Photo by Alexa Seeger

Pioneering place- and project-based learning

The lights from the Mackinac bridge winked through the haze. The drizzle coursed down the students’ plastic ponchos as they walked Lake Michigan’s shore with one of their teachers, Charlotte Hagerman. Hagerman showed a group how to skip stones, since many had never done so before.

“Then this little guy, now he was a tough kid,” Hagerman said. “He comes up to me, ‘Ms. Hagerman, Ms. Hagerman,’ and he holds a shell up. And he says, ‘my first shell.’”

In order to build community and reach students at multiple grade and ability levels, Hagerman and Bobo looked to supplement lecture style teaching. After attending conferences and a chance meeting with another teacher pioneering place-based learning in Frankfort, the two teachers implemented project-based and place-based learning in their classroom.

DeWitt Public Schools evolving to best connect with students

By Rachel Bidock
Clinton County Staff Reporter

DEWITT — Emily Macintire said that part of her reason for choosing to live in DeWitt was because of its public school system. “We had heard good things,” Macintire said. “We just moved here in August so we’ve only been here for a short period of time, but I can already tell that they are kind of ahead of the game.”

Having strong schools can be an important draw for residents. But what makes a school strong? According to Patricia Edwards at the College of Education at Michigan State University, what makes a school district successful is more than just being able to teach, it is about being able to reach a wide variety of students.

Unmanned aircraft program lets students fly now, prepare for careers later

By GREG MONAHAN
Capital News Service
The U.S. government isn’t expected to open airspace for civilian drone flight until 2015. But Northwestern Michigan College students can fly drones today. The Traverse City college is the only school in the Great Lakes region and one of a handful in the nation with federal approval to teach courses on unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones. The college teaches U.S. drone law, drone technology and how to operate the school’s unmanned fixed-wing airplanes and quadcopters – helicopter-like unmanned aircraft with four rotors. It also has a certificate of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that permits the college and its students to research and conduct unmanned, outdoor flight with a number of remote control aircraft.

New partnership, new online focus for student teachers

By CELESTE BOTT
Capital News Service
LANSING – The University of Detroit Mercy is partnering with the Michigan Virtual University to help UDM education students learn to teach online. Both undergraduate and graduate students can enroll this summer in Advanced Instructional Technology/Teaching in the Virtual Environment. The program, which resembles a student teaching experience, is an introductory course focused on online instruction. Students will help teach a variety of subjects to high school students in virtual classrooms through the Michigan Virtual University. They will shadow online teachers at MVU while attending lecture-style classes at UDM.