Course 2 Final Project Reflection
This quarter, my colleague here at AIS-R and I decided to spice things up a bit in the grade 10 English curriculum. We knew we were going to be covering narrative writing, but wanted to tweak the unit to make it more 21st century-friendly. Et voila! Our grade 10 blogging unit was born. My colleague also graciously allowed us to collaborate with another HS English teacher in Los Angeles, California (who also happens to be my big brother!:) in order to fit the parameters of the Coetail assignment. So far? It’s been a truly rewarding experiment! So great to work with my brother again (we taught together a few years back) and to collaborate with a classroom halfway around the world.
A Focus on Tech Tools
We knew going in to this unit some of the things that we absolutely had to cover, i.e. specific and concise instructions on how to set up the basic tools of the unit: the blog and the RSS reader. On the advice of our tech guys, we decided to go with Blogger and Feedly, both of which I highly recommend. They are both intuitive and relatively easy to manage. I have to say – that first class where we set-up their blog and Feedly account took a LOT longer than we had planned. It continues to surprise me just how much these kids do not actually feel at ease using technology. This whole concept of students being “digital natives” is often times not the case; I find that many of my students feel just as confused and lost in tech-land as I do!
Another area that we knew we wanted to focus on was the issue of copyright and citing digital sources. Our students are plenty familiar with MLA citations and how to create an accurate Works Cited, but when it comes to citing digital material (mostly photos), they’re lost. This lesson also took quite a bit longer than expected, and in fact is an ongoing battle of constant reminders. Their correctly cited images/videos/photos will be a part of their final product (not due until January), so it continues to be a work-in-progress.
The Final Product
We’re excited to see how their final product comes out! Check back in January for an update and some examples of student work!