About Image

Building Online Learning Communities

By Trena Noval, Barbara Bray
Meet the Authors

"How can best practices be supported in a successful online coaching and mentoring community?"

 Understandings & Objectives

Earn While You Learn, CA

 At A Glance

Powered By


Contact Us

Earn While You Learn, CA

Project Overview

The Foothill College Krause Center for Innovation Earn While You Learn (EWYL) provides K-12 teachers with the opportunity to engage in year-long technology integration staff development. EWYL Fellows are highly trained technology-using teachers who are embarking on the "next step" of integrating technology into their curriculum. This step involves doing collaborative, multi-classroom multi-media projects that are standards-based, have a clear, real-world connection, have multiple formative and summative assessment strategies, use a new or emerging hand-held technology tool, and foster higher-order thinking skills. The EWYL program has been using My eCoach as a place to plan, develop, collaborate and share for the past three years.

Project Outcomes

  • EWYL Fellows use My eCoach to create collaborative, multi-classroom projects that are posted for online for others to share.
  • EWYL Fellows use a handheld technology device (Palm, PDA, cell phone) in the classroom and document itís use to support curriculum and learning.
  • EWYL Fellows studentsí collaborate to explore the curriculum projects developed during this fellowship.

Curriculum Examples

Language Arts

From Dusk to Dawn: Elders Share Their Stories With Middle School Students - Through writing that has been collected by the teacher from a Senior Citizen activity center, Terry Roberts middle school students were assigned to recreate these stories from one of the elder. After writing a rough draft and peer and self-edits, each student put his or her writing into a PowerPoint presentation using appropriate illustrations for the slides which they will gather through clip art, animation, pictures and more. These stories were then copied onto a CDs and given as gifts to the senior they worked with.


Environmental Concerns in the Community - Students from three schools in grades four, five, and eight collaborated to answer the essential question: How do we become aware of local environmental concerns and what can we do to make a difference?

Each class contributed a key component to be shared by all. Fourth graders collected water quality data from a local creek while fifth and eighth graders researched wetland and other environmental problems and wrote persuasive essays that advocate action toward correcting them. Eighth graders composed poems and newspaper articles as well. As the culminating project, the fifth graders will use information from the other two classes to produce radio public service announcements that promote environmental awareness and protection. See some of the student outcomes here


The SVHS Little Theater is the most interesting building at Sonoma Valley High School in Sonoma, California in terms of its geometry. The walls consist of non-rectangular polygons that rarely meet at right angles. Ken Bystrom asked his 8th, 9th, and 10th grade students "How do you find the surface area and volume of this building?"

Geometry of the SVHS Little Theater custom project asks students to work collaboratively and create a scale model of the building, find the surface area and volume of the building and create a multimedia presentation that documents their methods and solutions. What is unique about this project is how he uploaded every resource that his students needed to do the work.

Fine Arts

Stephanie Lewis created this project on ePortfolios: Growing Artists for her high school art students last year and won a large award. Very well deserved! Students use an online tool to map their artistic development throughout their time at Hyde Middle School. This tool allowed students to upload examples of their artwork, describe the work they have created, explain why they made the choices they did, and reflect on whether or not they feel the art was successful.