– Every spring and fall, the skies above Israel fill with as many as 500 million migratory birds. Since the launch of a project called "Migrating Birds Know No Boundaries" six years ago, Israeli students have been observing the seasonal flights with a keen eye, assisted by technology. Recently, news about their ambitious classroom research projects spread to an even wider audience as teachers at two schools in Israel shared their experiences.
An Innovation Odyssey features stories of teachers from around the world who are using technology in exciting ways to support student learning. Intel Israel is also hosting its own version of the Web project, with 10 Odyssey stories published online in Hebrew during the past school year. As a story about Odyssey published in Limudim magazine in Israel pointed out, the Odyssey project shows "that teachers from any field can use advanced technology as a creative component in the study process."
At the Ort Yad-Levovitz, a six-year comprehensive high school serving a rural Israeli community, students involved in the birds project used technology to learn more about environmental studies and the scientific inquiry method. Students watched migration pathways on the computer screen and learned that the tracking data came from transmitters that scientists had attached to the birds. "We felt like real researchers," said one student. "We learn most subjects from books, but this was different."
During their project, students gained exposure to satellites, transmitters, and various software applications. They also had to think about solving real-world dilemmas, such as how to conserve nesting habitat or how to prevent dangerous collisions between migrating birds and man-made aircraft. What's more, they made international connections by hosting the African International Seminar on Migratory Birds in their own high school computer lab.
To read about other teachers from around the globe who are making innovative uses of technology, go to the Intel Odyssey Web site at educate.intel.com/odyssey