If you have any problems, Frank
Rodgers (CI's Education/Outreach Director) can be reached at home
after hours at 304-258-7657.
Oh Deer! Environmental Forum, Monday,
October 12 to Friday, November 20, 2009
Oh Deer! Forum Section
It's Your eForum
too - Teacher Suggestions.
Please ask students to take the
survey before they begin.
Why we ask for
Control Codes on forms
Crafting the Perfect POV.
When the eForums conclude . . .
Questions Form - Getting it Right.
eForum Lesson Plan
(you can also reach lesson plans through
the Teacher's Room)
OH Deer! eForum 2009 emails.
Cacapon Institute's challenge in conducting Environmental Forums and
other Potomac Highlands Watershed School activities is to provide a
setting where the content is highly relevant to the required curriculum,
where everything a teacher needs can be readily found, and where
everything works. Making everything work can be more difficult than it
appears, because every school system installs filters on their computer
networks to both prevent students from accessing inappropriate material,
and to prevent harm to their computer system from accidental downloading
of malicious software (viruses, spyware, malware, etc.). Because every
school system, possibly even every school, does this differently, it is
our challenge to develop content and processes that work everywhere.
For example, we do not have a required "user name/password" system (the flash
activities have a "visitor's" bypass), we do not post streaming video (although we
would love to), and we take care that eForum activities do not "feel" like a
chat room to school filters that would then kick them off.
How subtle can
the problems be? Pretty subtle. For example, the original file
names for our Flash activities (like Stream Cleaner) included the
word "game." Some systems (one in a Missouri library, one in a WV
school system) had filters that automatically kicked a user who tried to
access these activities off the web because of the word "game"
in the file name. We
learned of the problem because people told us about it.
If you need
something that you can't find, or if something doesn't work for you, we
won't know unless you tell us. So, please, let us know – and we will do
everything in our power to fix it.
It's Your eForum
too - Teacher Suggestions. We
really encourage participating teachers to share their experiences and
offer suggestions. We do listen, and make every effort to respond in a
substantive manner. After all, this is your eForum as much as it is
CI's. Some examples of teacher comments helping shape the eForums:
Laura Picard (Jefferson High, WV)
commented that the SCE Forum was a bit intimidating for her students
because it is “VERY text heavy.” Laura suggested it might “be
easier to have more bookshelves which open to…small chunks of
content”. In response, we added a graphic “book shelf” with
clickable links to act as both a navigational aid and to help
visually break up the text into "chapters." The bookshelf is
repeated at the bottom of every section, and also includes "books"
that take you to the POV posting area, and to the eForum Vocabulary.
The lessons themselves have not changed, and the main content
remains on the eForum's home page to avoid having students get lost
in a maze of links.
Sectional worksheets were
added in 2009 at the request of Brooke Swecker Martin from Turner
Ashby High (VA). They were modeled after worksheets prepared
by yet another teacher, Laura O'Leary (North Hartford High, MD) for
2008's Oh Deer! eForum.
teacher Bill Moore (Hampshire High, WV) developed a new method for
developing consensus that was added to the Teacher's Tip's page .
These are instances where
participating teachers have provided suggestions and examples of how
they use the eForums that have made a material difference in the quality
of the experience.
Please ask students to take the
survey before they begin. The teacher code is optional,
strongly encourage their use. You
may assign a different code as an identifier if you have multiple classes
Why we ask for the
"Control Code" on forms?
Control Codes are assigned by teachers, not CI.
this to prevent mischief by students and by "unauthorized" users. The
potential for mischief is vast, and one of our jobs is to make sure that
none of it makes its way to your school computer screens. For example,
the control code should help deter any temptation students might have
to toy with the survey (for example sign on as a different school and
answer all the questions “wrong”). " We also read every
submittal before manually posting it on the website. With numerous
classes participating, that will keep us plenty
busy during the Thoughtful Questions period.
Crafting the Perfect POV.
should be crisp, concise, and persuasive. The optimum
length for a POV is from 250 to 600 words. Too short
and it cannot adequately cover the material it needs to address.
