Project Management for Educators

1. Project Management Document

  1. Why is this project needed? This project will help students discover the importance of the food chain and biomes.
  2. What is this project about? (a brief description) Students will get into groups of about six people per group. Each group will receive a “letter” from the city environmental department describing the sudden problematic mosquito infestation near at pond which is near a subdivision. The students must research to find what could be causing the sudden influx, and then must come up with environmentally safe ways to try and combat the overabundance of mosquitos.
  3. What is the goal of this project? To help students understand what a delicate system biomes are and how the food chain helps to maintain biomes and the environment.
  4. What will be the end results of the project? (the “deliverables” in business terms) The students will present a report of their findings and theories as to why this phenomenon has occurred. They must also present their ideas for dealing with the problem.
  5. What will this project not do, even if it could be done easily? It will not be a rote memorization project on what makes up each biome or drawing a food cycle.
  6. What type of project is this? (inquiry, design, debate, expression; prescriptive exploratory; or a combination) This project is inquiry based.
  7. What is the driving question, problem, issue or personal perspective that motivates the work in this project? The driving question is how can the influx of mosquitoes harm the environment, and what can be done to solve it?
  8. When will the project need to be completed? This project will be done over the course of a week.
  9. Where will the project be done? The project will be done both in class and at home if more time is needed.
  10. What resources are needed to successfully compete the project? (equipment, tools materials, funding, technology, online resources, books, etc.) Students will use their ipads for internet research. They will also need access to a computer, printer, and paper to produce their report.
  11. How will the project be evaluated? (quality of the project work and end results, the learning outcomes, the effectiveness of the project methods) The project will be evaluated on their correctness of biome and feasibility of their solutions.
  12. What risks are involved in the project? (events or conditions that may delay or impact project work) Time could be a big factor if for some reason they are not able to connect with the resources they need to do their research. If there is someone on the team not pulling their weight that could lead to time management issues as well as personality and congeniality issues within the group dynamic.

2. Team Agreement Document

  • Who will be involved in the project, and what is each person’s role or roles? Students will be involved in the project. There must be a project manager who is in charge of making sure everyone is doing the job assigned. There will also be researchers, statistician, and a person or persons who is the presenter.
  • What are each team member’s strengths, expertise and preferences? The project manager must be someone who is able to get along, lead, delegate, keep up with progress and hold group meeting. The researchers must have good internet skills and be able to understand the difference between reliable and unreliable sources. Each students in the group will be a researcher. The statistician must be someone who is very capable in math to double check any computations that are needed. The presenters must be able to speak in front of a group with confidence.
  • How and how often will the project team communicate with each other? They should communicate daily to recap on where they are in the project.
  • How will outside experts, coaches and advisors be used in the project? If possible, an environmentalist would be a good person to bring in and discuss with the students how important a proper balance of different environmental variables are in maintaining the environment.
  • How will decisions be made? An outside group (parents, other teachers, administrators, and environmentalists) will be brought in for the presentations and their input will be taken into consideration over the different proposals.
  • How will project changes be handled? The project manager will go back to the group and changes will be discussed.
  • How will disagreements be resolved? If disagreements can not be managed by the project manager or the group in itself, the teacher will step in to resolve the issues.

3. WorkPlan Document

  • A list of project deadlines for each phase of the project work (when each of the Define, Plan, Do and Review phases should be completed) Day 1: Define.    Day 2:  Plan.  Day  3: Plan.  Day 4: plan.  Day 5:  Do.
  • A list of project tasks in the order they need to be performed: Students will be assigned a powerpoint to watch at home to introduce the topic of food chains and biomes to give them prior knowledge. 1. The problem will be presented and students will have their roles assigned to them. 2. Research of the problem will begin.  3. Once a consensus about the origin of the problem is reached within the group, they will plan their solution for the problem. 4. Once a solution has been decided on, the group will begin to work on their presentation. 5. The group will present their findings and prospective solutions to individuals outside of the classroom.
  • The project owners for each of the tasks: will be the students
  • The resources needed for each task (materials, tools, funding, expert advice, etc.) They will each use their iPads to help with researching, a computer for their presentation, possibly the use of the SmartBoard if they choose to use a visual presentation. A printer for printing out their report. Possibly and environmentalist to act as yet another resource for information.
  • Time schedules for each of the tasks (start and finish dates) Since I do not have “dates” I am estimating 6 days to complete the project. Day 1: Introduction of the project  Day 2-4: Research and gathering their information. Day 5: Creating their presentation. Day 6: Presenting their findings to a “committee” of administrators, other teachers, and subject matter experts.

Module 2 Forum “Levels of Edit”

After reading through the article, the main idea that I took away was the different levels and different types of editing for different types of writing. The type of editing that I have done throughout my college and professional career has been a screening edit. When having my paper checked by my self or someone else, the things checked were mainly surface items. Spelling, grammar, and overall content were the main focus.

The interpretation of my written work and competence  by a reader will depend a great deal on the type of writing that is being presented. I may be off here, but from what I gathered, the more professional the writing, the more in depth the editing should be. When I say professional writings, I mean anything from a cookbook to a textbook. If I need to relay to the reader that I am a subject area expert, then a level 1 edit would be needed to double check all aspects of the paper from the mechanics to the integrity of the writing.  If there are mistakes, even minor ones, it chips away at the validity of the piece and in turn my validity as an expert.

The appropriate “level of edit” for grant writing depends on the type of grant presented. A stay at home mother applying for a mini grant to help pay for home schooling may only require a level 4 or 5 edit. However, for a grant that is requesting a large amount for funding, may require a more in depth level of edit. Don’t misunderstand here, I don’t think it is not as simple as the more money asked for, the more in depth the level of edit. I think that all grant proposals, no matter the amount, should be written in the most professional way possible. I am just not sure all need to be a level 1 edit.

Another important aspect to take into consideration is the “audience analysis”. What type of corporation or specific group is being approached for funding. If a grant proposal is being presented to a local business or agency for a mini loan, a level 1 edit may not be necessary. If, however, it is being presented to a large corporation that receives multiple grant proposals, the more in depth the edit, the more competent the grant proposal.

Time is money for many of these larger companies and foundations. In the article, it discussed how much time and effort are saved for the editor (or reader) if the item presented is correct the first time. I believe, after reading the article, that the more in depth the edit, the more professional the grant proposal, and a better chance for funding.