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Students' project gets community showcase
May 2004

CAMDEN, NC - This has been a busy but proud spring for teachers and students at Camden Middle School in Northeastern North Carolina. They hosted a May Open House for the community, showing off not only a refurbished school but a year's worth of school work -- including an intensive study of the school's past, present and future.

Camden Middle School teachers used a variety of tools inspired by QTL™ for K-12 participation.

Camden Middle, situated in a low-wealth rural community, has been under renovation this year. And the work has gone on while students remained in the building.

Rather than treat the construction as a distraction, teachers who had been through ExplorNet's QTL™ program viewed it as an opportunity for a unique collaborative project. The results, on display during an early May Open House, had QTL™ instructor Susan Herring raving.

"This is one of the best projects I've ever seen in four years of teaching QTL™," Herring says. "I saw unbelievable things. It's hard to describe how great a day I've had."

Eighth grade social studies teacher Deanne McDaniel and math teacher Bruce Long led two teams of teachers through participation in the QTL™ program. They helped their teams formulate a collaborative project built around the school's "Past, Present & Future."

During that project, students researched the school's past, and documented the reconstruction using digital cameras and other technology tools. They studied nearby wetlands as an environmental topic, and worked in a Black History Month research project because Camden Middle was once an all-black school.

The students used technology to present their findings and display their work for the public. In addition, they showed projects unrelated to the "Past, Present & Future" -- some involving work with technology and some built on more traditional classroom manipulatives and supplies. They created visual displays that included PowerPoint presentations, networked studio productions, video productions, digital photography, word processed documents, spreadsheets, and scanned collections of original historical artifacts. Click here for more details on how teachers implemented what they learned in QTL™.

Camden Middle is a School of Excellence, and Herring says their strong track record in academics has allowed them to be 'risk-takers' when it comes to trying new ideas for reaching every student.

"They do really unique things with technology," she says. "Every kind of hardware and software you show them, they try their best to get it. And then they use it."

Camden administrators have been creative as well, using somenovel approaches to get funding and resources. The county secured interest-free QZAB funding. They obtained donated computers from Raleigh-based SAS, and school board chairman Wayne White, head of the U.S. Coast Guard Partners in Education, drove to SAS's Cary, NC headquarters to pick up those computers.


For more information, contact Robin Fred via e-mail at or call him at 888.507.3800.

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