F.O.M.O the final project

I have it. To a certain extent I want my students to have it.

Fear. Of. Missing. Out.

I don’t want anyone to miss out. On anything. Whilst that can be used in a multitude of different aspects of school the more I read and hear in educational circles, opportunity¬†and exposure to different experiences is vital for development of the whole child.

Following on from the connectivism theory I am going to attempt to keep my students “connected” with the outside world. The current trend in education seems to be revolving around concept based learning particularly within the IB and the new MYP guide. Whilst in theory I agree with a lot of the idealogy behind it I do have some concerns. One big one is that if we focus on a particular concept within a subject based framework it could reduce the amount of topics that may be covered. Something is going to miss out

I will go out on a limb here and say that I want my students to KNOW a lot. Call it content call it trivial, call it fun facts for dinnertime conversation. I want them to develop an interest and remain curious about the goings on in the world.

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by broterham

This is all well and good in a Humanities type subject area but I aim to focus on the world of Science.

I want them to know what is happening in the world of Science. To find pieces of interest to them that they can have access to, understand, be aware of AND develop their own understanding.

The simple outline of this project is this:

1. Set up my Year 10 Science students with a RSS reader.

I chose my Year 10 class as they seem to be the least digitally aware of all the students that I teach. Blogging is very new to them. There digital lives is limited to facebook, formspring and tumblr.

2. Expand their reading.

By giving them a tool with which they can gather snippets of information I am hoping to give them a broad range of topics within the Scientific umbrella.

3. Give them time to access their reader and reflect appropriately.

I am aware that initially I am going to have to allow 15 minutes (probably more) outside of the normal curriculum time to access their readers.

4. Incorporate twitter into their wider reading.

By setting up a twitter account and following some of the science based accounts gives them another angle to access a wider amount of information. In combination with that, the equivalent of a Paper.li could be produced at the end of the week.

5. Regular blog posts

Admittedly my year 7 students are better at blogging then my year 10’s. They have been doing it for a lot longer though so I don’t feel so bad. I have already introduced some of the nuts and bolts of the wordpress blog they are a little behind the eight ball in this respect but hopefully by giving them a short amount of time in class to just read and to update the appearance of their blog this will maintain enthusiasm.

As to if this is a new thing new ways it is questionable. In the past I have taken time in class to go through back copies of Science Journals and asked students to find an article that they may be interested in so in a way this project is not new. Will this project fall down without technology? Absolutely. So by Jeff’s definition it is HEAVILY technology based.

I want my students to maintain, develop or stretch their interest in Science based topics. CONNECTING with others who may share their interest. OR developing an interest in something that they may not have come across in a regular content driven curriculum. Who am I to decide the content.

cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo shared by abishek1618

I just want to make sure that no one misses out.

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21 Responses to F.O.M.O the final project

  1. Avatar of Jeff Utecht Jeff Utecht says:

    I think this meets redefinition in that ability to connect to real live changing content. Yes they use to pick an article out of a journal, but now they can connect with those authors and interact with this. I’ll push you to not only have the students blog…but to have them comment or @ reply on twitter to some of the professionals you have them following. That takes it to a whole new level and it will be interesting to see how nervous your students get when they have to actually put their thoughts and ideas out there on someone else’s site. That’s where the learning happens, when you have to think through something deeply because you know it’s going “out there” and on another persons site. Can’t wait to see the results!

    • Jason Reilly says:

      Thanks Jeff, part of that communication between my students and the rest of the digital world is going to require me to find suitable blogs as a starting point. I am looking at giving them 3-4 to start with but they are tending to be science magazine based blogs. My challenge is to find blogs that already have that open line of communication. Yes I will be throwing the question out to my PLN but any suggestions would be great.

  2. Liam says:

    That’s an amazing challenge you’ve set yourself. I’ve tried similar things before with varying levels of success. I’ve tried using ning, edmodo, moodle as platforms to get the students engaged, most often I feel like I am pushing a barrow uphill, perhaps wordpress will be better, I know many of my Indonesian colleagues here view wordpress as a male dominated platform (don’t ask me why) and that blogger is more female friendly.

