California Mission Internet Trail
Information About Our Site
- Link to our CyberFair 97 Entry: California Mission Internet Trail
Link to our School's Home Pages:
Pioneer Elementary School
Oak Hill Elementary School
- Date of Project: This project was designed to be ongoing effort, covering a different aspect of our California Mission era heritage each year. In 1996, the Spanish missions were highlighted, in 1997 the California Natives will be highlighted. Future developments include California links to other Spanish Mission sites throughout the world.
- School: Pioneer Elementary School and Oak Hill Elementary School
District: Escondido Union School District
City: Escondido, California 92027
- Teachers or Classes:
Click here to see the complete list of Participants:
- How many students worked on this project? This site is being constructed by approximately 300 students, ages 8 -10, up and down the state of
California to serve as a central resource for information on the California Missions.
- Their ages were: ages 8 -10 years of age
- Project Contact Email: Barbara Scott
- We entered our Web site in CyberFair Category:
- Description of "Our Community" We will be traveling (via the internet) the California Mission trail from San Diego, to the last constructed mission in Sonoma, San Francisco. Schools within fieldtrip distance to one of the 21 California Missions describe, both in written text and visually their experiences for others. Participating schools allow all fourth grade students throughout California, however distant, the ability to enjoy the beauty and history of our California heritage without leaving their classroom.
Spain, a small country with a limited population, devised a unique plan to colonize their newly won kingdom. This plan was carried out throughout the world. In the future, our travels and findings will be compared and contrasted with other "Mission" states and countries expanding our community. You are invited to join these efforts!
- Summary of Our Project The California Mission Internet Trail, is a collaborative school project following the mission trail of California. The project partners the 21 historical mission sites, with a local school(s). Participating schools are able to provide pictures of their mission fieldtrip as well as the ability to combine forces with community historians, authors, tribal members, and educators in order to produce a very complete picture of "their" mission.
Each mission publication will include student produced information in the following areas: Founding Father, Mission Report, Pictorial Field Trip, Archival Information, Student Art, Native Californian Report, Then and Now, Teacher Resources, Bibliography, Sponsoring School (link), and Miscellaneous (an area to be creative or publish information unique to that mission site).
As students introduce different aspects of our California Mission era heritage, this Web site will be updated, reflecting new these new additions.
- Our Internet Access Internet access for the Escondido Union School District sites; Pioneer Elementary School and Oak Hill Elementary School (project coordinators):
56K - Funded by the "Building the Future Grant" and supported by a T1 line between the Escondido Union School District and the San Diego County Office of Education who is our internet provider throught CSU net.
Other participating schools obtain access in every variety, from modem 14.4 to ISDN lines.
- Problems We Had To Overcome The first obstacle in the realization of the California Mission Internet Trail project was to assign at least one school per mission. This was done by posting a call to participate on Kidsphere, AOL, Global SchoolNet as well as the Classroom Connect Newsletter. Schools responded to this request and 20 of the 21 missions were assigned.
The second obstacle came from schools unable to complete their commitment to the project. To overcome this obstacle, the project coordinators have presented the project at the Classroom Connect Conference in November, at CUE conferences, notes on the web site, through additional postings, and actually writing school districts requesting participation.
New participants are anxious to fill in the voids and have some unique and creative pages to add to the existing information. We are looking forward to these additions.
- Our Project Sound Bite:
Participation in CyberFair has renewed the enthusiasm of this website to this year's fourth grade students! Expanding, refining and sharing this website has made their determination for perfection greater than ever!
This section explains the project elements found in the CyberFair Project Assignment.
- How did your activities and research for this International School CyberFair 97 project support your required coursework and curriculum requirements? The study of the Missions is a required curricular unit for all fourth grade students in California. In the past, publishers were reluctant to publish materials deemed to have such a limited market. Students struggled to find and then share available library materials. With the introduction of the internet at our school sites, students were excited to have a new source of information.
Unable to find information suitable for their classroom mission reports. Students came up with the idea of writing extensively about their "hometown" mission which they planned to visit. Then, using their new found internet, email, and quick-take camera skills they would share this information with other fourth graders. In exchange, others would do likewise with their "hometown mission". The California Mission Internet Trail was born.
Students from three classes were divided into eight small groups to research a small portion of the report. These students mastered the automated card catalog in the library and reached out the community to obtain information for their portion of the report. Not only did these students have to report their findings to their individual classrooms, they were reporting to the world. Writing for publication had a whole new meaning!
When the San Diego Union reported on the website, the community was quick to offer their expertise. Education needs community involvement and the community needs the enthusiasm and energy of these eager young minds and future members.
Without the use of the internet, the majority of the community involvement students received would not have been possible. Without writing for this scale of publication, research skills would not have soared. Is using the internet for teaching and learning more effective than traditional methods? Yes!
