Some states — including Michigan — have a requirement that students have at least one online experience prior to graduation. Here at the University of Michigan, we have a long-standing tradition of online simulations that stimulate the mind and nurture the student. My friend and wonderful teaching colleague Jeff Stanzler, along with Jeff Kupperman, invite you to join their Fall 2011 ICS activities with the invitation below. I know you’d find your students’ participation to be a valuable one.
The first year of participation is free, thanks to campus funding — see the note at the very bottom of this announcement.
Greetings, friends! Before you head off to your richly deserved summer vacations, here’s a reminder about the Fall 2011 Interactive Communications & Simulations (ICS) projects, which will start in late September. For Fall 2011 we are offering our newest Earth Odyssey project, which will explore Turkey, as well as the Arab-Israeli Conflict Simulation, the International Poetry Guild and the Michigan Student Caucus. Our trans-historical Place out of Time simulation will be returning for the Winter 2012 term, as will the ImagineNation Matters project for upper elementary school students.
If you have questions, or if you would like a visitor’s pass to one of our password-protected project sites, please feel free to contact me (734-763-5950 or stanz [at] umich.edu). Our fall projects run from late September through the start of winter break. All that you and your students need to take part in one of our projects is web access. The ICS web site is also a good source of information, with tutorial videos on several of our projects.
I hope that you can join us for one or more of the projects next year. In the meantime, all of the members of the ICS Crew send you good wishes for a restful and a renewing summer!!
ICS Exercises for Fall 2011
Interactive Communications and Simulations (ICS) is a dynamic program of exciting and innovative educational telecommunications exercises. Using accessible telecommunications and web-mediated communication, students can spend part of every school day in a “global classroom.” ICS exercises have been designed to help teachers teach, mostly by encouraging active learning, learning through design, and providing flexibility so that teachers can integrate online and classroom experiences.
Earth Odysseys: The Electronic Field Trip
Earth Odysseys is an interdisciplinary adventure learning activity that “sends” students to places they may never visit in person. This fall, student participants will be taken along on an exploration of life in Turkey. The discussion reports written by our Odyssey traveler, Adam Hellebuyck, frame provocative observations about Turkey’s cultural identity, and about how matters of gender, faith, and history are framing societal questions of global relevance. In mentored online discussions, we will explore rich questions about how, for example, nations deal with controversial aspects of their past, building off Adam’s observations about the people he met, and the interplay between people and their social environment.
The Arab-Israeli Conflict Simulation: Political Reality in the Classroom
This is a character-playing simulation exercise designed to plunge students into the dynamics of the Middle East drama. Students assume the roles of key players in the ongoing Arab-Israeli political situation and interact with teams in other schools around the world. Using the AIC website, students read and write diplomatic communiques, craft press releases, negotiate proposals, and decide on concrete actions. University of Michigan undergraduate mentors write updates and monitor all communications to help participants to act realistically in the interests of the characters and nations they represent. Through this experience, students can become more sophisticated world citizens with an appreciation for the intricacies of domestic and international politics.
International Poetry Guild: Building Bridges via Creative Expression
This exercise combines the individualized activity of writing poetry with the teamwork needed to compile “journals” of student work. The Poetry Guild can easily be incorporated into any language arts curriculum in middle schools or high schools. Through web-based interactions, students exchange their work and ideas with fellow writers around the world. Their poems are also read by a group of “Mentors,” University of Michigan students of poetry, who support and critique participants’ work and engage them in an on-going discussion of poetics and the creative process. At the end of the term, the mentors bestow the Poetry Guild awards, in recognition of a variety of outstanding poetic achievements.
DevInfo GameWorks: Change the World, One Game at a Time
DevInfo GameWorks (DIGW) brings wide-ranging global information to young people in an engaging, social way through a software engine that supports the creation, exchange and play of games based on real-world data. While the primary focus of DIGW is on the UN Millennium Development Goals, games may focus on any subject, content area, or grade level. Game templates are based loosely on familiar games (for example, the currently available one is based on tic-tac-toe), so they’re not hard to learn. DIGW is free and open to everyone — simply go to http://digw.org and begin!
Michigan Student Caucus: Active Engagement With State and Local Politics
The Michigan Student Caucus (MSC) is a program representing the interests of students, K-12 through post-secondary, in Michigan. It is not affiliated with any political party. Using a specially designed website, students debate issues, write resolutions, and vote resolutions into an MSC platform. Twice a year, participants present the MSC platform to a bipartisan commission of the Michigan Legislature, at a special hearing in Lansing. The program is open to any high school or university student interested in making a difference in Michigan. Students may enroll in a course for college credit, with coursework centering on MSC participation. MSC proposals and testimony from participants have influenced actual legislation. With the help of numerous state and local politicians, our goal is to give students an increasingly important voice in state government.
