About this project
KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVE:
To raise $20,000 to cover the cost to produce and distribute two (2) compelling Educationally-based IPAD APPLICATIONS for the CALIFORNIA EPA's EDUCATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT INITIATIVE CURRICULUM (EEI), and give these Apps out for FREE to 6th grade teachers, schools, students, and parents, who have requested them. Based upon the success of this campaign, the APPs could easily be adapted for OTHER TABLET DEVICES (Android, Windows 8), Schools, Teachers and Curriculum ACROSS OUR COUNTRY.
WHAT YOUR BACKING MONEY WILL BE USED FOR:
YOUR BACKING DOLLARS WILL DIRECTLY PAY FOR the design and coding, which will be done by Jory Prum, Michael Leifer and Will Duggan (aka some Members of the ecodads Team) to produce the 2 APPS ($50 per hour [a price well below market rate] X estimated 100 hours per app X 2 apps = $10,000), to pay Kickstarter its 10% ($2,000) and to produce and deliver the backer Rewards (~$8,000) = $20,000.
ANY ADDITIONAL BACKING DOLLARS RECEIVED BY ECODADS (via Kickstarter) beyond the $20,000 will go directly to:
(1) FUND PORTABLE CARTS OF 32 REFURBISHED IPADS PER SCHOOL and get the curriculum into the hands of students. Each CART can be shared by 12 Classrooms per Semester X 3 Semesters = potentially 32 Classes that can share the iPads per Year. If 10 units are loaded onto each iPad, this Plan will reduce the classroom cost per Unit from the original 2011 print cost per Unit of $900 down to approximately $9 per Unit cost. This plan potentially creates a 100Xs cost savings.
(2) HELP LOW-INCOME SCHOOLS TO OBTAIN THE TECH & COMPUTER LAB GRANTS FOR WHICH THEY MAY QUALIFY. Title1 and eRate Schools qualify for Federal Grants that will cover up to 90% of the cost for creating computer labs and wiring the schools. An additional 5% can be covered via a CalTel grant. So, these schools only need to come up with 5% of the cost to get all the computers, monitors, wifi, Internet and more.
(3) RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT AND DISTRIBUTE THE APPS FOR FREE to teachers, schools and parents throughout California;
(4) PROVIDE TECHNICAL SUPPORT and easy to understand training materials for the APPS;
(5) MAKE THE APPS BETTER by finding out from students, teachers, administrators and parents, what could make the APPS more engaging and useful for future versions;
(6) CONVERT THE APPS so that they can work on WINDOWS 8 and ANDROID TABLET DEVICES enabling for a broader array of Tablets than just the iPad. The Goal is to get the EEI Units into the hands of the teachers and students to use. We are only focused on iPad APPs to start as there are 100 million iPads in the marketplace, which allows for an easier potential bulk discount purchase price of refurbished iPad2s;
(7) DELIVER A STRATEGIC ROADMAP OF NEXT STEPS & COSTS (detailed in the Section below of the same name), which provides a deeper context on how these initial two APPs fit into a larger VISION to help FIX & FUND CA EDUCATION, which can Create New Jobs and Help Teachers to Keep Theirs; and
(8) FULFILL ANY ADDITIONAL BACKER REWARDS.
"California Golden Apple" logo designed by ecodads' Co-Founding Father Eric Read who has granted ecodads the "in-perpetuity right" to use it, to further our Mission.
IMMEDIATE UTILIZATION OF APPS:
The CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AGENCY (CAL/EPA) & CALRECYCLE, (who administers the EEI CURRICULUM) have encouraged ecodads to make these EEI lessons come alive with the power of this technology. Upon completion, these APPS are going to initially be used in the Manteca and Calaveras School Districts in California but will be available to anyone who wishes to download them. ecodads and CALRECYCLE are also currently in the final stages of negotiating a cumulative license for all 85 Units.
CALIFORNIA STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF INSTRUCTION, TOM TORLAKSON stated, "Technology is changing nearly every aspect of our lives. But in California—home to Silicon Valley and the world’s leading technology companies—many schools have been all but left out of the technology revolution. If we’re serious about providing our students a world-class education, we need a plan that leaves no school and no child offline."
MANTECA UNIFIED SUPERINTENDENT, JASON MESSER, who has 32 Campuses in his District has stated, “It is imperative that the students of Manteca Unified and the State of California learn about the precious resources of this great state and our impact upon them as human beings. We need to get students “virtually” outside of their classrooms. During the first gold rush of 1849 Levi Strauss and his company demonstrated his understanding of how important a strong vibrant public educational system is by generously endowing and supporting several educational institutions including the State University system. During our modern digital gold rush here in California, I hope there are those who are as wise and generous as Mr. Strauss to provide innovation and support apps like the ones that the ECODADS’ are developing. This is after all, about our students and our collective future.”
