For my COETAIL FINAL project, I’ve decided to redesign a culminating task for my senior IB Language and Literature course. Working alongside Lindsay Lyon, my colleague and fellow COETAIL’er, we’re asking our students to explore a tech tool that is new to them – Google Sites. What makes the site so great is that the technology is very intuitive and so it requires very little instructional time in terms of teaching students how to manipulate and create. According to tech blogger, Daniel Nations, one of Google Sites’ best features is its design ease and the fact that you can be a web designer “without having to know how to code it yourself.” Google sites also “falls under the Collaborative category in Google’s Apps for Work,…which is what makes it so powerful and such a valuable tool for teams.” In other words, Google Sites fits our criteria for a presentation platform: digital, simple, collaborative and dynamic. And off we go!
In revisiting our unit on the graphic novel, Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, we decided that the previous culimating project, where we asked students to create a simple “One-Pager” presentation of their background assignment was not inline with our own new tech-savvy, courtesy of COETAIL. Lindsay had the brilliant idea of using Google Sites to revamp the project and voila, we were ready to go!
Our goal with this new and improved project is to move the content of the presentation away from the straight-forward presentation of facts in a linear fashion and more towards an integrative and dynamic platform of presentation. We are creating a Site for each of our classes and assigning them the position of curator and designer. Each pair of students will have their own tab (subtopic) where they are responsible for compiling graphic data, facts, images, videos and helpful information for their classmates as they build on their contextual knowledge of the novel, Persepolis. They will then embed a quiz (in the form of a Google Form) for students to demonstrate their learning from the site.
The Hopes and Dreams
As we move through this process, I hope to see students authentically and enthusiastically engaging with this task. Okay, enthusiasm might be asking too much of my second semester seniors at this point in time, but I am hoping that with the relative ease and aesthetic that Google Sites offers, students will show a genuine interest in the subject matter. I also dream that the knowledge my students gain from this assignment will be enough to propel them all to 6’s and 7’s on their IB Paper 2 Exam. A teacher can dream…