Backwards by design…maybe?

Part of this course involves us creating a final project…and to this end we were asked to create a project sketch on our blog prior to completing the project on the class wiki. As per typical Daneah fashion, I went about it all backwards and did the project first and now am feeling like an idiot trying to write a ‘sketch’ for something I’ve already completed. Sigh. Some things never change. I hated those classes in college that required a rough draft or an outline prior to the final product. I often found myself completing the final project, then going back and creating a pretend rough draft and outline. I earned pretty decent grades, so it’s a method that worked for me…hmm, I wonder if this qualifies as ‘backwards by design‘!?

Anyway, so instead of the project sketch, I thought I would post here links to some videos  that may come in handy for teaching a unit on cyberbullying and digital citizenship. They’re favorites that have been around for awhile, but I like them. A few from the adcouncil that I like are: Kitchen, Bulletin Board, and Talent Show.

I constantly marvel at how the level of engagement from students increases dramatically when Web 2.0 tools are utilized. Now, not all students of course respond the same and some students seem to be reluctant learners in almost any situation! However, I have never experienced the level of engagement and response as I did when I worked with my 4th grade students last year on a friendship video project. First I showed the kids a couple of other videos, Don’t Laugh At Me and Hero in the Hallway. We discussed what message those videos were sending, then decided to create our own video about friendship at Shanghai American School. The first question in every individual class was “Can we put it on YouTube?” I had students meeting after school, on weekends, and during their recess time to work on their projects for the video. I actually had students writing songs, including music, for the video. All on their own time and their own volition…it was remarkable! It certainly helped me to see how the utilization of many of these ‘new fangled’ tools can seriously impact a student’s learning in powerful and meaningful ways. I was so proud of what my kids had created…but more importantly, they were proud of themselves!

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