A small group of students at Coronation Park School in Regina has formed an e-journalism team! The team has decided to use a myriad of digital technologies to keep their local community informed about all the neat things going on in their school.
The team’s first task will be to write an article recounting a recent event. They will use iGo (Google Apps for Education) as a productivity suite to help them help each other through sharing and collaboration. They will later incorporate other multimedia, including podcasts, videos, etc.
Late Friday evening, I was happy to learn that students were spending their night working on the articles in iGo. You know middle years students are engaged when they spend their weekend fine-tuning an essay. The appeal for learners in this case is that they are publishing to a global audience using the same tools and techniques as an expert in the given field. Also, when you can situate learning outcomes within a context recognized and understood by students, you’ll likely have better engagement.
In the future, I’ll post some entries featuring the work of these students.
Meet Samuel! He’s a creative and talented student who loves to draw and tell stories. Samuel uses MS Paint to create images for his movies and then exports them to iMovie where he integrates audio he recorded using Garageband. He is practicing storyboarding the sequence of narratives while immersed in the writing process. This is Samuel’s first published movie, but let’s hope it is not his last!
At Henry Janzen School in Regina, grade seven teachers Mrs. Enion, Ms. Driol, and Mrs. Fiorante immersed their students in an exciting inquiry-based learning experience investigating catastrophic geological events. This guided curriculum inquiry focused on Outcome EC7.1 of the Science 7 – Earth and Space Science: Earth’s Crust Unit:
Analyze societal and environmental impacts of historical and current catastrophic geological events, and scientific understanding of movements and forces within Earth’s crust. [SI]
After front-loading the inquiry with some jaw-dropping Youtube videos showing the horrifying impact of the earthquake in Haiti and tsunami in Thailand, the students worked hard to develop their personal contributing questions that formed the basis of their inquiry research. From there, the students conducted research using print, video, data, and other web-based media. The students worked in groups to synthesize the research findings and then collaboratively designed a face to face presentation using Google Presentations. Although speaking in front of your peers and teachers is not an easy task for many, the learners did an outstanding job presenting. The students were also charged with the task of keeping a personal concept map to help track their how their conceptual understanding of the content changed over time. Daily learning logs helped students focus and reflect on their learning. True to the form of inquiry-based learning, this learning experience ‘ended’ as it should: with more questions!
Hats off to Mrs. Enion, Ms. Driol, and Mrs. Fiorante and their students!
Hat tip to the Saskatchewan Geological Society and the University of New Zealand for sharing their resources and expertise!
Links to examples:
I just love the way Carmen Holota, teacher at Thom Collegiate in Regina, designed the final project for her English 30 class. Carmen had her students select and research an important world issue before developing an Animoto video for a final presentation.
What I like most about Carmen’s approach:
- The project was in lieu of a final exam, a different method of summative evaluation that required students to demonstrate the skills developed during the semester.
- The assessment task provided learners with choices, including: topic, creative authority over how research would be presented, and whether to work individually or in pairs.
- Process, Content, and Product are equally valued.
- Carmen’s selection of technology was dead on. She knew that needed to use Animoto due to accessibility and ease of use. The tool fit the job here.
- Unlike traditional exams, these presentations can be shared with the world rather than locked up a file cabinet without ever being seen.
Check out an example of the students’ work:
What is a Blog?
Why Blog in Education?
Van Dusen’s Top Ten
- Blogs provide a virtual announcement board for important messages about homework, assignments, deadlines, and more.
- Students can communicate with their teachers and other students through a blog. This is especially helpful for shy students who might not otherwise reach out.
- Students have a larger audience when they blog. If the blog is public, they are potentially writing for a global audience. This knowledge may empower them and their work.
- Blogs can be used to encourage discussion anytime — whether in or outside of class.
- Teachers can learn more about Web 2.0 tools and become more comfortable and familiar with them through the practice of writing a blog.
- Teachers can build their professional learning network through blogs by connecting with other experts and learning about new tools in their field.
- The increased transparency will build trust and rapport with parents and the community.
- Blogs can help students develop and hone literacy skills.
- Blogs allow for multimedia interaction. Students can post pictures, videos, links, and more.
- Blogs are FUN!
How to set up a Blogger Account (video)
*Important* Regina Public Schools has its own Google domain. You will need an iGo account before registering for Blogger!!!
How to set up a Kidblog (video)