The image above was created using Tagxedo.com. This will be one of the options students can use for brainstorming for the community video.
Another option for more straight-forward brainstorming is a free service from bubble.us.
The Point Hope History unit has been written, modified, reviewed, and edited. It is ready for students! I’m really happy with how this unit turned out. I’m sure, I’ll make adjustments as I go through the teaching/learning process with the students in the fall. At this time, I hope to keep doing a two-year loops with groups of students. I envision that we will do this project twice, two years in a row. My students should connect with this project as it is about their home and their families and local history. My experience with students doing the same type of project two years in a row has been incredible growth in thinking skills and in project skills with this in depth repetition.
This week, I created examples using a couple of technological tools the students can use for the community video. Tagxedo.com is an engaging tool where the user types in their brainstorming words and creates a shape with an overarching idea of the enclosed words. I created a jpeg of the final project and placed it in the community video folder on Edmodo. I also created a more straightforward brainstorming using bubble.us. Both of these tools are online and free. They are easy to use and should be engaging as the students practice and post jpegs to share with their peers on Edmodo.
I live in Seward, Alaska during the summer and created the beginnings of my own community video about Seward. I took sample video of Seward so I have live video to use as examples to remind students how to edit in iMovie. I also took several segments of video that I took and blended them with stills in iMovie so the students have an example of an almost finished product. I did not use narration or music at this time. I wanted the example to be simple and not overwhelming. We will go through, as a class, and add narration and music.
Diary, I had an opportunity to attend two webinars this week. The first one was given by Dr. Lee Bash regarding adult learners and millennials. He defined adult learners as those who do not go directly from high school to college. The current trend is that adult learners are the norm. The need for college credentials in the workforce is increasing… not necessarily advanced degrees. The historical aspect of what he presented interested me. Prior to World War II, college was limited to the privileged. After World War II, the GI bill changed student bodies which greatly affected the student population and infused different values and perspectives onto college campuses and into college classrooms. This holds true today.
The second webinar was presented by Vicki Davis, one of the key people involved in “flat classrooms.” Flat classrooms bring students from around the world closer together. The idea is that collaboration occurs between students from different geographic locations so that they get practice working with others and their perspectives grow beyond the borders of their communities. With the standards going to common core in most states, the opportunities to work with different classrooms around the states grow. Flat classroom projects can easily align to common core standards. I thought the idea of students from different parts of the country curating information together sounds exciting and enriching and may have a lasting effect on those students involved.
Ms. Davis gave some helpful tips and advice. She recommended using a website as a “brochure” for a flat project. This gives others the understanding of what you are doing (including parent groups). Flat classroom projects help students create a legacy, instead of a tri-fold presentation that will gather dust in an attic. She also reminds us to celebrate at the end of a project. These two last pieces of advice made me smile as the Point Hope History project’s objective is to create a legacy. The community viewing of the project along with some popcorn will be quite a celebration for my young researchers!
Ms. Davis gave some helpful examples of how to find global partners using sites like flatclassrooms.ning.com or skype education. Using twitter seems like another viable way to find partners to work on flat classroom projects. She gave a twitter example of #tlap (teach like a pirate).
She believes, as I do, that one new project a year keeps a teacher motivated and not overwhelmed. The Point Hope History project is going to be my big undertaking this year. Maybe a flat classroom project will fit on next year’s menu.