Create the Future – Practical Ideas

by cindy47452, Available:

As part of the Create the Future workshop this part weekend with Julie Lindsay and Kim Cofino, participants worked in groups to develop a product of interest to them. This exercise involved the following steps:

  • think about what you want to work on during the workshop (individual)
  • find other people who share your interest (during lunch – group)
  • meet with group, solidify the idea and create a unit plan using the templates provided (group)
  • one person from each team rotates from team to team making an elevator pith of the proposal (one individual/group as presenter; other group members as audience)
  • meet with group to discuss feedback from pitches and work on final 5 minute presentation and product presentation (group)
  • presentation (as many members of the group as decided by the group)

Here are the proposals

Voice thread for children to tell their story for elementary and lower elementary, ESL

Purpose: Build home/school connections as students explore their self identity.

  • Unit of Inquiry: Who we are
  • Create a class book with each child having a chapter using images that they find. Students will record how the images represent them
  • Share with the school community and their family
  • Invite family to make commentary

Book Trailers

Purpose: Encourage reading and recommend appropriate books for children by grade level.

  • encourage reading
  • suggest good books
  • share with class, school and the world
  • collaborate with other classes

ESL education

Purpose: Provide students with translations for the Dolce sight words in their mother tongue to build vocabulary.

  • Build a website with multimedia and activities for learning English based on Dolce sight words list
  • Students and parents will create the content
  • Collaborative
  • Have all languages from the school represented
  • Project already started in English/Korean/Japanese at a school in Tokyo

Borderless Learning

Purpose: Provide a space where teachers and students can go for help with explaining/understanding classroom topics.

  • Known international school teachers join the environment and have their own blogs within it
  • Teachers and experts answer questions to students in real time and through posts on the website
  • Teachers make and share lessons and ideas with each other

Digital Portfolios

Purpose: Facilitate student learning and record both process and product in a way that is easily shared and maintained from year to year.

  • each student has a digital portfolio – format may be different for elementary, middle school and high school.
  • connect within classroom, with parents, with the world
  • start small and add classes each year
  • use for student led conferences but also for yearlong showcase to parents
  • student ownership – can be done within classes for younger students but they will need support
  • some schools use blogs; others use wikis (Mahara is an open source tool that some schools use as well.)

Rethinking Pen Pals

Purpose: To have students collaborate with each other and learn from each other.

  • use Voicethread
  • allow students to learn from each other, to collaborate, to comment, to give feedback
  • students learn digital citizenship as part of the process
  • Skills highlight: communication, research, inquiry
  • Have a feedback process so that students can improve work and re-upload

Middle School ESL

Purpose: To build school community and have collaboration between diverse populations, using the strength of each to create authentic products.

  • middle school students work with early elementary students to write books for young children
  • foster relationships by pairing younger kids with older kids
  • students communicate initially face to face and then move conversation to the wiki
  • younger children would need teacher support
  • younger children illustrate and older children write
  • choose hard copy or online copy for products
  • have book opening/signing in the library with community invited
  • have a one month intensive kickoff and then follow up throughout the school year

Parent Communication

Purpose: To flatten the classroom walls between parents, students, teachers and extended family.

  • provide tech training/support so that parents can use the tools
  • invite family participation in class activities using online tools
  • needs assessment is important
  • evaluation is important to determine effectiveness of any strategy implemented
  • Examples of parent involvement
    • comment on student work
    • respond to survey or other questionnaire electronically
    • pose questions related to various subject areas for real life learning
    • provide expertise to students through blogs, wikis, forums
    • Skype with family members of students e.g. in teaching weather and earth’s rotation
  • Models for parent tech support
    • have students show parents how to do something at home (as part of class/school expectation)
    • have parents come in to the school and have an adult lead the training
    • have parents come in to the school for training led by their child(ren)
    • have online resources available that parents can access as needed

For more information, visit the Create The Future workshop wiki.

Technology Autobiographies

I always begin my computer classes by having students create their technology autobiography. I’ve had them use MS Word, Powerpoint, KompoZer, poster paper, video cameras, etc. This semester, on of my goals is to introduce them to web2.0 tools that they could potentially use in their other courses. I started with Glogster.

Each of my 26 students created glogs to present they technology autobiography. Some of them added multimedia from the web and some of them created their own multimedia to add to their glog. This assignment gave me background about their experience with technology and their attitude to it. It also showed me their interests. Here are some examples, posted on their kidblogs.