NSSB) established by Goals 2000. Youngsters will be transiting from re-formed schools to transformed workplaces through a seamless system. Most adults will be life-long leamers. All states will be using the nation's information highway to help young students make the transition from adolescence to productive adulthood and to help adults make the transition from welfare, unemployment, or underemployment to a promising future. The information highway will be carrying one-way video on demand, two-way (interactive) video, and data. High-quality education will be available on broadcast TV and interactive seminars on two-way video. Labor market information and other relevant data will be available via electronic mail, bulletin boards, and other media. Millions of students, teachers, employers, parents, counselors, and others will be using the highway to facilitate the transition from school to work. Table I summarizes this litany of possibilities.

Using the Information Highway for the School-To-Work
Potential Applications

Students are receiving information at their homes, in schools, at their jobs, in the counselors' offices, and at the one-stop career center. They view videos about entry-level jobs, career ladders, and colleges. They are using tools such as word-processing and scheduling software, tapping into databases for school assignments and to complete tasks at work, taking tests to determine their career aptitudes and interests, entering their resumes and transcripts and filling out job and college applications. Students' educational plans are available along with these assessments (wit appropriate codes to protect confidentiality). Teachers can and do customize instruction to meet the needs of individual students.

Parents, too, are using the highway in their homes and community centers to see how their children are doing and what their homework assignments look like. They are engaging in two-way interactive video conferences with their children's teachers, counselors, and work supervisors. Parents are helping their children choose colleges and careers. Some parents are using the same services for their own career planning. They, and their children, have access to labor market information provided by national, state, and local organizations, both public and private. Many parents, especially in low-income neighborhoods are using the highway to improve their literacy, language, and workplace skills. Often, the lessons are directly connected to the career search activity. These services are provided in Community Centers and in the parents homes.

Classroom Teachers are using the highway for continuing education. As part of their continuing education courses, they are sharing via two-way interactive video, electronic transfer of files, and other means-good projects, curricula, and materials among thernselves. They are using two-way video to have teleconferences with peers and experts, using the technology in a synchronous interactive way. In addition, teachers can call upon the technology on their own schedule (asynchronous services). They have access to an extensive database of curriculum and project ideas that have been tried and evaluated. The data base consists of text and graphics as well as video and audio clips. Many of these projects integrate school and work and teach academics in the context of "workplace know-how." Part of the data base came from innovative classroom teachers in places such as Fort Worth, or the schools involved in the New Standards Project that began their innovations in the early 1990s.

Middle- and high-school teachers are also assigning work that can be done with the help of services available on the information highway. "Read this book, watch that TV show which is available in the electronic library, take this computer course, study data sets A and B that are available on the Internet," are the normal stuff of homework assignments. Community colleges are using courses offered on the highway by other community colleges, by four- year colleges, and by others who are developing and marketing courses for credit.

Work Supervisors are sharing good "learning-rich" tasks among themselves in both an asynchronous (using databases, including video, that had been previously stored) and synchronous interactive (using two-way video) fashion. They are also assigning tasks to their workers in a manner that resembles the way teachers are giving assignments to their students. "Read this manual, learn how to do this task, take this computer course, study that data". Again, there is a database of successful learning-rich tasks that have been developed and documented in the work-based and apprenticeship programs that have sprung up around the country during the last decade of the 20th century. The learning-rich tasks appear in both primary and secondary labor markets; they range from tasks performed in a Siemens electronics factory to work done at the Marriott hotel. The learning-rich tasks also appear in the non-paid jobs that youngsters assume (and in Maryland are required to take) in the voluntary sector. Human Resource Departments have access to resumes of youngsters who want jobs. They conduct interviews via two-way interactive video. They also assess the work-based learning that takes place at the job and enter their evaluations into the database. These data entries update the students' resumes. Employers query the database to decide on pay raises and fill openings on a career ladder. School system planners use the database to strengthen their curriculum and develop customized courses.

Advisors and Counselors are finding out about job and college requirements and opportunities. They advise youngsters about courses to take, lectures to attend, and career paths to explore. They have access to video and film created by industry groups who are now developing standards. They also receive data about labor markets, employer requirements, and training and education opportunities. Counselors have access to student assessments, worker resumes, and job openings. These services are also available in Community Centers and other one-stop career centers where counseling services are made available to out-of-school youth.

The Baltimore Initiative will take a major step towards this vision by demonstrating one major application in each of the three columns of Table I. In some of Baltimore's most impoverished neighborhoods (some in the Empowerment Zone), technology will be used to transform and integrate school, work, and community. In years four and five, the model will be extended to other areas of the city.

School-Based: Achieving High Standards In Mathematics, Science, Communications,
And The Arts

The new curricula will be developed for the middle school years from fifth through ninth grade. These years, when many students begin to disengage from the educational process, are the system's last chance for recapturing youngsters who may otherwise drop out. The school-based part of the Baltimore initiative will focus on mathematics, science, communication, and the arts because these four subjects can be integrated and because they can be directly related to developing the skills needed in the workplace. The integrating theme will be the workplace know-how developed by the SCANS commission (the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills). The SCANS Commission found that five competencies, built on a foundation of basic and higher order skills, were What Work Requires of Schools. The five SCANS competencies are:

The new modules will not replace existing courses. The mathematics, science and communication courses will build on a $1.3 million National Science Foundation grant that IPS expects will be awarded in June, 1995. That NSF grant will develop, implement and evaluate SCANS based modules, using CD-ROMs, in these three courses but at the community college level. The Educational Film Center will produce the CD-ROMS for the NSF grant and will be involved in a similar fashion in the Baltimore Initiative. John Merrow will be producing the additional video for the CD-ROMs in the Baltirnore project. The new material for the arts course will build on work that IPS has done to connect SCANS to the newly published national standards for the arts. In addition to the CD- ROMs, the material will be presented over the Maryland Interactive Distance Learning Network (MIDLN) that is being installed by Bell Atlantic.

