Category Archives: Final Project

Coetail- Final Project with Google Earth – Year 7 Humanities

My Place Planning

In year 7 humanities we have unit of inquiry called My Place throughout the passed two years we have used a variety of web 2.o tools, but just as small components. This time, not only is our unit interdisciplinary with English, it is based around web 2.0 tools, which without the unit would not succeed.

My Place Novel Unit Planner – Humanities

As you can see we are using tools like voice thread in order to have an exchange between a country in Sweden. Looking at their lives compared to ours. The students are going to take photos of their houses, and describe them using voice thread, and be able to receive feedback within 12 hours of their initial sharing.

In addition to the activities listed in the unit, we are also going to create a flight stimulation using google earth.(inspired by the video made below)

The kids are going to pick a place in the world they want to go, and using google earth street view they are going to describe the aspects of the city. We will publish these videos to u tube, then our year 7 blog, and then finally share them with another school in that area to see if the kids impression of the city was correct.

 

As our significant concept points out, our connections to place shapes who were are and the choices we have available to us. Instead of the kids just finding out about a city and telling me about it, they are going to pick a place, and explain it to someone from that place, and see if their interpretations are correct. This will provide the kids with a much larger audience.

Since using google earth street they are creating their own representation of something! This unit is what my final project is going to be based around. I did not want one lesson based around technology, but a series of lessons that are linked to unit I am currently teaching. I am looking forward to seeing how it goes!

So this is phase one

The new updates to both flickr and voice thread have made my live much easier- particularly for an upcoming task my year 7 English kids are going to do in their unit on media.

flickr

Rosana Prada @Flickr

Originally the class was going to a local mall, Terminal 21, on a message hunt to take photos of all the different message they saw around them. A very exciting trip for a bunch of 10 year olds!

 

Terminal 21-Field Trip location

The kids were going to find unique messages around the mall, and present them to their friends by printing them off. I as then going to print of question cards with the guiding questions of:
1. What form is the message?
2. Who made the message?
3. What is the messaging telling you?

Now with the relationship between flickr and voice thread we are going to upload the photos the kids take to flickr, then transfer them to voicethread. This way the kids can comment on the same questions either in a written comment, or using their voice; allowing for more differentiation. In addition the kids can use the voice tread link and embed in on their learning portfolio blog. I love it when technology can make your life easier, more exciting for the kids, more differentiated, and overall more exciting.

In the end the kids will have learned the same concept as the initial idea, but I hope have more fun doing it. When the kids have completed their task I will post the links on the blog and get their feedback.

 

AUP or common sense guidlines?

At our school we rolled out laptops to all of the secondary school, and asked each student to fill out a AUP and also take a quiz that showed they have read it.
Our old AUP is

 

Working with both elementary teachers, secondary teachers and admin, we redesigned how we feel kids should be using the computers, whether their laptops or desktops in a lab. We have divided into categories for the kids, general use, in class, and health. Natalie and I looked at health, feeling that kids posture is an issue as they are constantly bent over their laptops. We also felt that too many kids are sitting on their computers all day, not socializing and playing as they use to.

Creating both a new document that the kids need to sign when given a laptop we also found images that we want teachers to put up around their room to help reinforce and remind kids how to use their computers.

By writing a few bullet points that explain what each of these categories mean at NIST it is our hope that is becomes clear how students are expected to use the computers NIST gives to the students in the secondary school.

But lets face it, the things we are asking the kids are common sense in our minds. However, the bigger question is are the guidelines common sense to them? I would say yes-but in reality to they follow their common sense everyday? However, after presenting this idea to the group it is clear that for legality reasons a school does need a policy they can go to if there is a serious problem that happens on school computers. I would question what happens if the kid does something horrible at home- does that mean it is the schools responsibility because we gave them the computer?

In reflection this course probably has been the most challenging for me in terms of content, as the topics are very important for us as teachers to help educate kids. However, I am struggling to find out tools I can use to help educate the kids to be responsible citizens online.   It is not a faux pas  for me to talk with kids about these topics and I do find the time to talk to them in my class, as they are real life issues and I connect my classroom to real life on a constant basis. But again what is real life for these digital learners and what is real life for me in reality might be quite different!
I disagree with this photo as I do think that adults are a very important part of our life but that means it is our responsibility to help kids become responsible citizens.

By p373 @ Flickr

 

 

 

Final Project Year 7 Humanities Mapping Unit

My unit involves  students learning about maps, the significant concept that students will hopefully remember is that maps are useful for a variety of reasons. The logic behind selecting this as the significant concept is that throughout the unit students have explored several different types of maps and inquired into why they believe they are useful. Technology was a very crucial part of this unit, as we discovered that the way people use maps has dramatically changed. From creating and designing maps from hand, to using google earth to create our own personal maps, with only parts of the world we want to include. That being sad we started with the basics of BLOTS, where students hand drew a map of NIST, this also brought them through the evolution of how maps have changed.Then we got into the FUN STUFF! We used several great sites.
Map Zone, which has mapping games for kids, teaching them about navigation. Another site we used, to show how maps were useful for a variety or reasons is WorldMapper. This site is for students to pick a topic they are interested in and see how it can be mapped out throughout the world.
Our final task was for students to create there own googlemap, a tour of Bangkok, where they needed to include places for families and friends to visit. We posted their maps on our class blog and also made them public on google earth. The kids were very excited about sharing their maps with the world, as so they also recommended which age group the map would be most useful for. Overall the students enjoyed this unit and I feel were able to meet the NET standards of engaging with real world issues and solving problems using technology. The next time we do this unit there are some changes I would like to make with regards to an activity on publishing photos and images, but I am looking forward to learning about this topic in our next course.

 

Reflection on the course

I have started to get myself organized in terms of the mass amount of information I look at. My goals for this first course were to establish a system by which I have a PLC through twitter, and I can organize the information that I read.

Previous to this course I did not have an RSS feeder and received a a constant flow of emails in my inbox, which clearly got to be very overwhelming. With the RSS feeder on google I have subscribed to new blogs that interest my learning about technology. I also started using netvibes to organize the information I receive. So far I like the format of google because I can look at a my email and work on googledocs at the same time.

Over the summer I am going to work on getting use to netvibes and then making a decision on which one works best for me! I have also indulged and purchased a new iphone 4, and am getting use to using that as well. I feel I have achieved my goals for course one, got my information organized and more manageable, developed my PLC and read exciting new ideas linked to technology.