Spotlight on Technology: Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST)
Joyce Hinkson, Ed.D., California Department of Education
For one week in July, I (along with lead and support facilitators from high schools in Illinois, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, and Mississippi), attended EAST professional development sessions in Little Rock, Arkansas. The 40-hours of training in preparation for the opening of EAST sites this fall included topics ranging from roles/responsibilities and the fundamentals of project management to ethical issues and working with the media. The week culminated with team presentations of implementation plans that would become the blueprint for EAST implementation in each of the school sites. The week-long facilitator session was part of the 23 days of professional development provided by EAST.
As I mentioned in a previous column, the EAST model is a dynamic, performance-based learning environment for students utilizing project-based service learning, integrated with advanced technological applications. The setting for this model is an interdisciplinary laboratory environment where the intellectual and problem-solving growth of students, rather than technology, is the focus. California became an EAST partner as a result of a multi-state consortium project. Last year, the California Department of Education awarded grants for a two-year period to ten sites across this state that included three from Northern California (Arcata, Eureka and Mendocino), three from Central California (Roosevelt, Yosemite, and Moorpark) and four from Southern California (Calipatria, San Diego, Gladstone and Sierra. These sites will install the computers, peripherals and software during the summer and open EAST classes when school begins for the fall semester.
This year, the California Department of Education will award up to 40 EAST grants for additional sites in California. The application will be mailed to all superintendents of districts with grade 9-12 schools and will be posted on the CDE web site http://www.cde.ca.gov/east by August 24, 2001. Applications are due to the CDE office on November 16, 2001. Grant awards for this round of EAST funding will be for a one-year period in the amount of up to $150,000. EAST Vision-Building and information sessions will be held in three locations around the state for those interested in applying for the grant. The first session on September 24, 2001 will be held in the Joe Rindone Center at the San Diego County Office of Education, 6401 Linda Vista Road, San Diego. The second session will be held in Sacramento in the auditorium of the State Personnel Board, 801 Capitol Mall. The third session will be in Central California at the CSU Center in Fresno; the address is 550 E. Shaw in the Madera, Tulare and Kings Rooms. All sessions are scheduled to take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with an hour break for lunch. Successful grantees will attend the EAST Partnership Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas on February 18-21, 2002, where they will see last year's winners from California's grant competition present their projects. All EAST sites will be encouraged to present at the Student Technology Showcase on Monday, March 11, 2002 at the Sacramento Convention Center http://www.cde.ca.gov/showcase.
Dr. Joyce Hinkson is an Education Programs Consultant for the California Department of Education's Education Technology Office. She may be reached at (916) 323-2241 or by e-mail at