CALAVERAS UNIFIED SUPERINTENDENT, MARK CAMPBELL, offers this support, "Any endeavor that seeks to effectively facilitate the active engagement of students is worthwhile and it is clear that the Environmental Edutainment Apps Project aims to do just that. From my experience with EEI, which has been nothing but positive, I fully believe that the educational objectives here will only serve to greatly benefit student learning by generating a higher degree of student engagement in the instructional process through the creative and innovative application of real-world curriculum and integration of technology."
1ST APP TO BE PRODUCED:
"Energy & Material Resources: Renewable or Not?"
Lesson Elements to be incorporated into APP:
• Teacher’s Edition (PDF, 43 MB)
• Teacher's Masters (PDF, 7 MB)
• Student Workbook (PDF, 4 MB)
• Student Edition (PDF, 5 MB)
• Visual Aids (PDF, 16 MB)
• Visual Aids (Projectable Format PDF, 11.5 MB)
• Word Wall Cards (PDF, 10 MB)
• Dictionary (PDF, 5 MB)
2ND APP TO BE PRODUCED:
"Paleolithic People: Tools, Tasks & Fire"
Requested by: Eileen Thorpe, Teacher, Calaveras Unified School District in California.
Lesson Elements to be incorporated into APP:
Teacher’s Edition (PDF, 34 MB)
• Teacher's Masters (PDF, 3 MB)
• Student Workbook (PDF, 3 MB)
• Student Edition (PDF, 7 MB)
• Visual Aids (PDF, 9 MB)
• Visual Aids (Projectable Format PDF, 6.4 MB)
• Word Wall Cards (PDF, 6 MB)
• Information Cards (PDF, 4 MB)
• Dictionary (PDF, 3 MB)
• NGS Maps: Natural Regions (PDF, 28 MB) and Political (PDF, 18 MB)
Naturally, the goal of the EEI Apps is to make these maps completely interactive to allow a student to zoom in and see the flora and fauna within the habitat of each region.
ECODADS' EDUTAINMENT GOAL WITH THESE APPS:
One of the Goals of ecodads is to create compelling EDUTAINMENT for children, tweens and teens across different media, communication platforms and offline events, so that teachers, parents and fellow students can Share How the World Works.
(Photo: Wallace J. Nichols, PhD with Turtle Photo by Abigail Alling)
We look at the APPs as the top layer of an engine. First, the touch-based and interactive APPs bring to life the curriculum for students and teachers in a much more engrossing way than just reading PDFs. We want to help generate active vs passive involvement of the students with the learning materials. Second, the APPs set up a system of community knowledge exchange and creation that will ultimately allow great ideas and solutions from the students themselves to find their way back to curriculum for the benefit of other students and future generations.
(NEXT STEPS: POST APP PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION & SUPPORT / TRAINING)
(1) CONVERT THE APPS. Code the APPs so that they can also work on a broader array of Tablets to include Windows 8 and Android Devices.
(2) OPTIMIZE TABLET USAGE to decrease EEI Unit Distribution Costs. Design the best way to share a set of 36 Tablets per School to further reduce the per EEI Unit cost. Our initial plan is to test 1 Portable Cart of 36 Tablets that could be locked, updated and scheduled to be used by 12 Classrooms / School / Semester X 3 Semesters / Year = 36 Classrooms that can use them per Year. The cost to PRINT the same amount of EEI Units would be exponentially higher as there can be multiple units on each tablet.
(3) LAUNCH AND MANAGE A PROGRAM TO ACQUIRE USED (REFURBISHED) TABLETS via Donation and/or by Making a Bulk Purchase at a Discounted Volume Rate (~$200 / Tablet vs $400) and GIVE THEM FOR FREE to CA School Districts that wish to teach EEI.
(4) MAKE THE PROGRAM AVAILABLE TO ALL CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS. Low Income Schools could participate by using Federal Funds such as the TITLE 1 and eRATE Programs, and California-specific Program Funds such as CALTEL, the Technology and Infrastructure Costs could be covered up to 95% for: computers, laptops, tablets, monitors, switches, routers, modems and Internet connectivity.