    How to get the elusive point of student driven engagement ? Good luck and let me know how it goes.

    Not exactly blogs, but

    link to csiro.au
    link to bbc.co.uk
    link to science.nasa.gov

    are pretty handy for simple science news and ideas.

    • Jason Reilly says:

      Cheers thanks Liam,
      the reality of choosing wordpress is that the school hosts all the content themselves so we can monitor the traffic a little better. It is certainly a challenge, as the students recently had Student Led Conferences and they were SUPPOSED to have their portfolio’s in their blog. Very few of the year 10 students had anything on them. Many preferred to have their portfolio’s in their One Notes.
      They are still very careful with who can see their information and profiles. This is proving to be a big challenge with the students. Even updating via twitter the students are very cautious with their privacy settings. An interesting observation.
      I am going to attempt to have their blog reflections posted publicly fairly soon. Thanks for the comment and the links, very handy!
      If you want to look at some of the articles that they are flicking through we are using the #nistsci10e on twitter.

  3. samiam says:

    I think technology is extremely helpful in school but especially in science. It helps give a new style of learning. It gives us “visual Learners” an easier way to learn. I especially like the Technology when writing science labs and making graphs. That also helps a lot.

  4. karan says:

    i think that the use of technology is important for young students to learn new things in science. It helps make things interesting and it also it allows students to learn about ANYTHING related to science that is not included in the course. so yea, this is a good idea, and i think it should be done more often and by more teachers. Technology is very useful in science and should be used much more than boring old text books. :)

  5. saris says:

    I like wider science topics rather than just learning chemistry, biology or physics. It is better because we, as a student, gain more knowledge and it is also interesting.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think reading this post it shows that he cares about our class and that he does want us to improve and keep learning about the past, whilst staying in touch with the present. But I think we are too young to live with the fear of missing out. If all 14-15 year old’s lived with the need to know anything, we would have no topics to talk about. Yes, we would have different opinions and such, but where is the fun in that? It’s nice going to school knowing you’ll learn something new every day. That your friends will tell you an article they read about that they thought you would enjoy.

    Furthermore we kids know what we like now, but most of us will probably change. Therefore making us pay so much attention on science, whether you like it or not, is unfair to us. It’s like you’re forcing the aspect of science down our throats.

    Honestly, I never check my RSS reader nor do I tweet anything. Why not? I’m not sure, I guess because it’s not as interesting to me as analyzing a poem or reading chapters of my book.

    Just to conclude I don’t know what my exact opinion on this is right now, but I don’t mind missing out on science.

  7. hello says:

    I find it very interesting and i sort of agree. things like chemistry, physics, biology just feels like a bunch of information being fed to us and to actually read something that is happening now makes science a bit more interesting. It also gives us individually a chance to read things about science that WE are interested about instead of learning things we don’t want to.

  8. Johannes says:

    I think that it is very good that you are exposing us to all different kinds of Science, keeping us up to date with all the things going on in the scientific world. I think that using an RSS reader to look through all different kinds of articles is a very good idea to find interesting things that are going on in the world. Twitter is a good way to share all different kinds of things that interest you and “getting the word out there”. This has exposed me to ideas about science that I would have never come across in my normal science class. It has also shown me that science can actually be pretty fun.

  9. Sana Chan says:

    I think this method of learning will be quite useful and more entertaining to us students. This is because we will be learning about that without it really being “learning”, because we’re only reading something that interests us.

  10. Axel says:

    I think, since this is science this would not really work for me getting to know more. I don’t like reading news on internet and that makes reading science even worse. The idea maybe works on some students but not on me. I could manage to read about articles in class but this isn’t something I would do on my in my free time. I don’t really like reading right now but I cannot be sure since I haven’t tried it that many times. So I think it could take time to get me into a routine of reading about these news. But I think I could change my thoughts about this if I just got some time trying it.

