Eva La Mar,
5th grade teacher at Riverbend Elementary School, Springfield, Oregon
Professional Learning Communities:
Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE), class of 2005
PBS LearningMedia Local Innovative Digital Teacher, class of 2016
Intel Teach to the Future, Senior Trainer (2000-2004)
Adobe Educational Leader, (2002-2006)
University of California at Davis & UCLA, California History Project 1998-2004)
BA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, graduated Magna Cum Laude, earned preliminary teaching credential
Cross-Cultural Language Acquisition and Development (CLAD) specialist, U.C. Davis
MS in Education, specializing in Online Learning and Teaching, Cal State Hayward (now known as CSU East Bay)
Oregon State University and Portland State University, ongoing coursework in science, STEM, and aquatic studies.
- Through Springfield Public Schools: My eva.lamar youtube channel
- Prior to my SPS channel, earlier work is at GeoLitEva
Please SCROLL DOWN for links to video files, images, and webpages.
- Geo-Literacy Project: Utilizing technology tools to collaborate with experts in the field, students document geographic regions, use data with visualization tools to better understand human impact on the land & earth science processes, and to share this information about with the larger community.
- From Our Watershed to YouTube: Focus on earth science processes, global warming, ocean acidification, and water pollution issues. This is project-based learning focused. Students utilize probes and sensors, online ocean temperature sensors, video clips, image collections, and our own collaborative video/image collection to create Public Service Announcements (PSAs). In some PSA’s students engineer realistic tools (ones that parents/family members would actually use and able to create ‘on the fly’) to help prevent pollution, such as creating instant cigarette ash trays out of cups, sand, and pebbles. These PSAs are shared with parents and the community. Through social media parents share these amazing videos out and the positive impact pushes out to the larger community. Students see themselves as ‘agents of change’ within our high-poverty community.
Geo-Literacy Project was originally started in 2002 as a collaboration between small group of teachers in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District. Started by Eva LaMar, we met after school in restaurants, bars, and at our homes to brainstorm and plan.
Linda Ferguson came on board in 2003 and we really took off. As a teacher with amazing webpage development skills in San Juan USD, we quickly had a forum in which to share projects. Linda and I developed “CSI: Cemetery Scene Investigators” and worked with cemetery researches from Willamette University, the Sacramento Cemetery Historical Society, and local historical society groups to organize kid-friendly resources about cemeteries and historical preservation. Students worked with GIS and GPS technology to visualize data from old cemeteries and study patterns of grave locations, cemetery stones/headstones, plant life, and geological shifting (San Francisco-Bay Area earthquake faults as faults move, so do fences, headstones, etc).
Our project soon expanded into working with the b on documenting the newly created Rush Ranch facility. Rush Ranch offered living history events, field trips, Native American interpretive experiences, and much more. Realizing that this project needed skills greater than what our 3rd and 5th graders could do, we quickly found a willing partner in a technology teacher at the high school. His students needed instruction on how to make QuickTime VR rotations (virtual field trip technology of years ago), so I reached out a friend at UC Berkeley, Don Bain. Don was an expert in digital cartography and QuickTime VR and soon had his graduate students offering full-day workshops at the UC Berkeley Campus…..for our students. (Don is now retired and running his own business: Virtualguidebook.com
We were contacted by the George Lucas Educational Foundation and asked if they could follow along on one of our field trips and visit our classroom. Little did I know it was going to turn into two films and a couple of web pages. In the summer 0f 2004 Linda Ferguson and I were invited to write teacher resources for Edutopia. This even included some visits out to Skywalker Ranch!
I continued my interest in geography, technology and learning by joining in with Don Bain’s idea of documenting our geography with QuickTime VR movies. His project developed into an internationally recognized website: The Worldwide Panorama Project. Thousands of interactive (360 degree & full spherical) are available for viewing. I have contributed 12 images to the project over the years.
