Self-reflection of project/unit design and use:
- Students met learning expectations
- Students were engaged
- Tons of Differentiation
- Students were allowed individuality
- Students became teachers
- Students were given enough time
- Presentations were fun to observe
- More models/examples would help
- Use student lap tops not mainshare
- Quality must be upheld even with innovation
- New doesn’t mean good, still must meet expectations
Course reflection on learning:
Two years ago our eager group came together to learn, experience, and advance ourselves in regards to technology in the classroom. While excited many of us were also apprehensive. None of us can be considered digital natives. We didn’t have computers when we were in high school, and when we got our teacher certificates computers were used for word processing and that’s it. Now the technology is exploding, how were we going to keep up with our students and the many educational opportunities?
Jeff Utecht smiled at us and with kid gloves guided us down our journey. From Google docs/sites/and surveys to Prezi, Mind-craft, and Virtual communities, we have encountered countless educational uses in regards to technology. By course four we all realized the power of technology. Students today are logged in and want immediate answers and connections. Media and visuals are obviously powerful tools when research has shown that most students learn best from them, so of course the more we incorporate visuals the more effective we are as teachers. Today’s technology is tailored made for visual media.
In our final course five project we found an immediate need for students to express themselves through media. Our students had only a surface understanding of literary devices. They could define the terms and even find them in text. But when we asked students to do an analysis and explain the impact of literary devices upon a reader, we were treated with blank stares. Thus was born our “Into the Text Project” that would ask students to express literary devices in a way that ”a story book can come to life”, and there is only one way we know to truly bring text to life…make it real, make it move, make it sound, in other words have students create media expressions of the literary devices. As we have learned there is a plethora of ways to use and create media, so through our course experiences and learning we had only one avenue…we would set no boundaries, no parameters, the sky is the limit, the only expectation is that their chosen media platform will represent their literary device in a high quality manner that mere words and text could not.
Not only did our students achieve these expectations, but we discovered that the multi-media presentations created became better teaching tools for the entire class than our previous teaching efforts. The students had become the teacher through their unique media presentations. Other students were intrigued by the visuals and sounds in a more dynamic way than the typical teacher led lesson. Students went well beyond the work expectations as they found ownership, personal expression, and FUN as they created visual representations that their teachers had no idea how to make themselves. Students were given an opportunity to show off and “wow” their teacher and peers, while still meeting the learning expectations. Truly, their literary device visual presentations “came to life” as they proved that they had gone “into the text” and produced profound media connections with the literary device.