  11. Sunny says:

    In my honest opinion, I believe that this F.O.M.O project is a really good approach towards us as students and others in the world. The world of Science is humongous, broader than we can think of and we should be learning more about it. Other than learning Science in school, I can assume that 95% of the students will not be reading news and articles based on Science unless needed to. This will be an opportunity for all of us to keep in touch with the wolrd of Science and develop interest to it. It is true that students now are only stuck on facebook and tumblr etc, barely anyone I know of in my year level actually reads and updates themselves with whats happening around the world. I feel that the intentions and goals Mr. Reilly has set is really good, this way we will be learning about science in a different perspective and actually pay attention to it. Teenagers and students in our school don’t interact with the world of Science, there are many more to learn outside the curriculum. What we are learning is only a tiny piece of information, slowly if we all develop interests for Science, we will not be missing out.

  12. Jina R says:

    I think the idea of getting us to use twitter and NetVibes to expand our knowledge is great, as it is easy and fast. Most of the articles are also really interesting and relate directly to our own lives, so it should appeal to most much more than doing ‘school science’ – and it is possible that many may even chose to continue using these tools in their freetime outside school.

    I think, though, that the aspect of getting us to blog regularly or develop a larger independent interest in science as a whole or even one specific part of science may be a much harder thing to do. Most students are already so occupied with other things like sports, arts, or service outside school that they barely have time to spare between their homework and their activities to spend time blogging, especially if it is unfamiliar and it will take a long time for it to become a habit. As for forming an independent interest, it might not work unless the student finds an area that really, really makes a big impact on them. These two aspects may be hard to achieve, but if they do work, then it will probably be very much worth the challenge.

  13. Jane says:

    I quite like your idea because at NIST we have a good access to the internet and technology so we could benefit from that. Moreover, we can’t learn everything about science in the MYP unit and the internet is a very good source of sharing/ finding information. It is also a good idea because the year 10 students wouldn’t miss out anything, we also have the choice to chose what we want to read and comment about in our RSS feed. This is because we don’t like everything about Science, some people only like physics but some might like biology so we can only have the topic that we like in our RSS feed.

  14. Shreya says:

    I think your idea of engaging your students into the world of science is a good idea because kids now days are engaged in facebook and other websites. I think we should learn about all the areas in science because if we choose to learn 1 it won’t widen our knowledge and it would also help us for future classes in school.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I think that the idea of using netvibes is a great way to get a source of information. I also think that twitter is an interesting way to share information and ideas with others. I am shocked of what the whole social media can do and how we can apply this with school work. I am a little bit lazy about doing all these things but I think that this will help a lot with my education and my future because there are a lot of information that I am not aware of during school.

    I would like to learn more about biodiversity and biology because I feel like we didn’t learn about these things that often.

  16. Dave says:

    I feel that having an rss feeder is very useful because it makes it a lot easier if you are a person you visits many sites and just want to find interesting articles. I think having a twitter account is also useful because it is a good way of sharing cool websites and also finding interesting websites.

  17. Mike says:

    I think its a good idea, wanting to make students see a bigger picture. But sometimes it being forced upon us isn’t all that fun. Though it does give us freedom to chose what we find interesting, and gives us the chance to express it. Having a twitter is also very useful because its an easy way to collect our thoughts in 1 place and we can easily check out what others looked at.

  18. Jedawup says:

    Having already started using the RSS reader, netvibes, and made a few post on twitter, I really like how both work. So far I have only been posting about articles on twitter, now my class is going to begin blogging about the articles as well. With this project I can find topics on science that school does not teach and maybe something I might end up being interested in. Also this project might get me to use RSS reader and/or twitter in the future for my own personal interest.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I personally enjoy learning about every aspect of Science, whether it’s academically related or related to current news. However, even though we should be exposed to such things, I still believe emphasis should be based on the course. This is because, I find it easier to understand news related to science, when I know the basics. Although if basic chemistry, biology and physics was not taught in great detail, students would have problems later in their life, especially for us, as we have to choose subjects in IB.

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