Sunday, June 30, 2013

LEC 3.3 Reflection: Using Web 2.0 Tools

Reflect upon what an activity in your classroom might look like using one or more of these Web 2.0 tools. Think about:

  • what the experience looks like for students.
  • types of outcomes students might have.
  • how the outcome is tied to curriculum objectives.
  • what Web 2.0 tools are aligned to the outcomes and lead to higher order thinking skills.
  • kinds of directions or guidelines you will provide in order to ensure success.

Write a post that briefly describes the activity you would create and how you might minimize possible challenges students and the teacher might have to address.

I have embedded the LiveBinder for the River Valleys project that is a culminating, or capstone project, for the first quarter in my World History class. It has been updated to reflect the increase in access to technology in my district, and so is now an online project. 

River Valley Project

As this is the capstone project for the quarter, it gives students more choice in regards to what tool they choose to use to display their learning. In Lexington One, I would now be able to offer more options than just Web 2.0 tools, as all middle school students have iPads as of last year. If I were to include possible apps, it would increase the amount of choice that students have. 

The primary tool students will be using for the initial parts of the project are LiveBinder, where I have curated a selection of resources for their use, and, so that they can get in the habit of properly citing sources for their research projects. This is a project that would occur during the 1st nine weeks, so it is extremely important that the teacher model how to research, create citations, etcetera. 

From the student point of view, they will have already been exposed to all of the web 2.0 tools earlier in the nine weeks through smaller assignments. A large project such as this is not the time to introduce a new presentation tool, at least in my opinion. Their teacher will have already exposed them to and modeled for them how to research, summarize, and present information. This modeling will continue throughout the project. 
After students choose their two civilizations, they will first review the notes that they already have on these civilizations, and then use the resources in the LiveBinder to accumulate and compile any other required information for the project. Once again, the teacher will model and use "think-alouds" to review note-taking and research skills. 

Once students have compiled all of their research, they must then create a graphic organizer(either using Google Docs, Popplet, or some other mind-mapping website) to organize their information and citations. Then they must choose the format of their final presentation, and build on their graphic organizer to create a storyboard or outline. The students will have two weeks to complete their research and to create their final project. 

In order to ensure student success, I will go over each part of the project requirements. I will also review the project in smaller chunks using mini-deadlines that we create as a class. Students will turn in graphic organizers and their final project using Edmodo. 

The outcome of this project directly correlates with Social Studies standard 6-1.3, "Compare the river valley civilizations of the Tigris and Euphrates (Mesopotamia), the Nile (Egypt), the Indus(India), and the Huang He (China), including the evolution of written language, government, trade systems, architecture, and forms of social order."

The following Web 2.0 tools are possible options for this project. I am going to list the tool with its corresponding level/verb of Bloom's Taxonomy. 
LiveBinders - Remembering
Popplet, Google Docs - Understanding (summarizing, paraphrasing) 
                                          Analyzing (organizing)
Animoto, Google Presentation, Glogster,  WeVideo - Analyzing (Mashing, comparing, organizing, integrating)

Some possible stumbling blocks for students include:
-difficulties organizing and keeping up with notes
-unfamiliarity with chosen web 2.0 tool
-difficulty creating presentation using notes and provided resources
-possible technical difficulties, if the website goes down

The more the teacher models and checks in with her students on the progress, the fewer frustrations the students face. 

Some possible stumbling blocks for teachers:
-unfamiliarity with all web 2.0 tools
-technical difficulties, either with devices, websites, or district filtering

Unfortunately, technical difficulties can be difficult to prevent. Teachers can log on to their district's network as a student and test all provided resources and suggested tools before presenting the project to her students. I believe it is extremely important for teachers to explore and experiment with web 2.0 tools before presenting the tools to her students. 

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