Project Manager Summary of AWL 12-2
This fall I was hesitant to take on managing the project “A Week in the Life” which is organized for 3-5th Graders to connect with technology to discuss their cultures. I learned that Maureen Tumenas would be a lead teacher and Michelle McGarvey had already agreed to help lead. With a new job at a new school, I questioned my sanity to lead, but I jumped in. My co-worker Matt Kiser agreed to participate with the 4th graders at our school during tech time. Matt and I registered for a Flat Classroom School, so that Matt could become Flat Classroom Certified Teacher.
The project starts with creating a handshake for the classroom and each individual student. Our students filmed each other talking about our school and Matt combined all the video into a movie that we posted on Edmodo. We then taught the students how to use Voki to create their individual handshake. In the next project, I would encourage all classes to Skype or virtual meet online at a certain time. Even if the session would be with a school in your own time zone, the students really enjoy the synchronous meetings.
During this phase each students are put into a group based on their category (Food, Clothing, Celebration, Housing, Transportation, School Time, Leisure Time, Environment, Language) on Edmodo and are watching the group members handshakes and commenting on them. This allows the students to learn about good digital citizenship. The students must not use slang or text talk since most of the International students are English as their Second Language (ESL) students. The students and teachers post questions about their category. This time we also used Popplet to have the students organize their thoughts about their topic. It seemed like an extra step. I would rather the students begin the final project in VoiceThread earlier.
As the discussions on Edmodo begin, we ask the students to start collecting media (photos, videos or art work) that they can use in the final project. Each team creates on VoiceThread. This was our first project that used the Flat Classroom VoiceThread account. For some reasons, it was much easier, but it seemed like we lost some of the teachers in this phase. In the future, it would be helpful for each teacher to create their own VoiceThread and share with the institutional account.
The last step in the project is CELEBRATION and it is my favorite part. The teacher summit was held first and as teachers we discussed the good and the bad and everything in between. Then the student summits followed with many different schools connecting during a convenient time to reflect on the project with the students presenting. This is so powerful that it should almost be a mandatory step.
Thank you to all of the amazing students and teachers who participated. If you are interested in Flat Classroom Projects, go to http://www.flatclassroomproject.net/about.html.