Reading is crucial to school-based learning; a poor reader has a difficult time passing a math or science course. Yet, 90% of Baltimore city students who go on to local community colleges require "developmental" reading. Reading, and other modes of communication, are also essential at work. Most job-holders must communicate daily through one or more written, spoken, or graphical forms. These obviously essential skills are parts of the SCANS competency of dealing effectively with information. Students will use CD-ROMs containing existing word-processing and graphics software to prepare documents of various kinds. They will use computers with modems and two-way video to carry out communication tasks. In the integrated curriculum, students will use technology in their communications course to make presentations for their math, science, and arts projects. Two-way video will be employed to shadow jobs where communication skills are 19 highly evident. The Maryland Business Roundtable (BRT) will help facilitate this activity. A similar use of interactive video and the help of the BRT will be used to shadow jobs that use the skills learned in the other three courses described below.


Math counts. It is the gateway to college, and math competency is correlated with higher wages. Yet, most Maryland high school graduates who go on to colleges have to take remedial math and chances are good that those who do not go on to college are no better at math. Why is this happening?

Math teachers face formidable challenges. "Word problems" in traditional textbooks are disconnected from real-world contexts; their solution depends on reading about stilted situations divorced from reality or imagination. (How old is John if he is twice the age of Mary's cat who is ...?) The traditional curricullum does not allow for the different pace and styles that different students bring to mathematics. Teaching strategies often fail to recognize that students do not smoothly accumulate math competency but "jump from one level of understanding to another when the light bulb goes on.

Students involved in this project will employ CD-ROMs to solve a set of real world planning problems such as scheduling and budgeting. They will use electronic networks to examine labor market data. They will analyze their chosen careers, a choice that all Maryland students are encouraged to make by the 11th grade. Students will work in groups to solve problems that are meaningful and also cover the required topics in mathematics such as ratios and fractions. The CD-ROM will include a motivating video, planning software, a spreadsheet package, data for the planning problems and exercises to practice the mathematical techniques needed to solve the problems. (The CD-ROM is further described in the Professional Development section below.)


Science is another gateway course. Properly designed science units can teach the all-important SCANS competencies of understanding and working with systems and technology. Modules will teach students to identify, understand, monitor, improve, and design systems and to apply, maintain, and troubleshoot technology. Existing science software will be used to analyze systems.

The Arts

Art courses provide vehicles for integrating the above disciplines and for teaching interpersonal skills. Although students will learn interpersonal skills in each of the other three courses by virtue of working in groups, the interpersonal skills will be more evident here. Although any arts project will serve the purpose, the on-going Baltimore Youth Television (BYTV) project is the first candidate. This project, which is run under the auspices of the Maryland Institute College of Arts, will begin its second year this summer (1995). Plans are to extend it from a summer, stand-alone, program to a year-round program connected to a communications (writing) class. The summer portion is six to eight weeks long. Advisors help middle school youngsters produce a short video which, last year, was shown to the community in the Baltimore Museum of Art with Baltimore Mayor Schmoke presiding.

As part of the BI Component of this project, BYII would be extended to become a year-round activity. In addition to producing "expressive" work, classes might produce CD-ROMs for education purposes and Public Service Announcements for school functions. Students would communicate with TV producers via two-way video. Through each of these projects, students would learn and practice the SCANS competencies. For example, they will prepare schedules and budgets for the projects. Teachers will document the acquisition of the competencies through authentic assessment and/or portfolios. Teaches will acquire the skills to use technology, to manage the projects, and assess students' performance in carrying them out in the professional development courses described in the next session.

Timeline of Events

The planning/assessment phase (10/95 through 3/96) for the BI component of the BLC Project will be devoted to selecting two high schools, identifying their needs (technological) and resources (technological and human) and customizing the project to fit them. During this time, selected teachers will begin training in NII and CD-ROM technology.

During the high school development phase (4/1/96 through 6/30/97 of the BI component, sixteen teachers from these initial two high schools will receive in-depth training in NII and CD-ROM technology and its appropriate instructional use while they develop interactive CD-ROM course modules in mathematics, science, English, and fine arts. During this time, sixteen teachers from an additional two high schools will be recruited for the high school improvement phase.

During the high school improvement phase (7/1/97 through 6/30/98) of the BI component, the development teachers will serve as mentor-coaches to the improvement teachers while the improvement teachers learn about the appropriate e of NII and CD- ROM technology and both groups field-test and refine the CD-ROM course modules. During this time, an additional sixty teachers from five high schools will be recruited for the first high school implementation phase. During the first high school implementation phase (7/1/98 through 6/31/99) of the BI component, development and improvement teachers will serve as mentor-coaches to sixty implementation teachers while they receive training in the use of the CD-ROM course modules. A second implementation group of sixty high school teachers will be recruited during this time. This group will be trained from 7/1/99 through 6/30/00.

The middle school development/improvement/implementation sequence follows the same numbers and timing, but begins a year after the high school sequence. Thus, the middle school development phase begins 7/1/97, and there is only one middle school implementation phase (with 120 teachers from ten middle schools, to reach the targeted number of schools and teachers).

