2012 Dave Jones Award Winner: Daniel Hawley

How do teachers integrate newspapers into their lessons and projects?

Daniel Hawley, a Spanish teacher in the Tech Program at Southeast Raleigh High School models how students can pull content from news stories archived in e-editions and use that information with Web 2.0 tools to complete a Project-Based Learning (PBL) assignment. Projects match students’ needs and interests and align with the Common Core and Essential State Standards. Each of Hawley’s units asks students to apply what they learn to create products, all of which they share with classmates in oral presentations. Rubrics allow Hawley and his students to evaluate the projects.
Hawley won the 2012 Dave Jones Award for strategies that brought current events and local news into focus for his students.

Dave Jones spent his career working for North Carolina newspapers, including the Enfield Progress and Wilson Times; he retired as associate publisher of the News & Observer. During his career, Jones supported the advancement of the Mini Page, Newspapers in Education and other youth readership initiatives. He continues to support the N.C. Press Foundation, the sponsor of this award.

Which project involved the use of newspapers and led to Hawley’s receiving the Dave Jones Award?

Newspapers provided the background information or content about Historic Oakwood needed for students to complete their project. Students, grades 9-12 in Hawley’s Spanish II class, received an essential question that focused their attention on the local community: Why is the Oakwood neighborhood historically important? To answer the question, Hawley had his students search the News & Observer’s e-edition for stories about Oakwood. They found stories about the cemetery and recent burials of Civil War veterans and stories about houses and businesses in the community that they located when they visited the community to work on their projects. The stories also identified individuals and institutions that support the area, specifically, the Society for the Preservation of Historic Oakwood. Hawley’s approach to this project highlights his evidence-based approach to all units of study. Any community-based project might use newspapers to obtain background information about relevant people, places and institutions.

The project drives the unit, so what was the project, and which technology tools enabled students to complete the project?

Students were asked to map and lead a Springtime Tour through Historic Oakwood, assuming the role of tour guides for the Society for the Preservation of Historic Oakwood. They had to give directions in Spanish to three places in or bordering Historic Oakwood, and the tour had to include the cemetery.

Hawley wanted students to learn two new Web 2.0 tools: Panoramio.com and Google maps. He offered a mini-workshop on how to use panoramio.com and upload photos into Google Earth and post the photos to an online forum at Panoramio.com. Students worked within their collaborative teams to create their tour routes, take photos, search for Historic Oakwood background and participate in an online forum, evaluate themselves and teammates and finally present their virtual tour routes.

How does Hawley employ other Web 2.0 tools?

Hawley uses new and familiar technologies. IPADS, computers, projectors, a document camera and other media equipment allow him to shift from classroom presentations and direct instruction to student-centered, computer-based learning, blogging and other follow-up activities. Often, he and his students teach themselves how to use new tools, as they did with glogster.com or mixbook.com this year.

He works similarly with teachers. In training sessions, he demonstrates the use of Web 2.0 tools and shows the benefits of various technologies, including the ones listed below:

  • Glogster.com – online wall/poster
  • Storybird.com, storyjumper.com – telling stories, making digital books.
  • Voki.com – talking heads.
  • GoAnimate.com – videos or movies
  • Blog – an example: blogspot.com
  • Studyblue.com, quizlet.org- study websites
  • Animoto.com – animated video/movie production
  • Prezi.com- for creative presentations
  • Word Clouds –Wordle.net, tagxedo.com, worditout.net
  • Wallwisher.com- online post-it board
  • Mixbook.com – online photo albums for storytelling
  • Webstarts.com, www.wordpress.com, wix.com, weebly.com – website starter sites

How did Hawley train to teach Spanish, use technology and employ current news?

Hawley majored in Spanish Education and Health Education at Appalachian State University. He speaks of his own teachers as mentors. He has taught nine years in Watauga and Wake counties, returning to his home area in 2005 to teach in Raleigh.

The New Tech Program at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School provides extensive training and outfits classrooms with hardware that enables teachers to choose the software and hardware that advance student learning in their disciplines. PBL requires teachers to continue learning with their students. Students work in teams, create products in a collaborative and professional atmosphere and develop 21st century skills. Hawley learned about the use of e-editions (searchable pdfs) and archived stories through the News & Observer’s Newspaper in Education program.

How do Hawley’s students describe his class?

  • Requires better organization and time management
  • Fosters professional behavior
  • Makes learning fun, more alive
  • Develops better presentational skills
  • Builds tech literacy
  • Rewards positive leadership
  • Strengthens skills and willingness to work collaboratively

Hawley prepares students for the future. In the Oakwood project, he established a purpose for learning that enhanced students’ appreciation for their local community, integrating local news and Spanish.