As I’ve done previously (see 2009, 2010 and 2011), I wanted to share some of the best examples of student work from my ECMP 355 (Technology in Education) undergraduate course. These students are all preservice teachers and they range from being in the first to the fourth (final) year of our program. If you have any questions about the work featured here, please comment below or email me. I hope that you will find these projects valuable.
Final Projects: The goal of these projects varied – essentially, they were either of the ‘build a learning resource’ or ‘learn something of significance using the Internet’ variety.
Alyshia – Alyshia wanted to learn how to play the piano, and more specifically how to read piano tabs (widely available on the Internet). Here is a link documenting her journey.
Amy – Amy wanted to create a resource that would help provide guidance to those using technology in K-3 education (tied specifically to Saskatchewan’s curriculum but generally applicable), so she developed this wiki.
For the third year in a row (see 2009 and 2010), I wanted to use the last post of the year to share a few examples of the great work that is being done by my graduate and undergraduate students. I am so very fortunate to have creative & hard-working students who are committed to improving their knowledge of teaching and learning in light of our new digital landscape. I hope that some of these examples will inspire you to take up new challenges in your own context.
From EC&I 831 (Open graduate course, Social Media & Open Education):
There were many other good projects to share, but this represents a good sample of the student work from the semester. I’m looking forward to one more great semester before a 16 months hiatus from teaching as I move toward my sabbatical planning.
Exactly one year ago, I shared some of the great work my students created in the Fall 2009 semester. This past year was another amazing year in that I was fortunate to have had some incredibly creative and hard-working students in my classes. So, with the possibility of creating a New Year’s Eve tradition, here again are two very short lists of notable work from my graduate and undergraduate students from the previous (Fall 2010) semester.
Projects & Portfolios
There was a wide-range of possibilities for portfolios and projects in these classes. In some cases, you will only be seeing a small portion of what was actually assessed. However, these pieces may be valuable to others.
Final Reflections Both undergrad and graduate students were asked to produce or perform short final reflections of what they learned in their class. It should also be mentioned that a few of the best examples aren’t shown here, as they were done in ways that were difficult to record digitally.
So, that’s a bit of what my students did this past semester. Many of these students had very limited technical ability coming into the class, and I feel very happy to know how much many of them learned through the process.
I truly enjoyed teaching both my graduate and undergraduate courses this past semester. There were a number of really hard-working students who produced some very meaningful work, and overall, I can say that I am increasingly excited by the quality of students I am encountering both in schools (my graduate students) and soon to be teachers (my preservice groups).
I thought I would quickly share a few of my favorite student reflections and projects over the past semester. These represent various forms of digital expression, and will help provide inspiration to my students in future semesters.
I hope these are useful and/or entertaining to you.
Oh, and seeing that it is New Year’s Eve, Happy New Year to all of you, and all the best in 2010! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit this space, and for connecting with me in other meaningful ways. I am truly a lucky person to be tied to such a caring and passionate network of individuals.
I will teaching two open online courses next semester, and I have been brainstorming a number of ways to do things a bit differently. In both courses, students will go through the process of forming their own personal learning networking. “Their own” is key here and is something I have been struggling with. In the past, I have just given students a list of people from within my network, but I am beginning to think that this practice may be problematic. First, is this not a bit contrived? Or is it? Is this an accurate way of representing how learning networks form? Maybe. I am not sure. Second, does this not just lead to replicating well-formed, existing networks? Or, does this contribute to the dreaded “echo chamber” effect?
Sure, I know that if I give a short list of network contacts to my students, they are not by any means going to form the same exact network that I have, but I would bet these would be very similar. And I am not by any means trying to criticize the members of my own PLN. In fact, I wouldn’t be connected to you if I did not feel that it was a positive connection. But I am curious of what I am missing. I want to understand personal learning networks not only by the connections that form, but also by those that are absent.
So, help me out here. What if I gave each of my students a single point on the the network, a single individual (probably via a blog address), and made all attempts to keep these points as unrelated as possible (yes, quite difficult in our x degrees of separation world). What networks would students form? How similar would these PLNs be? And what could we learn about how educational PLNs form?
Most importantly, if I used this approach with my students, would this in any way disadvantage their learning opportunities?
One of my students, Veronique, has just completed a mini-project for a first-year undergraduate course I teach. She used the Common Craft format to produce a neat little video on the Angel Hair for Kids program.
We didn’t allot much class time to work on this, but I’m really happy with what she was able to produce in a short period of time. Certainly it’s not perfect, but I particularly appreciate her adoption of this instructional format. I think there is so much potential here.
In the keynote, Dean touts the importance of design in education, especially that related to the creation of multimedia. Key points covered include planning, imagery, simplicity, constraints and significance, and Dean borrows from Dan Pink’s “Whole New Mind”, one of my favorite new reads.
The content is great, but the most important piece here is how Dean pulled it off. He walks the talk. I see so many faculty members and teachers talking about one thing, but doing another (e.g., Direct teaching about how to create a constructivist classroom). Dean has developed a well designed, well-articulated, informative, humourous and personal presentation here. For my students in ECMP 355 or involved in the Digital Internship Project, be sure to pay attention.
I’m still really liking Moodle. I’ve set up my own installation and I love the freedom this gives me to set up courses quickly and experiment with functionality.
However, the one feature that I think needs improvement is user profiles. I was hoping that I could have my students put together a fairly rich profile (bio, photos, links, etc.) and have this accessible to other students. Basically, I wanted a way for students to get to know each other, and an easy way for me to get to know the students.
So, here’s my story story and how I found a decent solution. I’ll keep the explanation simple. 1) I twit my problem. 2) Durff mentions that Jim Gates will speaking about Moodle on It’s Elementary Live (EdTechTalk). 3) I forget about it for a few days. 4) Luckily, I see a reminder from Durff. 5) I listen online pretty much at the exact moment I need. Jim talks about how he uses the Glossary tool in Moodle to accomplish something very similar.
So this was the solution. Basically, all I did was add the glossary tool to Moodle. If you are familiar with Moodle, this takes about 5 seconds to do. Just go to “add an activity”, choose glossary. So students in my class each filled out this “student glossary” with their profile information. They can include links, photos and other multimedia. Nice feature.
Then, a nice touch is to add a “Random Glossary Item” block to the side bar. So, everytime you go to the Moodle main page, you will see a random student profile featured. Overall, this fix will do a nice job of accomplishing my original goal. I just introduced it to my students today, but I it’s been well-received so far. Now, I’m waiting for their input.