Right off the bat, I find it hard to be a clear thinker when I have to conform to a template. I get a little baffled and bifurcated, so I hope what I have posted is coherent. Please give it a good rip. I welcome your feedback hot or cold.
As far as the impetuous for the unit goes I am working on new units for my design students. This is only the second year of our design program and there is plenty of work to do. The one I have presented here is a new one for Grade 7 (IB MYP Yr 2). I think it is going to be pretty fun. In design we get to do all kinds of cool stuff with technology already so I sort of feel like I cheating on the tech integration side of things. However, I chose the ISTE Innovative Design Standards to tackle which are difficult for any student in any classroom. Even thought I use creative applications like Google SketchUp, Tinkercad, Fusion 360, Onshape etc. for helping students iterate their designs they are not always innovating. They often do a slap-dash job just like in writing a paper or lab report. When this happens I stop and teach them how to innovate and push what they are doing further. Overall I am going to be focusing on how I get better iteration from my students this year. I feel like the ISTE Innovative Design Standards can help me focus on that.
This project has been good in that it has pulled me out of the IB MYP Unit planner. A few years ago I was doing all of my work in UBD and then putting it on Atlas. Since arriving in Ghana I have only used Managebac which is great for MYP units but I do like the way UBD sets things up a little more. I think it is more focused and makes you think about what you are doing in a different way.
The most important part of this is of course that we create strong learning experiences for students. Course 1 has certainly made me think about how I am using technology. Am I using it effectively and for a purpose that leads to stronger learning? I think I am and I will certainly keep looking for ways to make what I teach stronger and more relevant for students.
I am looking forward to working with my colleagues and students to help them use the technology that they have more effectively. There are so many great things to do and try out there. Teachers have to get at least a few different options working work them. I am thinking that this year I might decide to do some of this unit where the Process Journal is completed as a Vlog al la Avatar or the Martian. We will see how it goes.
This week has been a bit crazy and I can not believe students will be in front of me in a few days but at the same time I cant wait. It is going to be a good year.