Too long and it frightens other students away - and the dialogue
When the eForums conclude,
we'll ask participating teachers to fill out a short survey to help us
know what went right, what could use improvement, and how the experience
impacted your view of the use of computers in the classroom. We'll also
schedule a time for a conference call where we can all just informally
talk about it. For example, a conference call following our 2006 Oh
Deer! eForum led to a number of significant changes to the time frame
and to the POV page format.
Questions Form. We simplified the Thoughtful Questions
form in November 2007. However, it is a very good idea
for teachers to run through it with their students one time - there are
six steps and they need to get them right. In
Step 2, "to" - this is who they are
addressing their question or response or statement to - it is not
Step 3, "from" - this is
always the group
that is writing the TQ.
Step 4 – Type of TQ is usually
self-explanatory, but seems to cause difficulties. Please review
the three choices with your students. A question is directed
to someone else's POV. A response is an answer to a question
about their own POV even if their response contains a
question. For example the response is; “Thanks for your question.
What do you think we should do?”. Grammatically that ends in a
question but would be considered a response. A statement,
including rhetorical questions, is an opportunity to express
support, or critique and can be addressed to a whole stakeholder
group or to an individual POV.
Hands-on Projects. For
schools in D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia the SCE Forum,
coupled with a hands-on activity, meets the Meaningful Watershed
Education Experience (MWEE) requirement. We can also support
Oh Deer! related projects if they have a watershed component. The
eForums also help meet 21st Century Learning guidelines. We offer technical and
material resources to help participating schools continue the eForum
lessons by implementing their own watershed stewardship project,
projects like these. Classes might plant a riparian
buffer, establish a watershed friendly schoolyard management plan,
control erosion, or do any number of best management practices (BMP).
Schools don’t need to be near a stream - terrestrial projects like
controlling rooftop and parking lot runoff are also watershed BMPs.
Education and community outreach are important BMPs too, so, if a class
produces posters or flyers we can help with costs and materials.
Top of Page
Oh Deer! Teachers,
In two weeks the dialogue opens for the 2009 Oh Deer! eForum.
Welcome and welcome back to some.
Returning teachers, notice the submission arrangement has changed.
Due to concerns that students who post POV's later receive less
Thoughtful Questions, we are accepting POVs for a full two weeks
before posting TQs. Click on the "Welcome" book in the
eForum to see the new schedule in a timeline.
We will accept, but not post POVs during the first week. During the
second week we will post new POVs nightly. We will not post POVs
received after Friday, October 23rd (unless we receive a special
teacher request). Please emphasize to students the dialogue is NOT
live. They will NOT immediately see their Point Of View papers
appear (we receive multiple, repeat
submission, every year from some no-doubt frustrated students).
They will know their POV was successfully received by us when a
"Congratulations!" webpage appears.
Don't wait till October 12th to start. Take the survey first thing
(you make up the teacher code to assign to students). The lessons
are available now by clicking on the eForum Phone at
www.cacaponinstitute.org/high.htm. If your class comes
upon a good piece of news or information while researching please
let us know. We're happy to post interesting updates and worthwhile
student research to Oh Deer!
We're also happy to update our Google Map in the Welcome section to
add a photo of your class or school and/or additional information
(click on your "school" in the map to see what we have posted).
Director of Education & Outreach
304-856-1385 (Evenings 304-258-7657)
Sorry for a second email in such a short period of time, but I
wanted to make you aware of three resources to help you make the
best use of the forum: section worksheets, the eForum Updates page,
and a video providing an overview of the forums.
Worksheets were added to the SCE Forum last spring at the request of
a Virginia teacher. Those worksheets were intended to help students
focus on key information (at least information CI considers
particularly important), not restrict the range of any student
research. I just uploaded section worksheets to the Oh Deer!
For your students, the worksheets are a click away as html popups
from the eForum's main page, directly under section headings.
For teachers, we have PDF versions of these worksheets and answer
sheets for your students (if you wish to use them) downloadable from
the eForum lesson plan, and also posted to the eForum Updates
page. We'll email answer keys
to you shortly.
The eForum Updates page is reached by clicking on the link on the
back wall of the Teacher's Room (http://www.cacaponinstitute.org/teachers.htm).
