Six Projects To Create, Communicate, Collaborate
Guest blogger: Dr. Howie ( Howie DiBlasi)
(Thank you to Bookworks for the use of image)
I’m always interested in finding new ways to learn quickly and efficiently. It’s important to get the most educational value out of my time as possible. I think that applies to our students as well.
One method is to use Digital tools and projects that are models for driving education change. We can transform our educational institutions into model learning environments that cater to the broadest range of users by using collaboration tools.
There are three parts to the project to make it successful.
The projects below allow students to learn 21st Century skills and prepare them to meet the demands of the global community and engage them in mastering core curriculum skills.
There are many opportunities for educators to bring the right brain activities into the classroom. I believe that I.B.L.(Inquiry Based Learning) is one of the best and innovative approaches. In case you are not familiar with it the role of the student and teacher change. The students assume increasing responsibility for their learning, and it provides students more motivation and more feelings of accomplishment, setting the pattern for them to become successful life-long learners. The teacher becomes the resource, tutor, and evaluator, guiding the students in their problem solving efforts.
The following projects allow students to learn 21st Century skills and prepare them to meet the demands of the global community and engage them in mastering core curriculum skills. All of the projects can be completed in a short amount of class time.
Let’s look at how to get started with “Digital Tools” that allow us to create content communicate, and collaborate.
- This I Believe
An international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives. These short statements of belief, help students understand the concept of belief, explore their own values, and refine them into a well-written essay. Projects can be created using writing, pod casting or slides to demonstrate proficiency.
Instructors can create a Blog to allow students to post the statements and provide connection to other students as they read.
2. The Best Part of Me
Provides an opportunity for students to identify a positive physical feature of themselves and then work in pairs to take part in an online writer’s workshop. Students create a descriptive poem about their favorite feature, create a digital photo of the physical feature and then create a Photo Story Frame about their favorite feature. The last section allows them to upload the photo and record the audio of their poem on VoiceThread about their favorite feature. Projects can be created using writing, pod casting or slides to demonstrate proficiency.
- Five Frames
Allows a student to tell a Story in 5 Frames (photos). Students must create and tell a story through visual means with only a title to help guide the interpretation. They can use iPhoto, Windows Photo Story or Animoto to create the projects, add instrumental music and then upload it to YouTube , Voice Thread or Animoto.
- This Is My Country
Allows students from around the world tell about their lives, families and communities to create a children’s contributory website. It is dedicated to the development of global education by the promotion of: intercultural understanding; language learning; internationalism; and collaboration. The My Country project enables everyone to extend our intercultural and international understanding and gain insight into the differences in their lives.
- The Way We Are: People and Culture
This project assists students in discovering how they are similar and different from students in another country. Research skills are developed to locate the students physical and climate differences in their region and then discuss and communicate with another students about the affect the culture has in another part of the world. The project utilizes ePals. Free e-mail system to connect around the world. The goals of the project are to:
- be able to compose well-written emails to their ePals.
- concretely describe specific details of their lives.
- identify similarities and differences between themselves and their ePals.
- give specific examples of what it means to be from a different culture.
The culminating activity allows the students to create a digital presentations about themselves and their ePals reflecting an increased understanding of the differences and commonalities between their cultures, their environments and their lives. Connections are made via Video Conference to share the projects.
6. My Town
Students will obtain lyrics from the song “ My Town” by Montgomery Gentry. A Photo Story, PowerPoint or iPhoto will be created to tell about the student’s town that they live in. Connections about the community, schools, people, government, families, children, intercultural, environment will be demonstrated in digital photos. Contact will be made with the songwriter to obtain permission to use the song in the student presentation. Students will insert photos, add music, provide copyright credit, determine timing, visual effects and show the final project for evaluation.
Teaching communication skills often challenges educators. With today’s students communicating via social media we need to incorporate new ways to communicate.
I.S.T.E. has included communication skills as part of the N.E.T.S for students. The standards support the use of use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, locally and at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. The standards promote communication and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats
Students should learn to work with others on a task. Collaboration is an essential part of their academic life. To foster life long learning skills they need to communicate with others and learn how to work as part of a team. While much teamwork takes place face to face, it is becoming increasingly common to work with others via electronic media such as e-mail, Video-conferencing and file sharing.
With resources tighter than ever, and tight budgets we need to utilize the free resources and application that are available for our schools. I have recourses listed on my web site of over 100 presentations, resources, free software and applications for schools to utilize. Check out: www.drhowe.com
Follow me on Twitter @hdiblasi