See you when we’re back, tan and relaxed!
Categories : About Me
See you when we’re back, tan and relaxed!
In order to create a truly exciting and enticing story for their 1001 Flat World Tales projects, many of our students are choosing to include alternate endings, in the style of the Choose Your Own Adventure books from the 80′s.
When we started explaining how to create links between pages, and how they can create as many pages as they want, they realized that they can incorporate reader choice (in this case, the alien king) into their narrative (in an attempt to ensure their survival).
Some are doing multi-faceted stories with many different story paths; others just have two or three alternate endings; still others have created totally interactive stories. Feel free to check out all of their stories (but please keep in mind that they are still in progress).
Slowly, but surely they are also starting to incorporate visual media into their stories as well. We are hoping we will have some time to allow them to narrate their whole story, add visuals and actually vidcast their tale.
The best part is that all of the students, regardless of their English language or technical skills, are excited, enthusiastic and engaged every lesson.
Our sixth grade IT students had a very exciting day today:
Not only was it the first day of a new quarter, (the first day of IT for this year), but they also got to meet a group of Year 7 students in New Zealand (and their fantastic teacher) without even leaving the classroom!
For many of our students this was the first time they had ever participated in a video conference – and certainly the first time they have ever done so as part of a school project.
This group will be collaborating together to create a multimedia presentation – here in KL we will be using iMovie, the students in NZ will be using Movie Maker. Part of their responsibility will be to teach each other how to use the software they are learning about. I love the idea that students in an all Mac school can learn how to use Movie Maker, and vice versa!
Throughout the project we will be communicating via our blogs, our wiki, e-mail, Skype, and any other other method we can find! We will be keeping track of our conversations on the wiki, and, after we return from break, will link all of our blogs to the wikispace to open a more direct line of communication for the students.
When I was sharing this story with my colleagues at lunch, one teacher described her first international project when she was teaching French in Canada. She set up a pen pal class with students in France – they would write a set of letters, wait about 2 months, and then get a set of letters back from the class in France.
In comparison, today was the first day that our students heard about the project, minutes later they had joined the wikispace set up for the project, brainstormed questions to ask their new friends, and got to meet them – all within 1 class period!
My colleague at lunch said it perfectly: It is amazing to think about the speed of communication today. What used to take months, now takes minutes. How lucky our students are!
Image 1: http://www.danieljmalone.com/images/1/news/technology/2006/07/skype-logo.jpg
Image 2: http://www.podpodpost.com/photos/ist2_557799_air_mail_envelope.jpg
The International Teen Life project we’ve been working on for the last few months has recently gotten a little press. I love that the students’ work is making it into the news, but what I love even more is their comments on Mr. R’s post about the article:
When I had finished reading that article, it really started to realize how signifigant our work that we are doing is and how we wouldn’t have been able to do it with out all the help of our teachers. You, and all the other teachers involved with this project have been great in getting my and my fellow students started on this project. Learning like this beats normal school work any day. Ask any kid involed in this project and you will get the same answer. This project makes learning fun and more mind expanding in many ways! – Darren
Have you ever thought about the impact that the internet and computers have on our learning abilities and like that second last quote is very interesting in my opinion. My thoughts on that are that it is very true our ideas and our writings about many different things go further when it is sitting on the internet instead of the teachers desk it is know there for all to read. And you do get wonderful things that you never expected. – Elaine
I think that this ITL Project is really wonderful. I find it amazing how we made it this far in this project because we are working together, as a team, and we are located in different places all over the world. Also, I think that this project is important because if/when we finish this project, it will blow everybody out of the water. Maybe if we accomplish our goal of the ITL Project, other classrooms will do the same thing or something else similar to that, allowing for the classroom to grow, their voices would be heard, and other opportunities would be limitless. – Derek
Being publicly noticed for the work we are doing is truly a wonderful feeling. The Teen Life Project is such a great experience, and to add to this great exxperience, we are being encouraged by the media for the work we are doing! People will start taking our example and start interacting with other countries. Education itself has taken a giant leap, and we are a part of the transition because of the project we have started to do. I would like to say how proud I am to be part of this project, and this method we have started to use — how to communicate with different perspectives relating to the same purpose. – Sai
Through the 1001 Flat World Tales project, our seventh graders are quickly learning that writing, to be read online, should look very different from writing to be read off-line. We realized that when reading online we need:
Many of this things are different from our natural writing instincts – clearly we need to learn how to become Information Architects as we work through this project.
Our students also started their personal story pages today. They have added basic introductions (with links to their individual blogs), a description of the Malaysian record they are writing about (these are our story prompts based on the Malaysian Book of Records), and notes on what they believe makes a great story.
Next up: brainstorming their stories using Inspiration. The brainstorms will be posted next lesson on their personal story pages.
As usual, interested middle school teachers, please drop by the wiki and request membership – we would love to have another group of students to work with!
Over the past week or so, these issues have struck a chord with me:
Hey, here’s an idea:
If we are trying encourage all teachers to be multi-literate, through constructive conversations, wouldn’t it be easier if the information literacy specialist and the technology integration specialist were one and the same person?
I love the idea of involving the literacy specialist in technology integration projects, but I wonder about the burden on the classroom teacher. Is there a way that we can streamline this process? Can one person fulfill both the technology role and the literacy role? Is this desirable? This is all rolling around in my mind because the fusion of technology and literacy will be the focus of my new position for the upcoming school year…
Today marks the first day of the first middle school 1001 Tales writing workshop! Our students have just been introduced to the project and will be working with students in Serbia and Canada to produce myths and legends for the alien king about Malaysia.
If you are a middle school teacher, and would like to be part of this workshop session, please let me know – we would love to have you join our group!
Crazy isn’t it? I love technology and I love the web, but sometimes I just want to lie in bed / on the couch / on the floor with a real book full of pages I can touch and turn. The lack of distractions, the ability to stop multi-tasking, the connection with the past – I love it all. And this is why I go to the book store at least once a week and why I have a pile almost as tall as me awaiting….
Lately I’ve been finishing up No Logo by Naomi Klein. This is a book that I’ve wanted to read since it first came out, but somehow it always ended up falling by the wayside. Thankfully I have a like-minded friend here in KL that loaned me his copy. I’m amazed at how much of this 10-year-old book is still so relevant today. I’m seeing connections to The World is Flat in every chapter and in the last few pages I read today, she even mentions Daniel Pink of A Whole New Mind fame. Granted, her point of view is quite different from Friedman (and possibly Pink, though I haven’t read his book yet), but it is very interesting to see just how forward-thinking Klein’s book really is – and it’s quite nice to read a different perspective on globalization.
All this talk of books reminds me of a fun tool I’ve been using for a while: Library Thing. You can create your own virtual library (here’s mine), get recommendations, and read book reviews from people with similar taste. Loads of fun!