This page includes topical information, as well as copies of all
communications we send during the active forum.
Frank produced a 6-minute, video overview of the eForum process.
You can find it embedded in the
Plan, and also at the top of the eForum Information and
Signup Page. For new teachers, this might help you get oriented.
It might also be useful to show this to your class.
As always, your suggestions regarding any or all of these tools are
welcome. Every year, teacher input - such as the worksheet
idea - helps make the forums better.
Oh Deer! Teachers,
We look forward to everyone's participation and are pleased to see
students doing the surveys before beginning the Oh Deer! lessons
(teachers make up and assign the code for their own class).
Four important reminders as students begin submitting Point Of Views.
1. POVs are submitted as a TEAM. We recommend four to six students per
stakeholder team. We do not have the organizational capacity to
accommodate hundreds of individual POVs. (One of the most popular
is to have each student draft their personal POV. These can be use for
grading and to assign students to a group where they aggregate
individual POVs into a stakeholder team POV.)
2. SUBMIT ONLY ONCE. Entries are moderated so their Point Of View and
Thoughtful Questions will NOT appear till the next day at the earliest
(not till Monday 10/19 for the first week's POVs).
3. They will only have ONE CHANCE to submit their stakeholder team name,
no changes will be possible. It will show exactly as they type it in
4. Student names will NOT be allowed (e.g. The John, Ringo, Paul, and
George Singers would be changed to "The JRPG Singers".)
To encourage original thought we disabled the archive links to previous
Oh Deer! FYI, here are the links if you would like to share your
previous classes' performance or see how a completed dialogue looks.
For more teacher tips please see
Subject: Oh Deer! eForum 2009 Thoughtful Questions
The Thoughtful Question forum will be open Monday (10/26).
Please, please, read these rules with your students before they start on
Thoughtful Questions. We expect hundreds of TQs so we need your help in
controlling the submission process. First, TQs are a stakeholder team
process; individual students are discouraged from sending in TQs. A
team might assign individuals to "cover a beat", that is one watches the
another watches the hunters, etc. They should all suggest ideas but
ultimately their team's TQs should come from a pool of ideas.
There are six steps they MUST get correct for us to post their TQ.
Step 1. "Enter your class Control Code:" Created and assigned by the
Step 2. "TO": This information is the key to where their comment will
appear on the eForum webpage. Students should think of it as a mailing
address; if it is wrong their comment will be undeliverable or appear in
the wrong place. Students should choose a stakeholder group name from a
dropdown list that corresponds with the group they are addressing.
Unbelievably, some students choose their own name for "to". In that
case their TQ (intended for someone else) appears under their own
stakeholder Point Of View.
Step 3. "FROM" : Students should pick their own name from a dropdown
list. This is ALWAYS their own stakeholder name. The "from"
stakeholder name must match up with the teacher's control code. If
students from one class (as identified by the control code) pick a
stakeholder group name from another class, they may be spoofing another
group and misrepresenting themselves and their TQ may be discarded.
Step 4 . "Pick one": The type of TQ is EXTREMELY important because it,
along with the to/from allows us to properly place the TQ on the eForum
webpage. "Questions" and "Statement" TQs will appear under the "to"
stakeholder's POV. "Response" will appear under the "from"
stakeholder's POV. Incorrectly identifying their TQ causes major delays
and may cause their TQ to be discarded or appear in the wrong place on
the eForum webpage.
a.. "Question" indicates they are engaging another stakeholder group
for more information, clarification, or a challenge.
b.. "Response" indicates they are answering a question put to THEIR
own stakeholder group. If they choose "respond" the TQ will appear
under the "from" stakeholder (their own) POV. Even if their answer
grammatically includes a question it is a NOT a "question"; for example,
"Thanks for your question. What do you think we should do?" is a
response. It is incorrect to choose "respond" when addressing someone
else's POV (i.e. it is WRONG to think "We should respond to that POV").
In short, response is only used to answer a question put to their OWN
c.. "Statement" indicates they are commenting on someone else's POV.
Statements will appear under the "to" stakeholder group's POV.
