The projects depicted on this website are a result of work that started in 1998 in the West Hawaii Complex Area of the Big Island of Hawaii. Seven years later, the work continues to evolve and develop to meet the needs of English second language learners (ESLL) in the schools.

The projects were spearheaded by the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) West Hawaii ESLL Program.

Several organizations have partnered with the ESLL program and provided support. Key partners include the following:
Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL)
Honolulu Theatre for Youth
Center for Language Minority Education and Research (CLMER)
Migrant Education Program

Federal, state, and local grants have helped provide funding over the years. The Regional Technology in Education Consortium (R*TEC) grant and the Hawaii Schools Digital Media Initiative have helped support the technology and parent/community involvement work. The Artists in the School grant has helped support the drama education work. The Compact of Freely Associated States grant to the HIDOE has supported both efforts.

While many people have contributed in various ways to this project, we would like to acknowledge the following individuals who have provided leadership and sustained the project throughout:

Precille Boisvert, ESLL Resource Teacher, HIDOE West Hawaii ESLL program
Yolanda Ronquillo, Community Development & Equity Specialist, Wexford Waialoha Inc./CLMER
Kavita Rao, Educational Technology Specialist, PREL
Daniel A. Kelin, II, Director of Drama Education, Honolulu Theatre for Youth
Arlene Pilapil, School Home Assistant, HIDOE
Gabriella LoCoCo, School Home Assistant, HIDOE
Shem Mito, School Home Assistant, HIDOE
Elizabeth Kilpatrick, ESLL and Technology Specialist

In addition, we would like to thank the West Hawaii District administrators who have supported the growth of this project. These administrators include Alvin Rho, former West Hawaii Complex Area Superintendent, and Sandra Taosaka, School Renewal Specialist for the South Kona Complex of Schools.

The ESLL program teachers in each of the West Hawaii schools have provided tremendous support by helping to organize the workshops and supporting ESLL students to use the strategies learned through these projects. We would like to thank these dedicated teachers who help ESLL students learn every day.




    Background to the Projects: Community Learning Technology Centers

    The Multimedia section of this website reflects work that started at the Community Learning Technology Centers (CLTCs). In the past seven years, the work has expanded from three original school sites to most schools in West Hawaii.
    (The West Hawaii District serves students who live on the west side of the Big Island of Hawaii, from Paauilo on the Hamakua coast to Milolii in the south.)

    The original CLTCs, based at Konawaena High School, Kealakehe High School, and Holualoa Elementary, were set up in 1998. These centers included a dedicated classroom at Konawaena High School and computer laboratories in the other two schools, Each center received donations of refurbished computers for the use of ESLL program students, teachers, parents, and community members. The goal of these centers was to create a sense of community amongst ESLL program students and the adults who support them, with the intention of creating a space for shared learning and to advance academic achievement for the students. Periodic workshops at the CLTCs brought together students, teachers, families, and community members for computer skill development with a focus on building literacy skills. The work continues today.

    Grounded in theories of community learning and critical pedagogy, the workshops at the CLTCs and in diverse school settings emphasize the use of technology as a creative tool that gives people voice. Based on the “Cultural Paths to Knowledge” work of Dr. Yolanda Ronquillo, students and teachers learn how to explore their strengths and share their stories using multimedia technologies. Students are encouraged to develop a sense of agency and voice by authoring their own multimedia projects, including elements of their cultural backgrounds as much as possible. The CLTCs provide a home base, a place of belonging for students to converge during the school day and to become proficient in using technology innovatively. After school, the centers are used by parents and community members for computer literacy classes.

    The activities at the original CLTCs have been successfully replicated at several intermediate and elementary schools without the physical space of an actual center. While Konawaena High School still has an actual classroom where students can converge and use computers, virtual centers have been created at other schools by utilizing existing school computer labs, library computers, and mobile laptops. As a result, ESLL program students, parents, and teachers in schools throughout the West Hawaii District have been able to participate in workshops based on the Cultural Paths to Knowledge principles of community learning, literacy development, and technology use.

    In June 2003, with support from the HIDOE and Wexford Waialoha Inc., PREL developed and implemented a professional development course to teach teachers and community members the strategies for digital storytelling and multimedia authoring used with students in these workshops.

    In 2003, a Konawaena Middle School ESLL student gained recognition with his iMovie, winning an honorable mention in the HIDOE statewide Island Movie contest. This is just one of the many successes we see with ESLL program students who are part of the CLTC workshops. While others do not demonstrate such a high profile, ESLL program students have been contributing to a variety of digital storytelling projects through these workshops, learning important language arts and technology skills while engaged in Cultural Paths to Knowledge strategies. The results of this work with students can be seen in the sample projects on the Multimedia page of this website.


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