Our course prototype has been a work in progress, however now that we have had some time to meet, discuss and learn in class we definitely have a better understanding of what our final product is going to look like and what elements will be included. After reading Roberta’s blog I definitely felt like our group was in the same shoes. We had to take a step back and do some reading. We then we needed to find/create a framework (it’s always nice when you can find a framework that already exists as we don’t need to reinvent the wheel). We needed to find ways of engaging our students, enhancing our lessons and increasing efficiency (choosing tools that are easy to use and will meet the needs of multiple learners). Once we have done these things we provide our students with an opportunity to play and get familiar with a variety of resources, apps and tools. Once they have found a tool that best suits their needs and the requirements of our assignment then we allow them to create and have fun while doing so. I loved reading this blog as it gave me a sense that our group was on the right track with our project and were moving in the right direction.
Roberta suggested that one worry that she had was students misusing technology. I think this is a fear that many of us have however it is essential that as educators we teach our students how to use these different types of technologies and resources in an appropriate matter. We model what we would like to see. We teach and model good digital citizenship. When we do come across students who are misusing the technology we need to have consequences and a plan in place for their learning.
Andres has already given a detailed outline of what our prototype is going to look like so I am going to piggyback off of his blog this week. We have all been in situations where technology has been a challenge, especially those teachers in the younger grades. Students are unable to log on; internet access is low etc. so what better way to get our students using technology then to buddy them up with an older student who perhaps more experience using these tools, apps, resources etc. We have decided that our buddies will be a big part of our project, involved, commenting, providing feedback, learning etc. We have decided that google classroom will be our collaborative space, that our students will be able to access information, resources, apps, seek support etc. through this environment. Google classroom also provides students with an opportunity to work at their own pace, and offers a variety of resources that will meet the needs of all of our learners.
Essentially we would like to present our students with a number of tools, apps, resources etc. to use to represent their work. Most learning happens better in small steps; therefore, we have outlined our project step by step so that by the end of the semester they will have the necessary tools to create their final project. Our lessons throughout the semester will be “how to lessons” this will give our students an opportunity to play around with, learn, test a variety of tools and decide which one best suits their needs. Some of the tools that we plan to include in our prototype are Read and write (google), google docs, google drive, animation tools (ex. Video scribe, etc.), how to film and how to edit film, how to create podcasts, and time lapse videos. It is our hope that our students will have enough knowledge and feel confident in using one of these tools to create their summary of learning. We have seen many examples of teachers and students using tech as a source of learning with and without reading buddies.
Firstly, we want to pair up our students with a buddy, with their buddy using some of the tools we have taught we want them to brainstorm ideas and begin to create an outline for their story. Once they have a base idea then we want them to begin creating their actual story (using one of the tools provided). After they have created/written their story like many stories there needs to be a visual (so again, using the resources, apps, tools learned it is their job to create some sort of visual to accompany their story). It is our hope that we will be able to meet with our buddies weekly do discuss progress (this will be dependent on time, availability to resources/technology etc.) As Andres mentioned we are putting a lot of emphasis and focus on the process, therefore we will be evaluating every step in the creation of their final summary of learning.
Once our students have created their final product we plan to upload it to YouTube to broaden their audience, that way their masterpiece can be viewed by others outside of the classroom as well. As the teachers we hope to follow our students closely, with the use of blogs, google classroom, google docs and all our resources and tools we feel that there will be sufficient student/teacher interaction and we will always be available to provide feedback as our time will be spent together and/or online.
Overall, I think we have a good framework and am hopeful that this will work in our classrooms. I am looking forward to continuing our work on this project with my wonderful colleagues and am eager to see what our final product will look like!