In 2004 my family and I moved to Oregon and found we loved the outdoors, camping, and everything else that comes with the lush Willamette Valley. In the first four years in Oregon I helped organize and run the Springfield Middle School Laptop Initiative until funding steeply changed with the financial crisis starting in 2008. With that I returned to the classroom as a library specialist and as the TAG coordinator at Riverbend Elementary. My TAG students quickly connected with the Oregon State Parks as the newest park, Thompson’s Mill State Heritage Site, and our students were helping the rangers digitize historical documents, created a virtual tour, and created digital content along with a University of Oregon graduate student. Upon teaching 4th and 5th grade Project Based Learning has been woven into science via the study of water issues. It’s not a fully implemented PBL, but even with a highly modified version, students are excited and highly interested in this student-centered approach to learning.
In 2004, while at a school that embraced PBL, the George Lucas Educational Foundation asked to film my classroom as a model of PBL. We ended up being filmed for two separate projects. Project “Rush Ranch” explored why the historical area called “Rush Ranch” was so important to people over the last 500 years. We started with the Native Americans who lived there seasonlly to the Gold Rush era to modern times. Students divided up their studies into interest areas: Native America houses from the reeds, boat building that needed local reeds, wildlife habitats, advantages to cattle ranching in the area to why preserve the historical area now. We ended up collaborating with high school video students and the University of California at Berkeley. The next project, “CSI: Cemetery Scene Investigators” also came from similar organic roots. The national news had covered the ongoing destruction of local cemeteries by vandals and environmental causes as well as ecological diversity existing in historic cemeteries. Students were hooked! They wanted to know how historical cemeteries were organized, if racism divided cemeteries as it did historical settlements, how plant and animal habitats harmed and benefited old cemeteries, and so much more. This meant we reached out to the local historical society, borrowed GPS units from a local university, learned how to use GIS software to map a cemetery, read old data pages from cemetery logs, how to best identify and document the flora and fauna of the cemeteries, and so more more. Students then presented this information to the local historical society, the cemetery organization, online, and to a variety of regional conferences.
Edutopia: George Lucas Educational Foundation
- Edutopia- Youtube video by Edutopia featuring Mrs. La Mar
- Edutopia Website article about my collaborative Geo-Literacy Project
- Edutopia- Forging New Ground– article about my collaborative project with my elementary school, a local high school, and UC Berkeley’s Cartography Department.
- Edutopia’ Six-Feet-Wonder, Cemetery Scene Investigators (CSI) Problem-Based Learning, article about my classroom project investigating a historic graveyard.
Rock Our World, (ROW) is an internationally collaborative music composition program where classrooms around the world collaboratively compose pieces of music using Garageband. My classroom has participated multiple times and in 2012, Dropbox learned about my classroom and asked if they could film us as a model of 21st Century Learning. When I signed up for ROW my class was placed into a team with schools in 4 other countries. Each week we collected a Garageband file from an organized Dropbox folder and placed it on our own computer. Each week we had a different task, one week it was lay down a drum track (rhythm section). The next week we took the other school’s drum track and added a new track of only string music. We then had to have it ready to hand off to the next school by Friday. On Monday we grabbed our next piece, freshly handed off by the class before us, and added the new requirement. Our requirements ranged from adding vocals, strings section, a non-computerized instrument, to so much more. In the end, there were five complete pieces of music that had been collaboratively composed by our 5 schools. We also had opportunities to video chat, send video clips, create clay animations videos and more with our partner classrooms in Canada, Indonesia, Germany, England, and the United States of America.
Rock Our World
- YouTube video featuring my classroom– Dropbox came and developed a mini-documentary about our involvement in Rock Our World. 2012
From Our Watershed to YouTube (AKA: From our Tank to YouTube)
In “From our watershed to YouTube” students investigate watershed issues pertaining to a specific geographic region. Students collaborate with experts in the field, conduct research, and craft a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that is shared out utilizing social media. Students can create the videos using desktop/laptops, iPads, and Chromebooks. The tools to do this exist and are accessible to any internet connected student. Students learn to study, collaborate, locate experts in the field (Oregon Fish & Wildlife, etc), and most of all: how to help others in the community prevent problems that effect our watershed. Students become leaders, problem-solvers, and powerful agents of change.
