We had a great time in our collaborative planning session this week, moving one of our Year 5 inquiry units into the 21st century. It’s an exploration of plants and how they grow, in conjunction with hands-on work in our school kitchen-garden, and an inquiry into the environmental conditions that affect plant growth.
They used to… do leaf rubbings with paper and pencil to see what leaves look like.
Now they will use an iPad magnifier app to look at leaves up close.
They used to… draw diagrams and label the parts of a plant.
Now they will choose their own species, research it themselves and create an animated slideshow of its parts.
They used to…. grow bean plants and watch them grow.
Now they will take a photo of their beans every day and create a stop motion video showing the growth process.
They used to… do experiments related to plant growth and write scientific reports for the teacher.
Now they will film their experiments and upload them to their class blogs with their reports, to enable comments from the wider community.
They used to… read about different kinds of plants that grow in other places and how they adapt to their environment.
Now they will message people around the world to send a photo of a plant that grows where they live, so that they can discuss and analyse their findings.
In each case, it is the learning that drives the technology. In each case, the students will be more engaged. In each case, the learning will be richer and deeper.
Let me know if you are willing to send a photo next month, especially if you live in an environment different from ours here in Melbourne!