Plan: An inquiry into web 2.0 presentation tools. An exciting afternoon of inquiry-based learning for a hundred Year 6 students
Rationale: In preparation for expressing their learning for a literature unit through digital presentations, we would expose them to a variety of possible tools, then allow them to explore on their own, discover which they like and decide which will be most suitable for their needs.
Skills: Communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking.
Task: Experiment with the tools of your choice and figure out how to use them. Create a simple experimental presentation relating to the big idea of your unit, as a trailer for what’s to come.
Tools: Glogster, Voicethread, Photopeach, Toondoo, Capzles, Blabberize and Prezi.
Venue: All the Year 6 classrooms, the open space between them and the open-plan learning resource centre.
Intention: To ‘let go’, allow students choice as to which tools to explore and who they want to work with.
Considerations: The school agreed to pay to increase our bandwidth for the day. We organised volunteers willing to be on-line as backup support for students to call on Skype if they needed help and no teacher was available.
The session encompassed so many things that we value and try to work towards in our school. Collaboration, both by teachers and by students. Meaningful implementation of technology. Student centred learning through personal inquiry. Engaging, purposeful learning. Student choice. Natural differentiation for different abilities and interests. Teachers willing to take risks and explore new possibilities. Opportunities for creativity and higher order thinking. Flattening of classroom walls to include outside experts. Flexible use of the physical environment.
What could possibly go wrong?
- Monday (Take 1): The whole school network crashed earlier in the day and we had to cancel before we even started.
- Wednesday (Take 2): A long and frustrating delay during which nothing got done, while everyone tried to log in at once.
What did we learn?
- 100 students logging into the school network simultaneously is not such a great idea.
- Most kids persist way beyond the point where adults give up.
- You need to have big ideas and be willing to experiment, or you will never know…
I have always relied on Powerpoint because it felt safe. Now I have tried Prezi and looked at other tools and found some tutorials that help you. I found out that there are other ways than Powerpoint to show my learning.