Our image and video collection, build collaboratively by teachers from Oregon, California, UK, Germany, and New Zealand. Students may use these images and video clips in any educational digital production.
- My original challenge to students to investigate, problem-solve, and create. (Yes, the audio is not good… neither is the music!)
- My second try at the CHALLENGE-
- 2015 (We used a GoPro to film in our own fish tank)
- 2015- Student has autism and is non-verbal, yet he created this PSA by utilizing special apps on my iPad.
- Keep Our Beaches Clean– a PSA by 4th graders in my class 2011-2012
- Save Salmon: Clean Up After Your Dog– a PSA by 4th graders in my 2011-2012 class
- Car Washing & Salmon Habitat– all animations, filming, and music created by students in my class.
- Silt Hurt Salmon–
- Car Oil Hurts Salmon
- Scoop the Poop– 2013 project by Mrs. La Mar’s class
- No Butts About It: Cigarette Butts Pollute! 2013 project by Mrs. La Mar’s class
- Keep Our Rivers & Parks Clean: 2013 project by Mrs. La Mar’s class
- Soap in the Storm drains Kills Fish: 2015-16 project .
Awards & Recognition:
- Selected as a “Local Innovative Digital Teacher” by PBS LearningMedia, March 2016
- 2012, LearnZillion “DreamTeam” conference participant, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation project, focus on math
- 2010, Polyvision honor for using Eno Click and visualizing software for virtual fish dissections.
- Fall 2005, NWREL’s “NETC Circuit” publication, “Education in the 21st Century: One-to-One Learning Environments”
- Edutopia Magazine (print version), Volume 1, Issue 2, Nov/Dec 2004: co-authored article, “Six Feet Wonder: Nothing Excites a kid’s curiosity than a trip to nearby graveyard.” Edutopia– “CSI Module” online article in PDF format
- Nominated for “My Hero Project” by the George Lucas Educational Foundations, link to entry
- Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE), class of 2005
- ISTE Award for “Appreciation for your services to Sig 1-to-1” f0r 2008-09, as a founding member of the Sig.
- 2004, ISTE Multimedia Mania, Elementary School Science Division, 1st place winner for clay animation movie about tectonic plates.
- 2004, California Student Media & Multimedia Festival, cross-grade level collaboration 1st place winner for “Why is the preservation of Rush Ranch important?”
- 2002, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), Earth Science Teacher of the Year award, presented about using clay animation to develop understanding of plate tectonics.
- 2016: ISTE, two presentations: Poster session on creating interactive learning activities using the iPad and Bookwidgets, and “App Smashing” to create social stories for students with special needs.
- 2014: Northwest Marine and Aquatic Educators Conference (N.A.M.E.), “Collaborative Image and Video Collections”, “PSA’s as an Artform and Stewardship”
- 2013: Northwest Marine and Aquatic Educators Conference (N.A.M.E.), “Building Collaborative Image and Video Collections”
- 2012, Northwest Math Conference: (1) “LearnZillion as a free math resource”, (2) iPads as a video production tool in math
- 2006 TechForum Seattle,
- 2004, ISTE, received “Multimedia Mania” award, presented about clay animation as an earth science tool
- 2003, ISTE: (1) Intel Teach to the Future resources for educators, (2) Video Production in the science classroom
- 2002, National Science Teachers Association meeting in San Diego, CA. Received an award for earth science instruction, presented on clay animation.
- 2001, CUE, Southern California: Clay Animation as a teaching tool,
- 2001, California Association of the Gifted: Clay Animation as a teaching tool,
- 2001: ISTE: (3 presentations) (1) Clay Animation as a teaching tool, (2) Intel Teach to the Future Digital Camera Workshop (piloting and presenting a new digital camera curriculum), (3) Intel Teach to the Future resources for educators.