Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Big Time

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 My time with CoETaIL has lead to this, Course 5. While I have another month to ponder what I will do for my final project, my initial considerations all get me hung up at the idea of it having to reach the "Redefinition" level of technology.

I have been looking at how to change what and how I teach, in order to utilize technology, for the past year and a half. I keep lists of ideas, jotting things down as I think of them. Perhaps I have done something one way and in the midst of it thought of another option. Maybe I was inspired by a blog post I read or someone's tweet. It may be that a particular lesson is not engaging my students and I want to think about ways to hook them. Whatever the reason may be, I add my thoughts to my list.

Now that I need to start to narrow down what I will focus on for Course 5 I am pouring over my list. I feel like every 'great' idea I have down is actually doing something old in a new way. (I wrote about this idea here.) Good thing there is still loads of time for fine tuning!

My two most compelling ideas are:

"How To" Books
This would be another step in our Informational Text unit. Right now students are in the middle of writing an Informational Text picture book that we will share with the appropriate elementary grade level. Even though they are using technology to research, and are learning about Creative Commons in order to determine if they want to create the own or legally use someone else's illustration, the book will ultimately be a printed book for the shelves of the elementary school.
This addition would be to write a "How To" 'book'. They could choose any digital platform they they think would be the best tool to deliver their content.

Reflection of Literary Analysis
My final unit will be about Literary Analysis. What if I added a digital processing/reflection piece? They would be able to choose the tool(s) they thought best showed their process and thinking along the way. I like that it would not be just their reflection at the end, but a journey with them through the unit. This digital piece could then be shared with their parents during their student-led conference.

So, I will proceed with caution. It is not just me on this journey, but the 86 students in sixth grade as well. I am sure it will be an exciting ride!

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