- What information tools and technologies did you use to complete your CyberFair project? Student use of informational tools progressed during the creation of this project. In the beginning, students went to their school library and checked out books to begin their mission research. Inside the classroom, students viewed videos, 16mm movies and slides.
Back to the library, students discovered they could check out items other than books. These new items (purchased from the Building The Future Grant) were loaded for the field trip: digital cameras, tape recorders and maps retrieved from the internet. Students were armed and ready!
Digital and 35mm cameras were used to capture the trip and museum findings visually. Tape recorders were used to capture the sounds of the mission bells and to catch every word during oral interviews. The internet maps charted the three sites; (1) the original mission and presidio site, (2) the relocated/present mission site and (3) the mission dam.
As students began writing reports, they used many software programs, the draw program in ClarisWorks to recreate the sights and floorplans. Hyperstudio was used for the drafts exchanged between schools. Adobe SiteMill was used to create the final published report. HyperStudio and Adobe SiteMill were both purchased with grant funds.
The scanner was the most valued and overworked technology tool used in publishing the website, since most of the published pictures were taken with a 35mm camera. However, without the use of any one of these tools, this project would not be in existence.
- In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person. All of the Pioneer and Oak Hill students were participants in the "K-TALK" Project associated with the Building the Future Grant. These students were encouraged to use their newly acquired skills; email and the internet. All original contacts were made through these sources.
Students were anxious to find information from every point-of-view. For the Hispanic view point, students located the internet addresses of the Universities in Mexico (primary and secondary schools in Mexico were not connected at the time). For the Native Californian view point, students contacted Dr. David Whitehorse (California State University, San Marcos), via email.
The only exceptions were the interviews of: Mission administrators, guides and park rangers. All of these were done at the fieldtrip sites, person-to-person. But the most interesting and long lasting relationships came from the community to the students via email. Click here to read the story of Mr. Jolly.
- What has been the impact of your project on your community? Perhaps what others have said would best answer this question. We know our project has made a difference!..."This is precisely, exactly, what education needs to make the internet/curriculum link...'whole cloth' an enduring curriculum resource...Ken"
From many parents, the following was typical..."Thanks for putting together a great web site. I'll refer my daughter to it for her mission project. Jerome". Our favorites are from students, "Hi, I'm helping my cousin with his mission report we found some good stuff on your web pages...could you help answer a couple of questions...Sandra"
The world has learned about our community. This author's father lives in Japan, where he viewed the project... "My name is Katsuyuki, now living in Columbia, Missouri, but originally from Japan...My father...became interested in missions, this 'pilgrimage' has been his dream, and it is coming true. I found your site very interesting and useful for our 'pilgrimage'. I wish you all a great success of the project. K., Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia"
We've established some new working relationships with people in the community... "I feel strongly that the children should see the Missions as they were without all of the grizzly details...the flower-strewn walkways and shady, cool cemeteries cover up a lot of misdeeds...have lots of information...want it? Mr. Jolly"
Over 6,000 visitors have been recorded, the feedback... "This site was awarded a Times Pick...its also been included in the Blue Web'n Learning Applications Library of best instructional lessons, activities, projects, resources, references, and tools on the Web. LA Times".
The uniqueness of our presentation is the multi-campus participation. It exploits networked communication and students capabilities. This essentially fourth grade project will continue with following fourth grade cohorts. Volunteers at many sites have enthusiastically agreed to return. This type of community participation and enthusiasm is priceless
- How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers? First and foremost, the project directors would like to thank the State of California for the Building the Future Grant, providing the funding that made this project a reality. Next, we'd like to thank our District Director of Technology, Bill Simpson, who gave of himself endlessly. Last, but not least, our Principals, Dr. Royce Moore and Mr. Ron Guiles.
The "teacher resource" page would not be complete without Mr. Raymond Jolly's contribution. Thank you Mr. Jolly! To Dr. David Whitehorse and all other University Professors, thank you for your time and expertise. We will be sending your future students better prepared because of people like you.
The multi-campus project had multi-volunteers. In most cases volunteers came from one of four sources: Members of higher education, parents, friends of parents, and from email responses to media coverage.
Members of the educational community were usually solicited by teachers. In some cases, inservice type classes were conducted at the school site. The majority of the time, they acted as mentors for the students via email.
Parents offered the extra hands and ears so often needed. Many provided transportation to the missions. Others acted as editors for the students reports. All offered lots of encouragement and enthusiasm!
Friends of families included; an archivist, building engineers, seismologist, and an architect just to name a few. Each offered students an in-depth look at the mission from their occupational perspective. We've heard that many of these volunteers enjoyed themselves so much that they've agreed to return the next year.
Keyboard pals from near and far reached out to the students in such a personal, positive manner. Many offered help, all offered support! They were the audience! They were truly appreciated!
- Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises
awared by the Los Angeles Times
Both awards were huge surprises and honors. The lesson for the students is "you never know who's watching"! All participants are eager to post this years additions and carry forward the traditions previously set.