Small Business Information
ATHENA GROUP, INC., 3424 NW 31ST ST, GAINESVILLE, FL, 32605
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This SBIR Phase I project defines and implements a new class of technology-enabled science and environmental health science (EHS) 9-12 teacher support. The proposed innovation is called Teachers iPod or TiP. The goals o f TiP are to: (1) prepare teachers to be more effective, knowledgeable, and professional in their delivery of specific lessons, content, and/or activities in the classroom, (2) overcome teachers' residual resistance to adopting and effectively using new le arning technologies, (3) provide teacher support on-demand, anywhere, anytime, and (4) be high-value, low-cost, and robust. The need for TiP is reflected in the fact that US science education is at a crossroads. National and international assessments indic ate a number of systemic weaknesses in the 9-12 science (and EHS) educational delivery system. Historically, the in-class teacher has been the primary learning enabler, but today many 9-12 science teachers have limited formal training and credentials in sc ientific and technical fields, especially EHS. TiP will use a recent technological innovation, called podcasting, to automatically deliver just-in-time focused instruction and assistance to teachers, to prepare the teachers to in turn deliver in class, les son-specific content more efficiently, forcefully, and effectively. TiP podcasts provide teachers with a core understanding of the topical material to be presented in-class, along with suggested lecturer enhancements, supporting activities, and recommended assessment strategies. The on-demand delivery of the podcasts is under teacher control and can be transacted anytime and anywhere (e.g., morning commute). The Phase I TiP study will plan, design, and implement a collection of prototype podcasts. In Phase I, the podcasts will be scripted and produced to support specific EHS lessons that will be delivered by Orange County Public School (Orlando, FL) science teachers. The developed podcasts will be electronically and automatically delivered to ~100 Orlando sc ience teachers to support their delivery of the specific lesson in-class. Data on TiP's efficacy, efficiency, comparability, required skill set, and actual usage in authentic lesson-specific instances will be measured and analyzed. The expected outcome wil l be a validation of the TiP concept and a demonstration that TiP can be commercially developed as a viable and valuable teacher support technology across a multitude of science disciplines. The result will be more successful 9-12 learning outcomes and a m ore EHS-aware population. Project Narrative: The proposed TiP teacher support environment advances the cause of public health in that it can improve the quality of 9-12 science education. The project is expected to result in more enlightened graduates and an expanded the pool of those qualified to pursue public health careers.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.