The ADEPTT Language Arts Cluster (ALAC) was created at the April 3, 1998, meeting of the ADEPTT Core Group.
The Advancing the Development of Educators in Pennsylvania through Technology Training (ADEPTT) program is dedicated to promoting better teaching and learning in western Pennsylvania through the judicious application of technology. A core component of the ADEPTT initiative is the use of technology in teaching and learning within subject areas and disciplines. Subject clusters are "virtual scholarly communities" which encompass university professors, college students, and K-12 teachers and students. These are sites for discussion, contemplation, simple questions, or deep philosophic issues.
These "virtual communities" of teachers and scholars will overcome the separations of time and space to improve teaching and learning.
Why do we need subject clusters, and how do they relate to the other components of the ADEPTT program? First, the target faculties at the three SSHE universities and particularly teachers in the associated school districts in western Pennsylvania are often isolated in what they teach. This is particularly true of middle and high school teachers, many of whom were not formally trained in the subjects that they teach. University faculty and scholars are frequently the only specialist in a particular area at their institution. These faculty need to be able to identify and reach out to colleague who share similar interests and challenges. Second, secondary and higher education instructors need a means to communicate and share ideas. University faculty often have much greater subject matter expertise and can answer detailed or complex questions. Secondary school teachers on the other hand, have far greater training in pedagogy and instructional design than university professors. Third, the foundation training which the ADEPTT program will provide to teachers and instructors is an important beginning for the process of integrating technology into the curriculum, but it is only the first step. After mastering the basics of standard MS Office suite software, the real challenge becomes how to use it in the classroom. The ADEPTT program proceeds from the assumption that application of technology in the classroom is futher encouraged when it is placed within a subject matter context. Instead of vague, abstract discussions of how a piece of software might be used in the classroom, or worse yet, extensive training without illustrations of how it might be useful in teaching a particular subject, ADEPTT subject clusters will be a tool for sharing ideas specific to subject instruction. The choice of technological approach is never easy, but it will be eased considerably if instructors can see examples to which they can relate. Thus, art instructors can see how PowerPoint might be used to teach about painting, but music instructors would see that it is not entirely suitable to their method of instruction, and that commercially-prepared videotapes or audio tapes are better. English literature teachers could share their ideas about whether suitable texts are available on the World Wide Web. Civics and political science instructors could make a similar evaluation about the availability of state, national or foreign constitutions.
A subject cluster has five goals:
1. Sharing between university faculty and scholars and K-12 teachers concerning approaches to subjects and disciplines with technology.
2. An expertise database which will help regional scholars and teachers contact colleagues with similar interests or challenges.
3. A collection of the best annotated information source links in the subject area.
4. Creating a forum for face-to-face contact among scholars and teachers in the area which will help foster continuing contacts. This should include an annual subject cluster "mini-conference" to showcase best practices and experiences.
5. Sponsoring projects to advance the field of education within the subject. These projects will be created by teams of faculty, both university and K-12, and will be advised by the ADEPTT Academy. In a few cases, these projects will be financially sponsored by the ADEPTT. In all cases, projects will be designed to help ADEPTT Academy teachers and scholars.
This page created and maintained by Gian Pagnucci (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Department of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania on behalf of the ADEPTT Academy. Last updated Wednesday, April 07, 2004. Please read our Copyright and Disclaimer notice.