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User:Mvanhoomissen

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Feel free to say a couple words about yourself here Mvanhoomissen. -- Brooks Lindsay 16:09, 30 November 2009 (CST)

I am an English teacher at Tech Valley High School, in Rensselaer, NY. We are a 2+ year-old public high school that replicates the New Technology Network's education model, with a mission to use and promote project-based learning, integrated curriculum, collaborative learning and teaching, a 1:1 student-to-laptop environment and a small school setting that adopts schoolwide practices.

When my cooperating teacher and I, for an integrated 11th grade English/U.S. History project, were looking for a way to develop debate skills in students as a way for them to understand some of the current issues relating to scientific advancements in biotechnology, Stacia Snow (cooperating teacher) discovered the Debatepedia site! What a wonderful tool! Students began by informing themselves on the topics of gene patents and genetically modified foods (using Debatepedia and other sources), and held oral debates on a "preliminary" debate day. As practiced debaters (somewhat), they are now working in teams to create debate content on Debatepedia on the topic of geoengineering. They have made mistakes, but will hopefully finish with content they can be proud of. On a second, upcoming, date, students will hold oral debates on this topic and also on the topic of cost vs. benefits of biofuels. So, Debatepedia has been instrumental in their constructed knowledge.

I'm certain that we will go on to use Debatepedia in other ways in various projects. The heart of democratic systems lies in the public debate forum, and students need to understand their power as informed contributors to these. Collectively created knowledge is a pathway we should all be on as learners,and your site allows us to contribute. It engenders positive human connection and facilitates human potential. I greatly appreciate the time and energy you've devoted to building this really terrific, engaging resource and learning tool.

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