Marie Sontag has a BA in Social Science, a Masters in Instructional Technology, and is currently completing her Doctorate in Instructional Design for Online Learning. She currently teaches 6th grade at Union Middle School in San Jose, CA. Her passion is to make learning a joy for all students, while maintaining rigorous content standards and facilitating students’ ability to develop higher-order thinking skills. Her second passion is to help other teachers integrate technology into their curriculum. To that end, she currently serves on the board of Silicon Valley’s iCUE, and presents workshops at various educational technology conferences. These have included workshops for the California League of Middle Schools conferences throughout California, as well as in Hawaii. She has also presented at CUE (Computer Using Educators), iCUE Silicon Valley, RAFT (Resource Area for Teachers), and Syllabus 2000 conferences.
The Aeneid Rome KaMOO
Student involvement in this project has shown that it fosters excitement and engagement for students with the content as well as with the technology, regardless of their previous exposure or enthusiasm for language arts, history, or technology. The interactive nature of the project stimulates students’ parallel processing cognitive strategies, and taps into their social networking abilities. The “gaming” environment provides students with intrinsic motivation to understand the story of the Aeneid, as well as the historical and social environment in which the story takes place. Students take ownership of vocabulary used in the text as they interact with one another through the medium of the characters. Because the project taps into students’ cognitive and social connectedness schemas, students are better able to facilitate the transfer of concepts such as fate, right vs. might, art reflecting culture vs. art influencing culture.