Parents of HSTE Students

This year at Hereford High School, your student who is enrolled in Health Science Technology classes will be participating in a new project called The HSTE Project. The HSTE Project is a project- based learning concept that will focus on creating small projects, wikispaces, webpages, podcasts, videocasts, digital storytellingand other methods using Web 2.0 tools and technologies to learn the concepts of Health Science.

The curriculum will be developed mostly by the students themselves, within the guideilnes set forth in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for their specific class and under my direction and the direction of our HSTE Project Manager, Assistant Project Managers, Class Leaders and Team Leaders. Your student may be assigned as one of the HSTE Project Leaders or to a team which will collaborate, or work together to develop small projects to be included as part of the overall HSTE Project effort. Your student will be using computers and technology to learn about technology in the health care field, health care careers, medicine and health science.

We will spend most of the first six weeks this year focusing on the Web 2.0 Tools that we will be using and making our initial small projects. We will also spend time learning Digital Citizenship, Digital Etiquette or Netequette, Safe Digital Social Networking Skills, The HSTE Student Code of Conduct, The HISD Acceptable Use of Computers and Networks Policy and Cyberbullying. I encourage you to talk to your student about using the computer, internet, social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook that they may use to communicate with their friends in a safe manner.

Teaching your student the "Right Way" and "Wrong Way" to use the internet, blogs, wikis, email and Social Networking websites is very important today. Many students use the internet to communicate with their friends. Popular sites such as Facebook or Myspace are used by many students on a daily basis. The majority of students also have cell phones and text message or instant message (IM) their friends. So part of what we want to teach in The HSTE Project is how properly use technology and Social (Educational) Networking tools safely and effectively.

If you are not familiar with these social networking sites that your student uses, I encourage you to learn about them, visit your students social network pages on a regular basis to see if your student is safe on the internet. As a parent myself of children who use social networking sites I know that I want to do everything I can to ensure that my children are safe online. I feel it is important to include this in our classroom. If you are not familiar with these, I would be happy to help you learn how to keep up with your students online activities. I will try to plan an evening where I will invite the parents of the HSTE students to learn about social networking sites.

We will be working with two main online sources for our work: The HSTE Project Wikispace and The HSTE Project Ning, a secure educational social networking site. You will notice that if you try to access the Ning without first requesting membership in the Ning your access will be limited to viewing the site only or you may be denied access altogether. This is one of the great features of a "secure educational networking site". We can control access to who your student will collaborate with within the HSTE Project. If you would like to be part of the Ning, you may sign up and wait for me to approve you or you can let me know by email and I will send you an invitation to join.

HOSA and the HSTE Parents Group
As part of the HSTE program at Hereford High School, your student will have many opportunities to participate in activities outside of the classroom. HOSA or Health Occupations Students Association is our student organization. Your student will have the opportunity to participate in HOSA if he or she would like to. In January, we will travel to El Paso, Texas to compete at the Area 4 HOSA competition and in April, if we have any students advance to the State HOSA competition, we will travel to Corpus Christi, Texas.

In order to provide these opportunities it would be very helpful if our HSTE Parents would come together and help us as sponsors, fund raisers and advisers to make these opportunities possible. We will send you a postcard, email or call you on the telephone to let you know when we will meet to start planning for the 2008-2009 school year.

This year will be a challenging and exciting one for everyone involved in Health Science Technology classes at Hereford High School. If you have any questions or would like to contact me, please feel free to. My contact information is:

John Peters, EMT-LP
Hereford High School
703 Grand Avenue
612 CT&E Building
Hereford, TX 79045
(806) 363-7704 office
Twitter: johnpeters
Skype: johnpeters1959
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