BatesConnect – About

Zachary Anderson '19 of Rochester, N.Y., partnering with the Lewiston Public Schools, has a STA/RT project title of "ELL Department." He's researching best practices for creating an accessible website for Lewiston's ELL program. He is working with ELL program director to determine what materials should be included in a website and hopes to create a website prototype. Photographed with Said Shaleh, community relations coordinator for the Lewiston Public Schools, and the ELL Instructional Coach Christina, whose last name can't be used for personal security reasons.They were photographed in Christina's office in the Dingley Building at 36 Oak Street in Lewiston, outside of which Zach is posing.

With support from the Bonner Foundation, Harward Center staff collaborated with Bates professor Andrew Mountcastle (Biology), as well as IT colleagues from the College, to develop an online platform — BatesConnect — that gives local K-12 teachers easy access to educational resources created by Bates students. These resources are typically created by students as part of their coursework and take a variety of forms. Student-created learning tools are presented on BatesConnect according to academic field, K-12 grade level, and kind of resource. Teachers from all disciplines can peruse the site and select desired products to augment their curriculum. Some learning tools will eventually take the form of in-person visits by Bates students — for example, presentations, performances, and demonstrations that teachers can request for their classroom. For now, all BatesConnect resources are digitally accessible tools such as short videos, narrated powerpoint presentations, and whiteboard and stop animation videos, which teachers can access at any time. To learn more about BatesConnect, please see the FAQ section below.

Local K-12 educators were early collaborators on the BatesConnect concept and design, and they continue to be important partners in the initiative. BatesConnect will enter a pilot phase during the Fall 2020 semester. Please stay tuned for updates as this project unfolds.

BatesConnect: Frequently Asked Questions

What is BatesConnect? 

BatesConnect is an online platform that connects K-12 teachers in the Lewiston/Auburn community with educational activities or tools created by Bates students. Learning tools are typically created by Bates students as part of their coursework and take a wide variety of forms. Most BatesConnect learning modules will be relatively short: 5-15 minute learning modules that K-12 teachers can incorporate into their own instruction on a topic. The BatesConnect website lists learning tools according to academic field and anticipated K-12 grade level, and teachers from all disciplines are able to peruse the site and select resources to augment their curriculum.

How does BatesConnect work?

Faculty members include an assignment in their course that invites their students to use course-based knowledge and skills to develop a learning activity or resource aimed at a segment of the K-12 population. Students submit their learning tools to their Bates professor for evaluation as they would any other assignment. They also submit them to BatesConnect via a simple Google Form that allows attachments. Submitted learning tools are reviewed for possible inclusion on BatesConnect; if approved, learning tools are activated on BatesConnect, which is searchable by K-12 teachers.

What kinds of student work are well-suited to the BatesConnect platform? 

Bates students can create a range of learning tools. In non-pandemic times, some will involve in-person visits by Bates students to particular classrooms—for example, to make a presentation, perform a skit, or demonstrate an experiment. Other learning tools (and all tools designed for use during the COVID-19 pandemic) will involve online delivery and access that K-12 teachers can use at any time with their students. These could be narrated powerpoint presentations, short videos, or documents containing information, activities, and links for learning about a particular topic. Teachers can search for both in-person and online resources on BatesConnect, either submitting a request for an in-person activity or downloading an online activity of interest. Students may find these resources of interest as they develop their learning tools:

What role does the Bates faculty member play?

The faculty member works in consultation with Harward Center staff to develop a course assignment that is designed both to help their students achieve desired learning outcomes and to align with one or more of Maine’s K-12 learning standards. The faculty member evaluates their students’ work as always. In addition to submitting their work to their faculty member, students also upload their work to their course’s BatesConnect Google Form. The faculty member informs Harward Center staff about any student work they deem unworthy of being added to BatesConnect, and that work is not added to the site.

Who determines which student resources will be included on BatesConnect?

While every student in a course may develop resources for BatesConnect, faculty and Harward Center staff ultimately decide which tools merit inclusion on the site. Faculty are in the best position to determine the quality and accuracy of student work; Harward Center will ensure that resources are suitably aligned with K-12 learning standards and local needs. Students reserve the right not to give permission for their work to be shared on the platform (though not to determine whether or not to submit their assigned work).

Who has access to student work products? 

BatesConnect is a resource provided to K-12 educators in the Lewiston-Auburn area, which includes public school staff, preschool and after-school program staff, and public library staff. It is possible the service will eventually be shared with a wider audience, but for the foreseeable future it is limited to local educators.

How are student permissions solicited and granted?

Students complete a Student Profile, Permissions, and Submission Form where they grant or deny permission for their learning resource to be uploaded to BatesConnect and determine how long it can remain on the site. 

How should student-created learning tools be submitted?

Students submit their work via the Student Profile, Permission, and Submission Form, which their professor shares with them. 

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Email questions to Darby Ray or Ellen Alcorn at the Bates College Harward Center for Community Partnerships.