(NOTE: total teachers reached = sixteen developers from two high schools + sixteen improvers from two high schools + 120 implementers from ten high schools + sixteen developers from two middle schools + sixteen improvers from two middle schools + 120 implementers from twelve schools = 304 teachers from 28 schools.) The specific plans for each year are summarized in Table 2.

Professional Development

Professional Development in the MELC Component

Professional development is integrated into all aspects of the MELC component of the BLC Project. Professional development opportunities are embedded into the design of the software interface. In addition, "hands on" professional development will be provided during all phases of development and implementation.

Embedded Opportunities for Educators to Learn

As noted earlier, while conceptions of teaching and learning have changed drastically in the last decade, much of the instruction that occurs in typical classrooms has remained unchanged (Cuban, 1993). Our goal is to ensure that integration of the NII into schools supports instructional best practice rather than educational "ad-hocery" that may represent little or no improvement in instructional practices over what currently exists in many schools. Therefore, the system to be demonstrated in the BLC Project will prompt and help teachers to engage in a thinking and planning process that will lead to effective teaching practice.

While educators will be provided with conventional opportunities to learn, professional development will be embedded in three features of the interface, and information and video available through THE BLC Project. First, we will link the video indexing system and content selection process to established Baltimore City and State of Maryland curriculum and assessment goals. Second, the form fill-in and dynamic query interfaces will prompt users to engage in pedagogic decision-making involving variables such as performance expectations, example selection criteria, length of video segment, and learning activities (see Figure T.5 in Appendix A). Third, the electronic communities that will develop around the activities in the teachers' classrooms will include a wide range of discipline experts, teacher educators, master teachers, and university faculty and researchers who can contribute to the learning and growth of the teachers who use the system.

"Hands On" Professional Development.

The focus on professional development in this project is consistent with the most recent Federal educational goals legislation as well as current priorities in the school reform literature. Formal professional development will be provided to introduce teachers and administrators to BLC. Graduate assistants with appropriate expertise will work with participating schlools with their functions to include technical assistance, and formative and summative evaluation. Project staff will provide on-going professional development for each of the participating teachers in all aspects of the BLC Project throughout the entire life of the project. This teacher education function will be evaluated formatively and incorporated into the final design of the software interface and associated documentation that will be developed in the project. By the conclusion of the project, support for end users will be integral to the final versions of the software and hardware configurations. While the primary resources for professional development are focused on teachers, training will also be provided for school media and administrative personnel so that they can support the changes BLC will facilitate.

Linkage with Curriculum and Assessment Goals

The Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP) evaluates the performance of schools on a range of variables, including the performance of students on a performance assessment that focuses on development of higher order thinking skills. An example of the MSPAP 8th grade learning outcomes in science is included in Appendix E. The Baltimore City Public Schools curriculum goals and objectives also are aligned with these MSPAP learning outcomes and are available to all middle school teachers in the system through a computerized curriculum system, the Baltimore Electronic Resources Recommended for Instruction (BERRI).

The dynamic query and form fill-in interfaces will prompt the user to specify the MSPAP learning outcomes the instructional module is intended to address. (see Figure T.4. in Appendix A). In addition, teachers will be prompted to design performance assessment tasks related to the outcomes that students will be expected to be able to complete as a result of the use of the instructional module in the class. Finally, the 5th and 8th grade science and social studies MSPAP outcomes will be used to guide selection of video content to be stored on the regional servers.

Professional Development in the BI Component

Professional Development "By Teachers. For Students And Teachers."

In Part A (one year), teachers will use electronic groupware in a technology-based collaborative process. Working with the other project partners, they will plan and build the curriculum products. A collaborative process is critical to the long-term success of technology-based programs because it allows everyone involved to take an active role in establishing goals and benchmarks and in monitoring progress. In Part B (two years), teachers will learn how to use the technology applications that will be included in the 25 curriculum products, such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation software, graphing calculators, science probeware, multimedia instruction design, local area networks, e-mail, and Internet. They will also begin creating their own custolIized curriculum product. In Part C (two years), participants from the high schools will develop the capability to use distance learning. The Maryland Interactive Distance Learning Network (MIDLN) two-way video will be used to bring employers and technology experts into the classroom and to allow teachers at the various sites to communicate. Part D (one or two years) will consist of follow-up consultation and advice for the participants. This type of assistance, too, has been shown to be an essential element for long-term program success. Such follow-up does much to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of technology-based programs. In addition to the four parts of the training, program progress will be monitored regularly throughout the five-year sequence. This monitoring will allow for the modification of training if necessary, and it will provide valuable information to the teachers about how they are meeting their project goals. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) methodology will be used for this monitoring. CBAM consists of a number of "instruments," such as questionnaires and interviews, that are used to monitor progress.

Project-based learning, in which groups of teachers work together to use technology to solve a learning problem, mirrors the fundamental pedagogical strategy that will be used in the classroom. The strategy (and the ultimate "product") can be best communicated by describing how it might work in the case of the math course.

As noted before, the products that will be used in the student classrooms are CD- ROMs containing motivating video, existing business software, and a guide to take students through a realworld problem. Consider, for example, a hospital administrator recommending the purchase of a piece of equipment, such as an MRI machine, to the hospital board. The video would show the administrator's presentation under challenge from the board. The board members would complain about what is missing ("where is the analysis of frequency of use?") and question the data that is presented ("why did you use a 5% interest rate?"). The narrator would then ask the student group to prepare a good presentation. Carrying out that task would require competency in mathematical techniques, in working with spreadsheets and a graphics packages, in working in teams, and in making a presentation to the remainder of the class. The remainder of the class would be groups of students who have chosen a career field other than health as their career interest. They would have faced a similar investment problem (for example, acquiring a new tractor, for those interested in construction).

