Thursday, November 14, 2013

World War II Project Thoughts

I’m still waaay in the developmental phases of what my 1:1 class looks like. As of now, it consists of some whole class work - big historical thinking projects: socratic seminars, structured academic controversies (basically inquiry-based history) as well as Humanities focused items that connect my class to English content. This time is coupled with time for a ‘your choice’ section of the unit where students have the freedom to go learn about some aspect of a given unit that interests them.

So based on some feedback from my students after the Rise of Totalitarian Dictators unit, changes were made to the ‘your choice’ section of my World War II unit. (WWII unit project description here.) Students were given the choice to pursue a smaller area of focus for this section of the WWII unit - female spies, for example - or something larger that would allow them to see the whole scope of WWII.

Great. Awesome. Let’s do this.

Oh wait. Then I took away the ability to show what you learned with a Google presentation. My kids had done too many of them. Let’s move on to something new.

So what happened? Kids who are REALLY excited about Thinglink. Kids who taught themselves Prezi. Groups are collaborating using And guess what? This doesn’t happen WITHOUT taking away Google presentations.

Scale models are happening. Minecraft is happening. SO COOL.

Okay, I get it. I shouldn’t get excited about students being engaged by a new tech tool. But still. If they are excited to use the tool to show what they know, and are more engaged in the content creation, that’s a definite win.

Andrew and Aidan on a GHO w/ Diane Main talking about their Minecraft project