Sunday, April 4, 2010

Making it Count for the Kids

With all the different lessons and activities that we ask our students to complete, posting them online adds an exciting dimension that causes the students to do a better job and allows for others to connect with their learning. I try to bring this element to the students that I support by using a variety of free Web 2.0 tools. Most recently I have participated in a 5th grade project where the students were given the task to prove their understanding of Internal and External Conflicts.

The Activity - Easily Differientiate Due to Technology:
The teacher allowed them to demonstrate their learning by choosing what type of end result they were most comfortable with. The options were to make a comic (We use the Comic Life application.), a podcast (using PowerPoint to create the images, iPhoto to organize, and Garageband to create the podcast), or a movie (using iMovie HD or '09, PowerPoints to make the images, and iPhoto). The teacher gave the students a rubric and what content was required to be shown in the end product (such as specific terms, definitions, and examples). The students were then off to work independently, in pairs, or teams - however they chose. I demonstrated a day in their class (50 minute periods) on how to create the Podcast and a little demo on bringing in the slide pictures in iMovie. But because the students were already familiar with iMovie and had already completed a Comic Life project so not much time was given to those applications.

Showing the children what they did mattered and continued outside of the 4 walls of the classroom:
For this activity the students (all but 1) chose to create a movie. When they were done all movies were exported as a .mov. The teacher has her own free wiki through PBWorks. A folder was created to place 4 sheets of "paper" to house the links for each team's Quicktime movie. By uploading the files, adding the movies was simply a click of a link! Now these students, who worked hard on their project, can showcase their work to not only their peers, their families, and now you.

Conflict Movies (scroll down to see the conflict movie links)
Instructions I gave on creating Garageband Podcasts.

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