Saturday, December 13, 2008

Arbor Heights - give back from the Net

If Arbor Heights Elementary School's activities on the Internet have made a difference to you over the past 15 years, please consider sending a short note our way. We are compiling thoughts from educators around the world to present to our school board as they think about whether they should keep our school open or close it forever. A few highlights from our Internet history:
  • it was the 9th elementary school in the world with a website
  • the website appeared in Bill Gates' bestseller "The Road Ahead".
  • it founded and still coordinates The Earth Day Groceries Project, the largest educational activity on the Internet:
  • the website hosts the only complete archive of "The Random Thoughts of Louis Schmier",
  • the website hosts The Jr. Seahawk Newsletter, "The oldest continuously published elementary school student newspaper on the Internet",
  • the website continues to lead in innovation, as it officially converted to a wiki in the summer of 2008 -
If you'd be willing to briefly share how Arbor Heights has made a difference for you, please send an email to me at, leave a comment right here, or leave a comment at Please include your full name, location, and affiliation.

All schools are special, that is a given. I believe Arbor Heights Elementary School stands out in a very unique way. My hope is that it will be preserved in part because of that.

People often talk about giving back to the Net. I suppose this might be giving back from the Net. Thanks in advance! We'll let you know how it turns out. - Mark

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plakboek said...

G'day, we are a secondary school in down-under Australia, located in Clayton South, a suburb in the sprawling city of Melbourne. It is with considerable interest that we read the regular posts about the work by Mark at Arbor Heights. The most engaging thing are the posts about how he has adapted technology and the consideration that is given to how it can best be used and adapted to our lives. He asks the difficult questions to push the limits of thinking and learning whilst embracing technologies such as the OLPC to hold a window to the wider world. Whilst I am fortunate that I can share some of Mark's teaching ideas with my class, of course the really fortunate people are the students at Arbor Heights

Anonymous said...

I am a fifth grade teacher at a 500-student Pre-K through 8th grade school in Fort Myers, Florida. Like Mark, I am always looking for ways to integrate technology into the core curriculum. Technology is wrapped up in almost everything people do on a day-to-day basis; why not use it in education, too?

The way Arbor Heights has done this over the years, and the fact that I, and others, have "found" Arbor Heights and its online contributions via the Internet, speaks volumes about the way Mark and the other educators at this fine school are using technology to communicate your school's mission. In addition, the students of Arbor Heights are getting a still-somewhat-unique opportunity to be on the cutting edge of technology use.

I hope Arbor Heights, which is uniquely situated to carry on a tradition of excellence in educational leadership, can continue to operate as a community-based school (another endangered species) for a long time to come!