Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Commenting Feature in VoiceThread



Not only is this enhancement good for teachers delivering content, but for students to demonstrate what they know. You can learn more about it on the VoiceThread Blog.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Example of Using Edina Apps to Enhance Student Learning

Last year I collaborated with, Jennifer Buckley, 7th grade Language Arts teacher at South View Middle School, on a project for students that focused on Apathy. In the project, students read several stories that had apathy as a theme, then were asked to look for examples of apathy in the world around them. They created groups, developed solutions to the problems, invited stakeholders to watch them present, then used different Web 2.0 tools to present their solutions in the school theater to an authentic audience.

This year, she started the project by having students gather in groups to brainstorm synonyms, antonyms, and similes for apathy, then use the Advanced search on Flickr to find images that represented their simile with Creative Commons sharing rights and enter all on a Google Form.

Jennifer and I were talking about the project prior to this and she was commenting that she didn't care for the Google Presentation tool for the final projects, because it was limited in what it could do. I pointed out that one advantage, is that it forces students to focus on the content rather than the "bells and whistles", and that's what I liked about it. Later in the day, she sent me a link to the "Group Presentation" developed by the different classes. Here is what she and the students came up with:

When Jennifer shared the presentation with me, she included a note that said, "I guess Google Presentation is ok." To me, the simile and images helped promote higher level thinking among her students, and I think this is a great example of how our Apps for Education can be a powerful collaboration and presentation tool when focusing on the content and good design!

I'll try to share some of the student projects later in the unit.