Here I hope to highlight a few of the sessions and the implications for classroom use.
Digital Storytelling Using Google Docs - Michael Bokovitz, Mayfield City Schools
This session highlighted a collaborative project between middle school students and an elementary classroom in the district. A variety of web tools were used through this process. The middle school class "skyped" with elementary classroom asking questions about their likes/dislikes and getting a feel for their audience. The middle school students worked in pairs using Google Presentation to create the digital stories. The best part of the session was to hear the students talk about the process. The students were very reflective about the process.
I think this project would be a great activity for any reading/language arts class middle school or above. Please check out the presentation materials. It connects with several of the 21st Century Skills:
- Collaboration - between classrooms within the school district as well as collaboration between students within the class
- Critical thinking - middle school students: taking the data collected from discussing likes/dislikes with younger students and analysis; elementary school students: had to make a choice and vote on favorite story
- Communication - middle school students were required to collaborate and communicate only online via Google chat feature; students were able to explore the ability to communicate via web conferencing
- Creativity - middle school students created an original story importing various media (original artwork, photos, Google Draw,etc.)
Are you familiar with Common Craft videos? They are a set of handcrafted videos that make complex ideas more understandable. There are Common Craft videos for understanding twitter and electing a president to understanding the world wide web to the Stock Market. The session discussed the 2 year journey of the Rodger O. Borror Middle School's experience with implementing use of the common craft style of video.
So, with a flip video camera, a sheet of white paper as a background, and some fraction manipulatives, I was able to make my own Fun Fractions video. Of course, I had the help of a fellow Viking, Amy who landed her voice, and a camera woman.
Check out the file below (tiny.3gp) to see our video!
Transforming the Future with Project -Based Learning - Angela Willyerd, Everts MS, Circleville, OH
This session was a very thorough overview of project based learning. It discussed the PBL framework and made the concepts very relevant to how a PBL lesson should be incorporated into the classroom. I found it to be very well organized and I left the session with a better understanding of how to structure a PBL project within the classroom.
A few things I took away from this session:
- create an interesting 'event entry" (such as a video, guest speaker, fake email letter) in order to get the students engaged and talking about the project
- provide guided research for the students; don't do the research for them, but provide them with a framework of where and how to research
- provide feedback to the students: encourage self assessment, allow for "fix up" time
- provide students with an authentic audience to share the final products
The presentation slides are available here.