Training Teachers in Wireless Technology
Funded entirely by voluntary contributions, The ARRL Teachers Institute in Wireless Technology (TI) is an in-residence learning opportunity designed for motivated teachers and other school staff who want to learn more about wireless technology and bring that knowledge to their students.
A variety of topics are covered during the 5 days of the TI including basic wireless technology literacy, electronics and the science of radio; bringing space and weather into the classroom; ham radio operation; introduction to micro controllers; and basic robotics.
The goal of the TI program is to equip each teacher with necessary fundamental knowledge, and through hands-on learning, generate the inspiration for teachers to continue to explore wireless technology and adapt relevant content into their classroom instruction.
Each Teachers Institute agenda is tailored to meet the needs of the participating teachers.
Examples of activities that teachers, who have participated in the Teachers Institute, have initiated upon return to their classrooms:
- Using weather imagery gathered by the students for environmental studies
- Using TV remotes to control simulated “smart homes”
- Radio Direction Finding (RDF) activities to study how naturalists track wildlife
- School competitions during the ARRL School Club Round-up, a nationwide ham radio contest for school radio clubs
- Geography lessons using QSL card (postcards collected from ham contacts around the world)
- A school wide space exploration curriculum including radio stations to receive signals from space and participation in the NASA Explorer School Program
- Radio contacts between participating schools
- Using radio in ESL classrooms to listen to live broadcasts from countries that use the languages as their native tongue
Comments from past Teachers Institute participants:
- “Now I feel I can explain enough to get the students started with a good foundation.”
- “Excellent way to offer a lot of great training in a short period of time.”
- “I am going to recommend all our science teachers attend next year – 4 of them.“
- “This is one of the most useful workshops/courses that I have had the pleasure of attending in my 30 years of teaching in public education. This type of workshop is just not available to the regular education instructor through normal channels within their school districts.”
- “They were much better than any other teaching institute I’ve attended. They were informative, motivational, and fun.”
- “The TI was extraordinary – I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and I know my students will benefit immeasurably as a result of this week.”
Thanks to ARRL member support, the ARRL Teachers Institute opportunities are virtually free for the participants. The grant to attend a TI covers transportation, hotel, a modest per-diem to cover meals, instructional resources for the electronics, microcontroller and robotics segments of the course, and a resource library of relevant ARRL publications.
Application to attend a Teachers Institute:
Teachers send a letter on school letterhead, signed by the teacher and a school administrator, stating that they would like to attend and the dates they would like to attend in order of preference to Mark Spencer, WA8SME the Education & Technology Program Coordinator. The applications are accepted on a first come-first served basis, and with a class limit of 12 for each TI.