In year 6 the students are expected to participate in the PYP exhibition. For those who are not aware of the IB programme this means that the students are expected to use all aspects of their learning to decide upon a topic they want to investigate, decide what they want to inquiry into and create a product or solution to the problem that was identified.
We are looking ahead and I choose this unit as an area where vast improvements can be made to embed technology into the student learning. Though the exhibition is student driven from start to finish there are a group of teachers who volunteer their time to mentor the students throughout the process.
The unit that we are doing the investigation under is “How we Express Ourselves” and the transdisciplinary theme is:
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
Q: Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?
A: There is so much possibility for students to be as creative and innovative as they want because they lead the process and product designs. The teachers in the primary and secondary school support their vision by helping them learn and apply the tools and technology available to them.
Q: What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit?
A: I am most worried about the limited choices the students may feel that they can use in terms of technology application, because not enough time and exposure was given to introduce a wide variety of technology and technology integration. I’m also concerned that if I give them the options too late they may be overwhelmed with learning how to use these amazing tools and will not be as focused on the other key learning experiences.
Q: What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?
A: There would be major shifts in pedagogy if my teaching team and I will be allowing the students to engage and explore and redesigning with technology (SAMR model). The first is to flip the classroom. Ideally, we will spend most of the time with the groups of students in class discussing their ideas, deciding ways that we can resolve the issues they may encounter and discuss the most appropriate technology to achieve their goal. This will mean that a lot of the “How To” and instruction has to be delivered for home learning. For example, How to create a WordPress Blog, How to Embed a YouTube video etc. so the time in class can be used for brainstorming and problem solving.
Q: What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from your students?
A: The students will be encouraged to use NoodleTools to support their research and communication with each other using the stages for Big 6 research. The students will also be required to balance all the PYP attitudes: appreciation, commitment, confidence, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, integrity, respect and tolerance.