The teachers in the first year s continuing education course would produce an initial design for the middle school courses. Using interactive two-way video, they would communicate with representatives from various fields to determine what realworld math problems apply in various career fields. They might decide that MRI machines and 6 hospital administrators are concepts that are too sophisticated for middle school and suggest starting with school nurses and new scales. The teachers would also decide what spreadsheet and other software would be used and go through the exercise themselves before making recommendations to the overall project on course design. They could begin to introduce the concepts in their classes even before any new video or CD-ROMs were produced, using two-way video and available spreadsheet and graphics software. In the subsequent year, teachers in other schools could evaluate the progress made and check to continuously improve the courses as illustrated in the figure below. A comparable process would be followed in the other three schoolbased courses.

Teachers will learn how to use technology, including the two-way video, while communicating with outside partners about curriculum that allows their students to achieve high academic standards while learning the SCANS competencies. This technology-based, collaborative curriculum building will help teachers dramatically change the way they teach because it will make it possible for them to continually update, modify, and customize their courses. The teachers will develop cooperative projects that will allow their students to achieve high academic standards while learning the SCANS competencies.

One of the difficult challenges of teacher education is finding adequate substitutes who will neither add to the teachers' burden nor waste the students' class time when their regular teachers are in training. This project will employ "super substitutes" to address the problem. The Business Round Table will bring technology users from industry into class to substitute for regular teachers. These professionals will promote career awareness by telling students about careers within their industries and how they use technology.

Work-Based Learning: Learning-Rich Jobs In The Service Sector

Just as teachers' roles are changing from lecturers to coaches so the roles of work supervisors are changing from bosses to coaches. Two specific situations apply. One is McDonald's Apprenticeship program that is beginning this year in a handful of sites, including Baltimore. The second is WorkPlus, a project developed by Public/Private Ventures and operating in three sites but expanding to seven that include Baltimore. Both of these projects will involve retail stores as well as the hospitality industry and both will provide Service Certificates based on the SCANS competencies and the industry skill standards being developed by the industries. IPS is designing the Certificates for WorkPlus and advising on the information system, to maintain the "portfolios" of work experiences that lead to the Service Certificate.

Two-way interactive video, interspersed with face-to-face meetings, will be used to help work supervisors at separate sites cooperate to develop learning-rich tasks that lead to the rice Certificate. We believe that supervisors working together ill be more successful than those acting alone. Maryland's Distance Learning Network, composed primarily of two-way interactive video will be employed for this purpose. The strategy -- based on the - idea that both groups are newly coming to their "coaching" role - is to view the professional development of the work supervisors in the same way as that of the teachers. Supervisors will be guided by Bell Atlantic instructors adept at the change process and supported by JHU staff knowledgeable about adolescent behavior. However, those who supervise the youths' work will be the responsible for inventing the tasks and documenting the students' work performance.

The same approaches will be used with work-based learning opportunities that are not in the private sector, such as the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) if that program survives the Congressional process. In addition, Maryland has mandated a service-learning experience for all students. For learning to occur in a connected way, there needs to be a common language (such as the service Certificate supplies), a systematic way to document the learning and, most important, a way to help the workplace supervisor invent "learning-rich" tasks and document their performance.

Connections, Career Choice, And Adult Literacy

According to " Career Connections, Maryland's STW strategy, all Maryland students are expected to make a career choice no later than the 11th grade. These choices are made from "career clusters" that have been validated by local organizations. Unfortunately, the majority of students, and their parents, do not know where to find the needed career and labor market information or how to effectively use the data to make career decisions. The problem will be attacked on a number of fronts and used as a "hook" to further the education of middle schools students, their parents, and other adults in the community.

One approach will be to supply career information in the four academic courses referred to above. In the example cited, students naturally will be exposed to careers in health administration. The concept will be pushed further. One of the math examples will be developed around a career choice, where the students compute the additional benefits of further education. They will query into existing labor market information data bases to examine the opportunities and salary structure for the careers in question. They will network through model using skills/task software packages such as the O*NET being developed in the U.S. DoL and comparable or complementary commercial job-matching products. They will also engage in electronic job shadowing over the two-way video, watching engineers or graphic artists at work.

Parents of these middle school students will also be "connected" to the career choice modules. They will be asked to participate in the decision and approve their children's choice. They will also be asked to come to school or Community Centers where interactive video and computers will be made available. At these centers (one in the Empowerment Zone, one near the other participating schools), they will be able to learn how to use the technology. In some cases, meaningful participation will require literacy as well as technology training for the parents. Other adults in the community may also be interested in career choices. The same literacy/technology/career information services will be made available to them. Electronic job shadowing via two-way video will be made available to parents and other adults at the Community Center. Some fraction of the parents will be given a computer to use at home after demonstrating competency in the Community Center.

The connection to the homes will be made earlier with the older technology of public access video. Merrow Productions will work with BCPS, IPS, and JHU to develop video segments. The resulting broadcasts will enable parents to enhance their literacy in their own homes and in the context of SCANS and career choices.


MELC Component

On an ongoing basis, project administrators will work with classroom teachers to ensure that the new interactive services are targeted to the appropriate grade-level and curriculum content areas. Project administrators, with cooperation from the project's sponsors and affiliates, will attempt to determine the degree to which interactive video and information services contribute to success and productivity of learning communities. In addition, they will also strive to meet the needs of officials and decision makers at the federal, state, and local levels of government. For example, identification of support structures and resources necessary to continue projects of this kind beyond demonstration phases will be identified. Each of the representative partners contributing to the operation of this project, i.e., the immediate "stakeholders," is expected to participate in an ongoing evaluation of the policies and administrative practices that serve as incentives or obstacles to wider applications of educational technologies.