(5) LAUNCH, EDUCATE AND MANAGE A TURN-KEY ELECTRONIC PRODUCTS RECYCLING & UPCYCLING PROGRAM for California Schools to:
(a) Generate Funding to Support the Development of Additional EEI APPs and to help schools in their digital transition, as California currently spends more than $400 million per year in textbooks; and
(b) Teach by Example a Comprehensive Solution for Electronic Recycling that benefits both the environment and the individuals that participate in recycling. This program leverages the existing physical infrastructure for collecting the electronics, provides jobs for processing the electronics, and combines the power of the Internet and with innovative mechanical technology for efficient, near zero emission recycling as defined by the 1993 United Nations definition from the University in Tokyo which defines "zero emissions" as:
- Identification and development of new value-added products from existing waste streams or under-exploited by-products;
- Creative search for completely new educts and products; and
- Implementation of breakthrough technologies.
This ecodads' Program will turn CIRCUIT BOARDS into SURF BOARDS & GARDENS and generate revenue for Education and create new Jobs.
WHO THE ECODADS EEI EDUTAINMENT DEVELOPERS ARE:
HOW ECODADS FOUND OUT ABOUT EEI AND CHOSE TO SUPPORT IT:
Earlier this year, Michael Leifer, (ecodads Co-Founding Father & President), went to a presentation given by local Manor School Teacher, Laura Honda, who was sharing her experiences teaching EEI to her students.
Laura started the demonstration by pulling out an Apple (as in the kind you eat from a tree). She held it up and said, "This apple represents the earth." Then she picked up a knife and asked the attendees of local parents, educators and environment non-profits, "How much of the earth is covered by water?" Many voices said, "3/4s!"
So, she then used the knife and cut the apple into 1/4s. Then, she she picked up 3 of the 1/4s and said, "This represents the part of the Earth's surface that is covered by ocean water" and then set those slices down.
She then picked up the last quarter of the apple and explained that it represented the part of the Earth that is not covered by ocean water and offered, "This small part of the Earth, humans live, work, and grow their food."
Then she cut the land quarter in half and held up one of the 1/8th pieces and explained that half of the Earth’s land area that is not covered with ocean water, has weather conditions so harsh that humans cannot live or grow food there. "These places include the North and South Poles, large deserts, and big swamps."
She then held up the other 1/8th portion of the apple, and said, "This represents the part of Earth’s surface where people can live, and where conditions make growing food possible."
After that, she cut the 1/8th piece into 4 thin slices and held up all 4 of them in her hand for all to see, and reflected, "People live on this much of the Earth’s surface, but cannot grow food on all of it because:
(1) Some of this area has mountains and hills where the land is too steep to grow food." Upon which she set down one of the 4 pieces.
(2) "Some of this area is already covered by our cities, houses, and roads where no room exists to grow food." Whereupon, she set down another of the 4 pieces, leaving 2.
(3) "Some of this area does not have soil for growing crops because it is too rocky." And then set down another of the 4 pieces, leaving 1 piece that she held up for all of us to see.
She went on to explain that this small piece of the whole apple shows how much of Earth’s surface is available for growing the food we need.
She then carefully peeled the skin off this thin slice of the apple, held it up, and told us, "This tiny peel represents the topsoil available to farmers in which to grow crops."
Then she added, "We've got over 6.2 billion people, growing larger by the minute, and this is all the land mass we have as natural resource to sustain us." The crowd got quiet.
Laura said, "Fortunately for us, we have a new curriculum called Education and the Environment, created by the wise people in Sacramento whose job it is to protect the environment."
Needless to say, Michael shared this story with other ecodads and we started checking out the curriculum online and in print, went to a teacher training, visited classrooms teaching it and gave it the thumbs up approval of support.
An enormous amount of new K-12th grade educational research clearly demonstrates the positive impact of using video and other interactive learning tools to obtain more engaged students and elevated learning results. (Give this sample piece a read: Khan Academy).
The research data found that Education which is Entertaining and allows for student Discovery will Engage Students to be more enthusiastic about what they are studying, which will increase comprehension, test score results and confidence.
EEI UNIT MATERIALS:
All 85 OF THE EEI CURRICULUM UNITS are available to the public to view and download in PDF Format as mandated by CA LAW in 2003.
Each of the EEI UNITS contain: Teacher's Edition, Teacher Master Guides, Student Edition, Student Workbooks, Word Wall Cards, Information Cards, Dictionaries, Maps, Posters, Visual Aids and more. All of these will contribute to the INTERACTIVE APPS.
If you have any specific questions about the EEI Curriculum, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
EEI DEEPER BACKGROUND:
EEI was unanimously approved by the CA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION and is now available for all public school teachers in the State to use in their Kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms. Thanks to a partnership with National Geographic, the curriculum is stunning, and filled with 1000s of beautiful images, graphics, maps, illustrations, tables, charts and more.
