Friday, 8 October 2010

iTeach180 Project Days 19 and 20

This entire week students have been working on a classroom redesign project. On Monday they watched a TED talk by Dan Meyer and they responded to this quote from his speech:

I sell a product to a market that doesn’t want it, but by law, is forced to buy it.

This passage provoked the classes thinking and launched our weeklong project. The project has students redesigning one of their core classes and presenting their redesign in the form of a TED talk. They had to answer the following questions while working through this project, however they were not limited to these questions.

a.    What is the structure?
How is the content presented?
How will students be assessed?
What collaborative tools will you use in your class
How long is your class period?

Yesterday I did not write a lesson because I wanted to combine it with today’s lesson. I had the privilege of skyping with a school in Van Meter, Iowa yesterday. I talked to Mrs. Shannon Miller’s Web 2.0/PLN class. I briefly talked about my experience with a PLN and how students should harness that power and use it to their advantage in a responsible manner. I explained that it is a great time to be a student despite all the negative publicity education receives. Students today have the ability to reach out and carve their own path like never before. I expressed how social media can help you land a job, promote your talents, and capture an audience. Mrs. Miller's students were excited to have this class and realized that their learning is going for beyond their classroom and far beyond Iowa. 

Then I thought about the project I was planning on writing for today. My students were presenting their TED talk classroom redesign projects, but why were they only presenting to the audience inside the walls? Why not use skype or iChat to connect with another school and truly flatten the classroom. And this is what I am suggesting.

If you have been following along with these projects and having students present and use blogs as reflection tools, reach out to a member of your PLN and see if you can find a class to link up with.  Connect the students’ blogs and reach out to the other teacher for ways in which you can facilitate, assess, and enhance the collaborative learning. Give your students an audience beyond their classroom walls.

If you decide to do this lesson and are having trouble finding a class to link up with, please get in contact with me and I will help link you up with someone in my PLN.
Have a good weekend!

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