A full assessment of a project as complex and enterprising as the BLC Project requires the use of multiple approaches and multi-tiered reviews. Project operations and outcomes will be evaluated by combining survey research and case study methods to provide a comprehensive understanding of the process and outcomes. Each phase of the project will be evaluated in ongoing formative and summative processes. A summary of the evaluation processes that will be used to assess project operations and outcomes is provided in Appendix F.

The BI Component

The Pelavin Division of the American Institute for Research (AIR) will perform the evaluation for the school-to-work and distance learning aspects of the BLC Project. Formative evaluation will be made of all three components: school-based learning, work- based learning, and connections. Formative and summative evaluations will be made of the various populations that this project will affect: middle school students, their parents, teachers, work supervisors, and other adults in the community. The evaluations will document changes in the classroom, in the workplace, and in the community.

Evaluation of project results will focus on MSPI indicators such as performance on the MSPAP, attendance, and grades, as well as school-to-work indicators such high school graduation rate and acceptance in post-secondary education, their success in the labor market (employment history, wages, and whether they appear to be on a career ladder) and their ability to stay out of trouble in the community (unwanted pregnancy, welfare dependency, substance abuse, arrests). Only early indicators are likely to change during the five-year time period of this grant, since it will take years before the change has its full impact. Parents and other adults in the community will be evaluated in terms of their participation in the program and their labor market knowledge and literacy. Teachers participating in the BI component of the project will be evaluated by BCPS as part of their regular employee review and by the JHU Division of Education as regular students. The cooperating firms will evaluate the youngsters' workplace performance and its effect on the firms' productivity and profits. The number of Skill Certificates offered will be one measure of performance.

Appendix G contains detailed descriptions of key activities to be completed in the implementation of the BI component of the overall project.

Overall Evaluation

A representative from the BCPS Office of Research and Evaluation will be a member of the BLC Advisory Board. One of the functions of the Advisory Board will be to review the progress of each component of the overall project on an on-going basis . The BCPS staff member will review process and formative evaluative data with appropriate staff working with each of the project components and synthesize common dimensions of both evaluations. Project activities such as professional development, actual use of the technology, and installation of necessary infrastructure and hardware are examples of possible areas where general conclusions may be drawn.

The Advisory Board will also review the summative data for each project component as well as appropriate student data that is reported in the state-generated MSPI (Maryland School Performance Indicators) Report Card in the Fall of each school year.


The dissemination strategy will move the results from the original schools, to the City of Baltimore, then to the state of Maryland and, finally, to the nation. Two schools will be using the curricula in year one, and it is expected that twenty-five schools will be involved by the end of the grant period. This thrust is consistent with Maryland's school reform strategy as attested to in the support letter from State Superintendent Grasmick (Appendix H).

World Wide Web home pages will be established on servers at JHU and at UMCP related to project activities. The Citizens Information and Technology Center will assist in establishing the JHU home page to make information available both across sites in the BI and MELC components of the BLC Project and to other interested parties nationally. The involvement of the American Training Standards Institute (ASTI) will tie this effort to an existing and growing national electronic skills network. The BI component will produce a book on the experience. The American Association of School Counselors will help disseminate the results to school counselors throughout the nation. The participation of John Merrow is a significant part of the strategy to document and disseminate the project results nationally. Merrow will produce two documentary videos for broadcast purposes, one at the end of the implementation phase (year three) and the second at the end of the expansion phase (year five). The intent is to have these documentaries broadcast on national public television.

When new ideas are supported by leaders and are part of comprehensive plans for improvement, their chances of being widely adopted increase substantially. The BLC Project will be a building block in the statewide technology utilization plan that is supported by state, local, and business leaders. The involvement of the Maryland Business Roundtable and other sources of support from community groups and public agencies will be helpful to the diffusion of project outcomes, both practicall and symbolically. The support of leaders of the state-level affiliates of both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers is built into the project. Similarly, the support of colleges of education will be nurtured by the Maryland Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

The university faculty from both JHU and UMCP who will direct the major components of the BLC Project all have extensive records of publication in nationally circulated research and professional journals in various areas of education. In addition, these individuals also make numerous presentations each year at national and regional research and professional conferences. These avenues will be valuable conduits for dissemination of project results. The project's senior staff also will prepare annual reports on the BLC Project's development and progress that will highlight major policy interests related to: (a) realization of federal, state, and local educational goals; (b) identification of impediments and obstacles for expanding technologies to promote systematics and institutional reform and the enhancement of professional development; and (c) issues associated with the composition, execution, performance, and possible institutionalization of partnerships and lasting cooperative relationships with telecommunications technology service providers. These reports will be made available in the form of technical reports, research reports, and monographs for distribution regionally and nationally.

Finally, the corporate and organizational partners (Appendix I) on the project each have a vital interest in the success and dissemination of the project inasmuch as it relates to development of strategic and business plans. These partners, through their considerable dissemination capacities, will play a crucial role in diffusion of project results regionally and nationally.


The Baltimore Learning Community Project will not be an example of technology looking for an application. Nor will it computerize what is already being done by 32 traditional means. "How we can use technology?" is not the starting point of this effort. Rather we begin with the challenges inherent in the Goals 2000 and the School-to-Work Opportunity Acts, the important school reform legislation of the 1990's. We find that these challenges cannot be met with traditional approaches. Success requires learning technology. As one example, consider learning in a realistic workplace context, something that is very difficult to manage without technology.

