Looking Back to Move Forward (Course 4 Final Project)

Some rights reserved by Jamie Grant
Some rights reserved by Jamie Grant

So my COETAIL experience is getting close to the end, and my final project for the fourth course is to think of a unit or something that would fit into the redefinition category in the SAMR model. I had no idea where to start, so I decided to look back at the most salient ideas I learned over the past 4 courses.

  • Digital citizenship
  • Positive digital foot print
  • Media / visual literacy
  • Copyright, fair use etc.
  • Remixing
  • Connectivism

Looking at those big ideas, I have two projects I’m thinking of.

Redesign project

This would be embedded in Math and geometry where the students will have to redesign an everyday object, talk about its improvements and advertise it. I want the element of tinkering and remixing as a part of the student experience. I would also add in elements where the students can set up polls using Google Forms or something so that they can start getting feedback on their redesigned object. Finally, creating some sort of advertisement will allow the students to consciously design, write and create something that takes visual literacy into consideration. A wishlist item for this project would be to collaborate with another class somewhere that can give my students feedback on their project so that they can be interacting with others online, practicing their good digital citizenship skills.

Some concerns I have about this project is timing. I’d want my math unit to overlap with a literacy unit (I would do as a choice) on reading, deciphering and writing advertisements. Another concern that I have is to make sure all the moving parts are working well. I would have my students manage using social media (like Edmodo), a 3D design tool (like Tinkercad), and their newly introduced Google Apps suite. For the students to complete the project, I almost feel like I have to rush through some of the digital citizenship lessons, which I really want to take some time on.

I think the biggest shift in how I will be teaching or working through this project is that I will be doing a Project Based Learning unit. Which is quite different from the way I was doing things this year where there was a lot of direct instruction. I’ll also be shifting my teaching calendar around to move my geometry unit from the end of the year to the beginning of the year.

Finally, from this unit, the students will have to be communicate with each other digitally, thinking about how to have positive interactions while giving feedback. They’ll also have to navigate using all the tools we plan to use. Maybe the designing doesn’t have to be a 3D Design tool, but they can even make a model physically as they go. One more thing this will force them to do in terms of literacy is to write and create thinking about the audience and how they will receive it (in the advertising portion), which will be helpful for them in all writing projects.

giving students a voice in the world

This project would be closer aligned to my literacy unit where I taught about blogging. I would want to expand that with this unit. I would include Social Emotional Learning ideas to be a good Digital citizen into the lessons, and have the students read a lot of different blog posts, and write a few. In addition, I would also introduce Edmodo to them at this time so that they can practice putting their ideas out into the world informally as well. This will be nice because the Global Read Aloud usually has an Edmodo group that my students can interact in, so that’s an additional space for them to talk about things.

I guess what I’m experimenting with here, is treating the digital citizenship idea as a social emotional learning unit. I would try similar strategies that I use to talk about conflict resolution here where you model, practice, and (hopefully) apply. What works really well with that in something like conflict resolution is that it equips the students with phrases or words that they can use when they face a challenge. With this, I wonder if it would work to guide them to have a particular mindset about being a digital citizen.

A definite shift I would make in my teaching with this project is to really step back and let the students try figuring things out. Other than talking to each other kindly, I want the students to encounter various ways people communicate in the digital age and come up with appropriate ways to interact and participate. Maybe it would lead to a set of norms that we think good Digital citizenship should have?

Hmm… which one to go with…



One thought on “Looking Back to Move Forward (Course 4 Final Project)

  1. Love the idea of 3D design – both virtual and physical, as well as the ways you want to bring digital citizenship into the social emotional aspect of learning. Looking forward to see where you go with these!

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