Place Out Of Time: Communications Across the Ages
Place Out Of Time (POOT) is a simulation of a trial, where students play guests who come from a range of places and times throughout history. Our trial will take place (virtually, of course) at the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. Guests from many places and times will be brought together to try to decide on a court case that strikes at the heart of timeless issues like freedom of expression, ethnic conflict, and the rule of law. A core of guests will come from Muslim Spain and the Arab world in the 9th through 16th centuries, but students may portray anyone from Alexander the Great to Mother Teresa to Kanye West. The task of thinking, for example, “What would Leonardo da Vinci have to say about Homeland Security?” — i.e, making connections between societal issues today and issues in the past — is at the core of POOT. In Winter 2012, we will be exploring a “case,” based on a current situation, in which a Muslim refugee from Darfur arrives in Israel, seeking asylum. Israeli law forbids the granting of asylum to refugees from an enemy state, though….should an exception be made? How do we think about questions of justice, responsibility and nationhood in such a circumstance? The case weaves together a rich assortment of social, religious, political and moral issues.
Place out of Time will run in the Winter 2012 term, which starts in late January. Contact Jeff Stanzler (email@example.com) for more information.
ImagineNation Matters: A Virtual Tour of Culture, History, and the Natural World
ImagineNation Matters “tour” modules are like storybooks come to life, in which upper elementary students can explore the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, experience the human drama of the Underground Railroad, or find out how the issues dealt with by state legislators have parallels on the school playground. Each of our modules is in the form of a story that involves protagonists of the approximate age of our student participants. As the students turn the pages of their virtual storybook, they are prompted with questions to consider. The students’ comments are responded to by university student mentors, who speak in the voices of the characters in the stories. These mentored conversations continue throughout the tour, offering students a chance to develop writing and research skills while they experience important monents in our state’s history (and have fun, too!) Want to see the current modules along with GLCE benchmarks? Go to: http://umsimulations.wikispaces.com/Michigan+Matters
ImagineNation Matters will run in the Winter 2012 term, which starts in late January. Contact Jeff Stanzler (stanz [at] umich.edu) for more information.
College credit for high school students / Graduate credit for facilitators
High school students engaged in any ICS activity at their school may be eligible to enroll for graded, transferable college credit through the University of Michigan – Flint. Students may also join Michigan Student Caucus independently as an online college course. Some additional coursework will be required, but attendance on campus is not necessary. Tuition and fees for one 3-credit course will be charged. In addition, teachers enacting ICS programs in their classrooms may enroll for online graduate credit through the University of Michigan- Flint, as guest students or as part of a MA specializing in “Technology in Education.” Schools with students or teachers enrolled in University of Michigan courses may have the ICS participation fees waived. Contact Jeff Kupperman (jkupp [at] umich.edu) for more information.
ICS Fall 2011 Registration Form (please use a separate copy of this form for each exercise)
( ) Arab-Israeli Conflict Number of team pairs [ ]
( ) International Poetry Guild
( ) Michigan Student Caucus
( ) Earth Odyssey–Turkey
Name of School:
Please check one of the following: ( ) High School ( ) Middle School ( ) Elementary School
Zip or Postal Code:
FAX (if available):
(Country where school is located if not part of address):
Name of individual committing school to participation :
E-Mail Address (IMPORTANT):
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– Registration — **BIG NEWS**
Thanks to support from the UM School of Education and the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, the first year of ICS participation for any NEW SCHOOLS will be FREE OF CHARGE (space permitting).
* Regular Fees: $350 per term per exercise. For the Arab-Israeli simulation, additional teams cost $225 apiece.
* Checks must be drawn on a U.S. bank and be payable in U.S. funds. Checks should be made payable to: The University of Michigan-ICS
* Please return the above form no later than September 16, 2011 to:
Interactive Communications & Simulations
2202 School of Education
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
*You can also register by return e-mail or on the web
* Payment or purchase order must be included with application. If your district’s procurement process may delay receipt of this
form, send a duplicate to ICS to reserve your space. Late registrations will be accepted as space is available.
*The Fall 2011 ICS Projects will start the week of September 26th*
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Interactive Communications & Simulations
516 School of Education
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259
Tel: 734-763-5950 Fax: 734-615-1290