In all these challenges of school reform, early success is needed if these initiatives are going to be maintained by strapped federal, state, and local policymakers. Success in the most difficult regions of an aging eastern city like Baltimore will have great significance. Increased employment and earnings are the keys to success. Recent national data make it clear that these, in turn, depend on education and skills, including the hard and soft skills prescribed by SCANS. Successfully keeping Baltimore's Empowerment Zone youngsters in school until graduation, moving them to remunerative employment and, in many cases, to post-secondary education will turn the Zone around. The project, therefore, has significance for economic development as well as for human resource policy and education.

The same concepts apply with almost the same force for Baltimore City. The City is losing its population and tax base. Without more jobs for the graduates of Baltimore City schools, this decline will continue. Economic development that will create these jobs depends on success with the three STW components of school-based learning, work-based learning, and connections. For these and other reasons, the state of Maryland has put a great deal of its education chips on the idea of STW, or Career Connections ,as it called in the state. The state is also moving rapidly on a Technology Plan (Appendix J). The BLC Project will not only prove the effectiveness of technology but demonstrate its relationship to other concepts that are key to education reform in Maryland. These concepts include standards, portfolios and authentic assessment of mastery, cooperative learning, teaching-in-context, and the use of technology in school reform. Replicable success in STW requires technology to bring the workplace to the school room, to discover and communicate successful "learning-rich" opportunities in the workplace, and to connect parents, community, workplaces and school to each other and to students.



Will the changes brought about by the project be sustainable after the project funds are exhausted? Jobs are clearly key to the success of neighborhoods, cities, and the country at large. Actions that will produce jobs will probably be maintained even if other needs go unmet. If STW and video-on-demand are sustainable as concepts accepted by school systems, then the proposed initiative will also be viable after the five-year period. The professional development activities will become part of each participating univesity's on- going education curriculum.

If forecasts of a human capital shortage are correct and the demand for workplace know-how continues to grow then the project will meet an economic need. Private sector employers will demand that the proposed initiative be sustained if it successfully meets these needs. Jobs are clearly key to the success of neighborhoods, cities, and the country at large. Actions that produce jobs will be maintained even if other needs go unmet

Summary of Background and Experience of Key Personnel
Project Leaders

Michel Pitroff is Director of the Office of Instructional Technology and Library and Media Services for the Baltimore City Public Schools, a position he has held since August 1992. Prior to that time, Pitroff served in a broad range of roles in the Baltimore City Public Schools, including curriculum specialist, elementary education specialist, and mathematics teacher in middle schools. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Towson State University. He has served as a consultant to Apple Computer, Jostens, Wicat and CCC. He has also served as President of the Maryland School College Mathematics Association. He is the author of a number of curriculum guides and "The Baltimore Electronic Resources Recommended for Instruction," an electronic curriculum deliver system.

Steven Alpern is Curriculum Specialist in the Office of Special Projects and Initiatives for the Baltimore City Public Schools . He has been involved in numerous technology projects for the school system since 1979 when he was the first teacher to have a microcomputer in his elementary classroom. Mr. Alpern has been a technology consultant to numerous schools and school systems. He has developed and implemented curriculum projects including BERRI - Baltimore's electronic curriculum delivery system.

The Office of Instructional Technology and Library and Media Services undertakes a broad range of responsibilities for the Baltimore City Public Schools.

Victor Nolet, Project Co-Director, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Maryland. Nolet obtained his doctorate at the University of Oregon, working on a variety of projects related to development of classroom-based assessments in middle and high school settings. Following completion of his doctorate, Nolet was a faculty research associate at the University of Oregon, serving as Project Coordinator on a number of federally funded projects, including a Special Projects grant from 1991-1993: Teaching Assessment of Critical Thinking for Instruction in Content. Currently Nolet is Co-Principal Investigator on a year field initiated project based at the University of Oregon, investigating mechanisms for linking assessment and instruction in middle school content classes: Securing Understanding of Content through Consultation and Explicit Environmental Demands. Nolet also is CoPrincipal Investigator on a one-year University of Maryland funded project aimed at integrating computer technology in preservice teacher education methods classes in the areas of math, science, and special education. Nolet teaches courses at the University of Maryland in areas pertaining to the content of this project: assessment, technology, curriculum, and program management. He has published numerous articles in the areas of curriculum and assessment and serves on the editorial board for Diagnostique, a special education assessment research journal.

Gary Marchionini, Project Co-Director, is a Professor in the College of Library and Information Services at the University of Maryland where he teaches courses in computer applications, human-computer communication, and research methods. He also has an appointment in the University of Maryland Center for Automation Research's Human- Computer Interaction Laboratory. His Ph.D. is from Wayne State University in mathematics education with an emphasis on educational computing. His research interests are in information seeking in electronic environments and human-computer interaction, and in the application of principles to educational technology and digital libraries. He is the Director of Evaluation for the Perseus Project (a large-scale hypermedia corpus) and served for two years as the General Editor of Hypertext Publications for the Association of Computing Machinery. He has had grants and contracts from the National Science Foundation, Council on Library Resources, the National Library of Medicine, the Library of Congress, and NASA, among others. He has published over 50 articles, chapters and reports in a variety of books and journals. He serves on the editorial board of Hypermedia Journal, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, Information Processing Management, Library Quarterly, and the Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia. He is author of a book titled Information Seeking in Electronic Environments (1995) by Cambridge University Press.