Statements, including rhetorical questions, are an opportunity to
express support, or critique, individual POVs or address an entire group
of stakeholders (i.e. farmers, hunters, forester, etc).
These rules can be found by clicking on eForum Updates at
Oh Deer! Teachers,
As we see each year, contraception is a hot topic. While Cacapon
does not take a position on his work; we want to make you aware of Dr.
Kirkpatrick. He does not contend that contraception alone can solve the
deer population problem; but, he was so frustrated by the outright
of contraception as a tool that he did a lecture tour of PA in 2008
sponsored by the Oxford Center for Animal Ethics. It is his opinion
"There have been many other deer contraceptive projects, conducted by
government agencies (USDA) and academic institutions and proprietary
companies, but none have been conducted longitudinally, over long
time, and at the population level." He speaks as a scientific
calling for more study.
A letter from Dr. Kirkpatrick replying to Jerry Feaser, Press Secretary
the PA Game Commission is available at:
From PA Game: "the choice is clear: hunting costs communities nothing,
is the best option when compared to an unproven, experimental procedure
is cost prohibitive"
From Dr. Kirkpatrick: "Mr. Feaser's letter is a masterpiece of
misinformation and dissembling. First, he makes no distinction between
urban/suburban deer and rural deer and the contraceptive technology,
was developed only for deer herds where traditional management methods
not deemed legal, wise, safe or publicly acceptable. The failure to make
this clear at the outset pits the hunting community against the broad
concept of management by contraception."
An interesting, and entertaining, read that is right on point in a
discussion of understanding stakeholders is his article
contraception: the seven stages of grief" (784KB, PDF)
(The Wildlife Society Bulletin
1997) where he describes his experiences with town hall meetings.
If you can access YouTube, a 10 minute video of his lecture in
A 3-1/2 minute short of the same:
Oh Deer! Teachers,
We’re in the final
week of Thoughtful Questions. Over the weekend we posted questions
to all POVs that had not received feedback from other students.
That is a first for us; in the past we left all the dialogue to the
students with few exceptions. We made an exception this year
because we wanted to be sure the Kemp Landing 6th graders
had an opportunity for dialogue. This week, please have students
take a final look under their own POV to be sure they have answer
all questions and/or addressed statements to them. Today and
tomorrow are the last days for new questions. From the 18th
on the TQ form will remain available for students to make closing
statements and respond to questions put to their team.
consensus papers are welcome any time via email. We also welcome
individual student comments about the process or narratives about
how the class handled Oh Deer! (likes, dislikes, etc.).
Please finish with
the students taking the Pre/Post Survey again.
As we enter the final, and most difficult, Classroom Consensus
phase of the
2009 Oh Deer! eForum we what to recognize the insightful POVs.
express our appreciation to the students for their POVs and the
excellent questions and statements. The strong point of views,
lively questions, suggest that the Classroom Consensus process
equally lively, and we look forward to your outcomes.
Over the years teachers have shared how they managed this phase
so we are
able to offer four methods of approaching Classroom Consensus:
Bowl, Post A POV, The Big Election, and a Survey Based
approach. (Click on
the eForum Updates in the Teachers' Lounge or follow this link
Please share your experience with us. If any students want to
short film of the class in action (~5 min.), we will do our best
to post the
video as a reference for future classes. We have a growing
library of short
films at on our Projects Page.
Don't forget, thanks to NOAA, Virginia Environmental Endowment,
the National Fish and Wildlife and MARPAT Foundations, and our
support, Cacapon Institute has material and technical resource
hands-on follow up project based on Oh Deer! (e.g. a bumper
driving contest, forest study, reforestation or forest
package, tree planting, etc.) Email us with ideas and we may be
supply funding or materials. We invite you to see what other
done on our Hands-On Projects webpage (click on the Projects
blue print in
the e-classroom or go to:
In order to justify the cost of developing, maintaining, and
eForums, it is important for us to know how you used the eForum
class to teach required curriculum, to know what standards it
to have feedback on how it worked for you. Participating
always been our partners in making our offerings more effective,
encourage any comments, positive and negative, that you wish to
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