Join a Project

Join a Project

We would love for you to join us!  If you have any interest in joining any of the projects below, please contact us at marybaker@niu.edu.

Project

Ways to Get Involved

21st Century Skills

The 21st Century Skills project includes videos that demonstrate examples of how students attain these skills in the classroom. We also have resources to help families continue building these skills with their children.

Students

  • Use the cool tools we describe on this site to design interesting projects.
  • Work with the Virtual Studio to collaborate, create, and share projects with one another to build these skills.

Parents & Community

  • Use our resources to work with children and teens to build these skills.

Current and Future Educators

  • Tell us how you are emphasizing 21st Century skills in your classroom.

ACT Preparation

The VLS is working with Rockford Public Schools to find new and innovative ways to improve students' ACT scores, including online activities. The ACT Prep site provides information about the test, links to free ACT preparation materials, utilizes ACT practice tests, connects with NIU's ACT prep classes, and includes valuable tips from recent high school graduates.

Students

  • Use our ACT site resources to learn about the test and get practice.
  • Work with our eTutoring program to enhance your skills in areas covered on the ACT.

Parents & Community

  • Use our ACT resources to get information on the test and to help your children prepare for the test.

Current and Future Educators

  • Use our resources to help your students prepare for the ACT. 
  • Partner with us to provide ACT prep to your students.

Common Core

We are working to equip teachers and teacher candidates with the information and resources needed to implement the Illinois Common Core curriculum while integrating technology into teaching and learning. The CCTI project provides the key ingredients of effective technology integration and multidisciplinary learning in face-to-face, hybrid, and virtual educational settings.

Students

  • Use the cool tools we describe on this site to design interesting projects.
  • Work with the Virtual Studio and eTutoring projects to build literacy skills.

Parents & Community

  • Use our resources to work with children and teens to boost literacy skills.

Current and Future Educators

  • Use our resources to enhance your students’ literacy skills.
  • Tell us how you are integrating the Common Core in your classroom.

eTutoring

The goal of eTutoring is to pair K-12 students with eTutors to help the students receive individualized sessions that focus on literacy skills. The eTutors are NIU teacher candidates who are trained to deliver quality tutoring services using innovative technology solutions.

Students

  • Work with eTutoring to get the individualized help you want.
  • Serve as an eTutor to help others.

Parents & Community

  • Use our resources to work with children and teens to enhance their learning.

Current and Future Educators

  • Partner with us to get eTutoring services for your students.
  • If you have students interested in working as eTutors, please contact us.

Teen Read SciFi Club

The STEM Teen Read chooses science fiction books with a basis in hard science, technology, engineering, or math. Teens read the book on their own or with their library groups and then meet at NIU to discuss the science behind the fiction with experts in related fields. The program includes a virtual book club that uses online discussions, expert videos, interactive games, and creative writing projects to help students improve reading, comprehension, and science literacy skills.

Students

  • Get exposed to interesting books, websites, and videos.
  • Discuss interesting scifi concepts with peers with similar interests.
  • Get involved in our events and have fun!

Parents & Community

  • Use our resources to work with teens to enhance their learning and boost their literacy skills.
  • Attend our free events and meet other parents with children who have similar interests.

Current and Future Educators

  • Partner with us to get Teen Read integrated into your classroom.
  • If you have students interested in being part of Teen Read, please contact us.

Virtual Studio

The Virtual Studio is a virtual learning community that integrates visual art and technology to meet the Common Core, English Language Arts, and Illinois Social Emotional Learning Standards for K-12 learners. The space is designed to remove the barriers to allow students to become more engaged and reflective on their own literacy skills and social-emotional development.  Our goal is to help students build their self-confidence in their writing and multimedia creation abilities, as well as their communication with others. Students can collaborate in community-based art and literacy projects and can share and discuss their productions with one another. 

Students

  • Use our resources to produce creative work.
  • Collaborate with creative peers to produce fantastic art, multimedia work, writing, and to discuss ideas.
  • Get involved in our projects and events and have fun!

Parents & Community

  • Use our resources to work with children and teens to enhance their learning and boost their literacy skills.

Current and Future Educators

  • Partner with us to get the Virtual Studio integrated into your classroom.
  • If you have students interested in being part of the Virtual Studio, please contact us.