Northeastern Section (45th Annual) and Southeastern Section (59th Annual) Joint Meeting (13-16 March 2010)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-4:15 PM


HANDLE, Kimberly C., Brooklyn College, Geology, 3137 Ingersoll, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210 and JOHNSON, Adam, Psychology, Brooklyn College, 5111 James Hall, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210,

At the Academy of Urban Planning in Brooklyn, NY, GK-12 fellows have partnered with two separate 11th grade classrooms – Urban Geology and Urban Geography – in order to develop student-driven research projects focused on understanding and resolving local environmental issues. As a means of integrating and coordinating the work done in these two separate courses, GK-12 fellows have developed a "Ning" social networking website for the entire 11th grade. The Ning site has been useful in augmenting daily lessons as well as in facilitating students’ long-term research projects.

Early in the year when students were still acquiring content knowledge, research skills, and research interests, the Ning site was useful

1) as a means for students to delve further into classroom topics (through web links, online videos, and other media resources)

2) as a way to have students reflect on their classroom experiences (through blogs, discussion boards, surveys and other written assignments)

3) as a platform for students to communicate with teachers, fellows, and administrators outside of the classroom.

As research projects became more developed, the Ning site was useful as a platform for students to share resources and research advice and as a vehicle for research groups to coordinate their efforts and share information. The Ning platform has since been adopted by 7 different 11th grade teachers and has become a virtual community for students, teachers, and administrators that has positively impacted the community within the Academy of Urban Planning's walls.