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Jmes Earl Jones

Posted on Dec 12, 2007

The voice of James Earl Jones echoed through a Long Beach library on Dec. 10 as the actor - who voiced Darth Vader in "Star Wars" - read to a group of fourth-graders.

Jones visited the library to help promote a project involving CSUMB, Verizon and the Long Beach school system.

The partners are exploring ways in which the resources available through Verizon's educational website,, can aid classroom teachers.

The free, interactive website provides more than 55,000 educational resources, including grade-specific K-12 lesson plans and materials for teachers.

Verizon selected CSUMB to lead the project, which will initially focus on elementary schools in Long Beach and is intended to become a model for integrating content from into school curricula across California.

Experts from CSUMB's Instructional Design and Technology Lab will show teachers how to navigate the website and incorporate material into their classrooms.

The ID&T Lab researches and tests new hardware and software tools to determine their potential for enhancing and transforming education. The lab seeks methods to assist educators in "connecting" with students despite barriers of geography and diverse learning styles.

The lab is also a prototyping space for technologies, applications, programmatic initiatives, and for research design. And the lab provides training in new technologies and assists faculty members in incorporating innovative tools within their teaching.

John Ittelson is director of the lab and professor in the School of Information Technology and Communications Design. Barbara Starr is senior project manager for the Thinkfinity Project.