Last blog for the first course. Wow! It’s only been a few weeks, but I feel my learning curve has definitely been broadened. I’ve gained a ton of new resources, techniques, perspectives, and professional relationships.
For my final project I tried to apply technology to something I’m already doing in the classroom. Every year I’ve been teaching I’ve had the students do book talks of some sort. I’ve seen this evolve over the past 18 years.
First years: Student reads book and regurgitates basic facts about the book, with little perspective or insight, on a piece of paper read by teacher and hung on classroom wall. Middle years: Students add more perspective and detail. Presentations are given and papers are typed and hung on wall. Recently: Students have been getting more in depth with their book talks by adding perspective of author’s message and writing style, characters, plot and setting. Book talk was presented to class and paper was posted on website for others to see.
So where would I like to take it now? From this course I’ve learned the importance of using the internet and technology as a way of communicating, creating and collaborating. Audience is a huge motivation for raising one’s self standards. When the students have to post something online, the quality of writing and effort put into it grows. So, I want to give them more audience.
I plan on combining our fantasy reading unit’s objectives of summarizing and noticing author’s writing style with iMovie, blogs, and QR codes. Each student will do a book talk on a self selected text on iMovie. After some editing it will be posted to their class blog. They will then make a QR code and place it on the back of the book in the library.
Students that are in the library hunting for a new read can ask for an itouch or ipad as they browse. If they come across a book with a QR code they can watch the book talk.
When they complete the book the student can return to the class blog and leave a comment on their view of the book.
While reading a blog from David Jakes, he quotes the author of The Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell on the topic of those you connect with. Jakes says, “Gladwell argues that your close circle of friends think very similar to you; that’s why they’re close friends, and this results in a very strong tie-but they don’t push your thinking much-they think very similar to you. It is the people that you know that are not in your immediate and closest circle of friends that can have a dramatic impact on your learning-they think differently than you, and their thinking can be very divergent from yours.”
I have learned this more and more over the past few weeks. Fresh perspectives are invaluable. Mark Wagner, Ph.D. give 10 tips for personal networks for educators. He addresses the quality of feed back from joining and participating in these groups. “You’ll find that you’ll receive much higher quality answers and support by asking your network, than you will by simply searching online.” I have found this true through my own blog, twitter, and this Coetail group.
I want my students to experience the thrill of having someone comment on their blog, or being able to gain new perspectives from others outside their “known world”, and have a way to communicate, collaborate and create using technology.
Here are my plans for implementing the Book Talk Movies with QR Codes. Feel free to use and adapt and please comment.