There are 85 EEI Units overall with 3-12 Units per grade level with an average of 5. Each EEI Unit contains a platter of well-thought-out lesson elements with vivid posters, information cards, dictionaries, student workbooks, teacher master guides and flashcards.
In 2003, the State Legislature mandated the creation of a California-based Ecological Literacy Program with the visionary goal of ensuring that all future generations of Californians develop a deep understanding of their interconnectedness with the natural world. As the state’s lead environmental protection agency, CAL/EPA was directed to spearhead this unprecedented effort, in close collaboration with the California Department of Education.
PHASE 1: DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF EEI
In order to get it right, Cal/EPA gathered pedagogical and environmental domain experts for Phase 1 to design, develop and produce a first-of-its-kind curriculum. Among others, the state partnered with National Geographic to ensure the materials were every bit as vibrant and captivating as California’s diverse landscape.
PHASE 2: FIELD TESTING AND REFINEMENT
After years of careful planning, field testing with teachers, and review by experts, in 2010 the State Board of Education unanimously approved the EEI Curriculum—the first state-approved instructional materials in the nation to teach select, required subject matter through an environmental lens.
PHASE 3: EEI EARLY IMPLEMENTATION
Just two years ago, beginning with many of the same teachers who had put the early drafts through their paces, Cal/EPA successfully launched Phase 3, EEI Curriculum “Early Implementation,” receiving rave reviews from educators starved for materials that teach valuable environmental lessons while simultaneously preparing their students for questions on “the test.”
PHASE 4: EEI DEEPER IMPLEMENTATION
Now, the Program has entered Phase 4 “Deeper Implementation,” in which teachers are exposing their students to multiple EEI Curriculum units, and the impact on students, fellow teachers, administrators and the community are beginning to emerge. From here, the Program will increasingly integrate the Curriculum with enriching activities in school gardens, at local parks, aquariums, and science centers, while students receiving repeated EEI exposure become more and more attuned to the ways in which their choices ripple through the world around them on a daily basis.
ADOPTION & EARLY SUCCESS
To date, over 2,000 teachers have received face-to-face EEI training and the curriculum materials to bring back to their more than 60,000 students. Out of the teacher's surveyed, 95% have stated that they want to teach EEI again and 85% have stated that their students are more engaged by EEI than their traditional textbook and are learning the lessons to a level of mastery.
To enable easy adoption by teachers and districts, all of the EEI Units were designed to work with and fulfill the CALIFORNIA ACADEMIC CONTENT STANDARDS for History/Social Studies, Science, and Language Arts, and because of this, EEI also supports STAR TESTING and directly correlates to these Standards (Example). In fact, Victoria Brunn of Manteca Unified School District has witnessed an increase of up to 10% in STAR TESTING RESULTS for her students using EEI.
Because The EEI GOAL is to cultivate an entire generation of ECOLOGICALLY LITERATE citizens, the EEI TARGET AUDIENCE is 150,000 Science, Social Science and History TEACHERS and all 6.2 Million California Students.
THE ARC AND FOCUS OF THE EEI UNITS:
The Curriculum engages students through a focus on their local CALIFORNIA HABITAT ("the California backyard" so to speak), helping the class to get to know and understand the flora and fauna in their region. Along the way, each Unit explores the relationships between the members of an ecosystem, including the services and resources they provide to each other and to humans. Students investigate problems (some of them man made) that are created within natural systems when they fall out of balance.
A discussion about the problems actively facilitates problem solving by the students and teacher. A Unit may then examine ways that experts (biologists, engineers, urban planners, entomologists), environmental support groups (non-profits, associations and government organizations) and other entities (corporations, innovators and visionaries) have helped to preserve and heal those habitats in practical, coordinated and successful ways.
EEI Units are intentionally structured for classroom use so that they are accessible to all teachers and students, but teacher's are encouraged to bring their students outside to explore and work on experiential-based group projects that actively put into practice what they have just studied. Some teachers have their students ground their learnings, discovery and observations into peer-to-peer presentations and class-based discussions, which further hones their public speaking and communication skills. In Eileen Thorpe’s District, students created project-based presentations, which they video taped with their iPads.
During those student presentations, class audience members ask questions and interactive discussions ensued. This method of students sharing their observations and offering up concepts and solutions which could easily become the future best practices of tomorrow. This process generates context and a deeper understanding of the trade-offs our society has to confront in making choices that impact the environment.
Risks and challenges
That we run out of marinated grilled chicken sandwiches to feed Jory and Michael.
Outside of that....We don't see any risks. The tech and developers are known. The desire to use the APPs is known. The school districts are known.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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