Hunter Williams is the Senior Manager of Educational Relations for Discovery Communications, Inc. Williams helps guide Discovery's involvement in K-12 schools, with a particular focus on how technology is transforming how schools teach and how students learn. He serves on the editorial board for Teacher TV, a weekly television series about education, and recently developed the Discovery Learning Community, an on-line curriculum-based extension for Discovery's classroom programming (http:/ Discovery). Hunter also serves on the board of directors of the Maryland Educational Technology Center and serves as a corporate member to the Consortium for School Networking.

During his six-year tenure in Discovery's Education Department, Williams has worked on outreach to the education community and curriculum development. He served as the creator and editor of the educator guide, attended dozens of educational trade shows (meeting with close to 10,000 teachers in the process), and developed Discovery's Educator Support Network, a peer-to-peer network of teachers facilitating workshops on using television effectively in the classroom.

Ernestine Enomoto is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of Education Policy, Planning and Administration in the College of Education. She brings over ten years of experience working as a computer programmer and systems analyst integrating information technology into public education. A forthcoming publication deals with computer-mediated communication for multicultural teacher preparation. Enomoto's participation on the project will offer a perspective on school administration aimed at developing the necessary partnerships among school staff, parents, and community agencies. She draws from a strong background in quantitative and qualitative research methodology to conduct program evaluation and assessment.

Walter Gilbert is Assistant Director of the Computer Science Center at the University of Maryland at College Park. In this role he is responsible for monitoring technological trends and developing strategies to ensure that the university's resources with respect to computing are state-of-the-art. Gilbert is also director of the university's high technology "instructional theatres," which provide students with opportunities to learn with sophisticated and highly interactive technology, including multipoint telecommunications.

Willis D. Hawley is Dean of the College of Education and Professor of Education and Public Affairs at the University of Maryland College Park. He is a consultant to numerous federal, state, and local education agencies as well as foundations and corporations interested in the support of education reform. Hawley is the author of numerous books and articles that deal with a broad range of subjects, including organizational change and the professional development of educators. His newest book, Revision and Education of Teachers, will be published in 1996 by Jossey-Bass. Hawley has worked extensively to bring research to practice and is currently chair of the Government Professional Liaison Committee of e American Educational Research Association. He is chair of the Common Destiny Alliance, a consortium of over 30 national organizations concerned with the improvement of race relations and the enhancement of equity in schooLs and colleges. He has written and published articles on the utilization of knowledge in organizational settings and on the problems of bringing about systemic change. Hawley has developed computer based simulations and interactive hypermedia products to enhance educators' skills in systematic analysis and the utilization of research to solve complex problems. He has been the principle investigator in over 20 research and development projects funded by the federal and state governments, foundations, and non-profit organizations.

Edward Thierbach brings over ten years experience as a network and technical support coordinator in the implementation, integration and management of local and wide-area networks. He has experience with a wide range of networks and protocols, including Ethernet and Token Ring local area networks, Novell NetWare and Banyan VINES network operating systems, and various commurcommunicationucation protocols, such as TCP/IP, AppleTal'k and DECnet. He is also experienced in the installation and networking of PC and Macintosh workstations. Thierbach has been involved in several major networking projects. He participated in a large-scale office automation and integration proposal to a large government client, integrating PCs and Unix application servers into a nationwide wide-area network. He has consulted with several organizations on the design and implementation of modern, TCP/IP-based data networks. He has also implemented several voice and data networks and communications systems. In addition, Thierbach has developed and taught classes and workshops on several computer- and network-related topics.

Judith Torney-Puffa is Professor of Human Development in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University in 1959 and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Chicago in 1962 and 1965, respectively. She has authored three books and many articles, chapters, and conference papers on education and developmental psychology in the United States and Western Europe. She is internationally known for her work in global education. She is currently a member of the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education, organized under the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences of the National Research Council (National Academy of Sciences), and previously served as a member of the Task Force on Youth Development and Community Programs of the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development. She is also a fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the American Psychological Society.

Torney-Purta is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Educational Association's studies of student learning, the leading source of knowledge about student achievement across nations. She has done pioneering work using international telecommunication and interactive video to enhance the learning opportunities of young people. She will direct the evaluation component of the MELC project.

Bruce VanSledright is Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of aryland at College Park. He holds a B.A. in American History and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in curriculum and instruction. He taught American history at the secondary level for 13 years. Since then, he has been doing extensive research on the teaching and learning of American history in grades 5, 8 and in high school. Articles based on this research have appeared in a number of scholarly journals which include the American Educational Research Journal, Theory and Research in Social Education, the Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, and Social Education. He currently is working on a research project funded by the National Reading Research Center. This project involves the study of how fifth graders learn to read American history texts.

VanSledright has consulted with the Educational Testing Service concerning the American history portion of the 1994 National Assessment of Educational Progress. He also has experience in using video, audio, and computer technology in connection with an integrated social studies-science collaborative project funded by the Texaco Educational Foundation. He brings considerable knowledge about state-of-the-art history and social studies teaching, curriculum innovation, and technological utilization to this project.

Emily van Zee is Assistant Professor of science education at the University of Maryland at College Park. van Zee has been a Research Associate in Science Education at the University of California, Berkeley, participating in Science On-Line, a collaborative effort funded by NASA at the University of California Berkeley's Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics. She has consulted with several science museums and school districts. Related to her work with the MELC project, van Zee has developed a World Wide Web "home page" for the moon. This homepage includes lesson plans about the moon developed by teachers at different grade levels, both for discussing naked-eye observations and for utilizing internet informational resources about the moon. She is also working with teachers participating in her NSF project, Investigation of Questioning Processes during Conversations about Science.

In the MELC project, van Zee will attend to the development of strategies for enhancing the effective use of the technology by teachers, including e development of effective pedagogy, access to demanding content, and the professional development of teachers.

The SCANS/2000 Program at JHU/IPS has a proven track record in the areas of school-to-work transitions and other employment, training and education initiatives. IPS has authored. More detailed descriptions of the related experience of consortium partners and key project personnel are attached in Appendices D and E books of curriculum for learning-rich work for the U.S. Department of Labor and a book developing school-to-work systems, and developed interactive videodiscs. It also provides training nationally on developing learning-rich projects for work and school. IPS is currently evaluating a community-wide school-to-work transition program in Washington, D.C. and developing a Service Certificate for WorkPlus. PS will be developing related materials for a higher level audience (community college students in manufacturing) under a pending NSF grant.

Dr. Packer, executive director of the SCANS/2000 Program has a long history of working with broad-based education and employment coalitions to connect work and school. He co- authored Workforce 2000 and served as executive director of the Department of Labor's SCANS Commission. More recently, he wrote a paper on putting School to Work on the information Highway for the U.S. DoL. Additionally, he serves on the Steering Committee of the Hospitality Industry skills standards board.

JHU/CTE is a partnership between the JHU Division of Education and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). It is uniquely equipped to deliver professional development training. Since its founding in 1986, JHU/CTE has worked to serve the educational needs of children through the use of instructional and assistive technology. Today, JHU/CTE works at every level of the educational system to provide total technological solutions for helping schools to improve. JHU/CTE has worked with Baltimore City and other schools, school districts, and community partners throughout the state to provide technology-based professional development training. Most of this training carries JHU graduate credit or continuing education/in-service credit Current JHU/CTE programs that are directly related to the proposed project include SCIMATECH (Science, Math, and Technology): Assisting Schools and Districts in improving Students Performance in the State Accountability Program, in which JHU/CTE is using telecommunications and interactive video distance learning to train teachers, administrators and other Professionals to increase inclusive educational practices and to prepare students to meet the Maryland School Performance Program (MSPP) standards. JHU/CTE is working with the Maryland Assessment Consortium, the Sciences and Math Section of the MSDE, and three LEAs: Allegany, Garrett, and Baltimore Counties. Sixty teachers will participate in the year-long program and will receive graduate or inervice credit. JHU/CTE also is concluding a three-year training program, Computers in Science in which the entire faculty and professional staff of the Federal Hill Elementary School in Baltimore are learning to integrate technology with the science curriculum and to integrate science across all disciplines and for all students. Both of these programs, whose director will coordinate the technology training for the proposed project, are funded by the Maryland Higher Education Commission through the federal Eisenhower Math and Science Program. Current )JHU/CTE programs in technology-based collaborative team building for school improvement include training programs in Baltimore City and in four other school districts. Jackie Nunn, the JHU/CTE Director, is a member of the Maryland Business Roundtable Blue Ribbon Committee, which developed the recently adopted Maryland Plan for Technology in Education. She also serves on the three-person JHU School of Continuing Studies Distance Education Committee, which is designing a strategic plan for using the Bell :Atlantic Distance Learning Classrooms. (For descriptions of additional work of the staff that builds organizational experience and capacity, see Appendix, Project Personnel.)

The Maryland Institute, College of Art's Division of Continuing Education (MICA) has a long, successful history of training educators through their masters program in instruction Bell Atlantic will provide the interactive 2-way video support which will link classrooms to work, community centers, and each other. This is part of the Maryland Distance Learning Network, which Bell Atlantic and the MSDE hope will eventually link all community colleges, middle- and high schools in the state.

The American Training Standards Institute (ATSI), a non-profit organization dedicated to integrating software and hardware in the service of education, will link local area networks in the schools through a WAN. ATSI has experience in developing distance-learning networks, combining their expertise in standards development, integration of hardware and software, and training with their for-profit sister corporation, Cognitive Training Associates, they have already developed WANs for several industries.

The Citizens Information Technology Education Corporation (ClTEC) has demonstrated, promoted, and educated local and state governments on the benefits of information technology. They have considerable experience working with grassroots and government organizations and using diverse high- and low-tech media to get their message across.

Over the past 25 years, the Educational Film Center (EFC) has created almost 500 productions for formal instruction and broad educational distribution including a number of interactive multimedia, software, vidoediscs, and video/print curriculum series.

The American Institutes for Research have nearly fifty years' experience and a nationally proven track record for evaluating education, employment and training programs. They provided the research base for SCANS. Their findings have been used by both practitioner and policy makers in developing and refining successful programs under the U.S. Departments Of Labor and Education, as well as local agencies and foundations.

John Merrow brings a national reputation on educational reporting. His established documentary series, The Merrow Report, is aired nationally on PBS, and will provide a vehicle for increasing public awareness about technology in education and integrating school and work.

The National Business Roundtable Foundation (NBRT) has long been involved in education reform. Their Maryland Chapter, the Maryland Business Roundtable Foundation (MBRT), is also an affiliate of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. While the NBRT has long advocated technology in education, MBRT led the development of Maryland's plan for technology in education.

The Maryland Hospitality Education Foundation, a non-profit corporation affiliated with the Restaurant Association of Maryland, provides quality education and training to employers and workers in Maryland's hospitality industry. Recently, they have been involved with curriculum development in Baltimore City Public Schools.

The American School Counselor Association is a professional association for school counselors throughout the state of Maryland. Their National Business Advisory Board is a leading advocate of school-business partnerships.

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