What are you initial reactions about joining these social networks for use in this course?
Thankfully through my experience in this program I have come into contact with all of the tools we are initially signing up for. Because my family and I live internationally (Hong Kong) we use Facebook as a way to share pictures of our family adventures with the grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins in the USA. I have also used it as a way to stay connected with friends from high school and other interactions in life. Twitter on the other hand is my Pro-D center. I use Twitter to learn about new resources, trends and events that are happening in the edtech world. WordPress I have used for my Learning Log (Obviously) and Diigo is relatively new to me. I use a similar app called Annotary to collect and gather different annotations from the web. Looking forward to getting more experience with Diigo!
What is your experience in using social media for your own professional development?
As I said above, Twitter has been my Pro-D center for the past year. I got hooked onto it when I went to the 21st Century Learning Conference in Hong Kong. From there I was able to build connections with people and get overwhelmed by the amount of resources available on Twitter. As a volunteer pro-d tech coach I use Twitter when looking at new tools or strategies that I might present in the classroom.
What is your experience in using social media as an instructional strategy in your learning environment?
Currently I am teaching 8th grade. I have experimented using social media in my classroom. I used twitter to facilitate a discussion. I posed questions with unique hashtags and then had the students answer on class Twitter profiles. I found the 8th grade class is a little to young.
That being said, I also am an online instructor in a teacher certification program and we use Twitter heavily, getting these future educators connected and used to the process of using Twitter. In fact, for one of our modules we have a 24 hour “twitter blitz” where all of the different cohorts in that module converge on a single hashtag and the instructors facilitate conversations and discussions from all around the world.
What are your expectations for this course?
My expectations for this course are pretty simple. I love technology and I love building connections between different tech and the classroom. I would love to walk away with a few ideas on how to integrate some social networking into my classroom (and my colleagues). I know it is going to be a great year, this is not my first class with Dr. Gerstein, and I am looking forward to another awesome experience like the last ones!
What do you know understand best about Project Based Learning? What do you understand least?
My understanding of PBL has truly grown over the span of this course. I have gained a greater understanding of connecting the project back to the driving question as well as the addition of assessments within the project. I had not thought about adding assessments within the project. As I reflect on this process thought, it enhances the learning of the students.
What did you expect to learn in this course? What did you actually learn? More, less, and why?
My expectations of this course were greatly met. I think the BIE site was so valuable for understanding and building projects within my class. Though I have assigned projects in the past, I feel that I have the ability to have a more complete project that will allow students to have a greater opportunity for learning.
What will you do with what you have learned?
This year, I am going to be reviewing and rebuilding some of my major assessments, creating projects instead of tests. The project that I have created will be implemented into my class this fall. I am excited to have it in front of students and see how the project looks like in an actual classroom.
I had the honor of having my project reviewed by Kaycie Winn.
Kaycie did an awesome job reviewing my project. She brought back some really thoughtful feedback about my project. One area that surprised me about her review was the limited amount of audience that the students would be presenting to. Though I have them posting their videos on Youtube, I didn’t consider a bigger audience outside of the class. This is something that I am going to be rethinking as I finalize my project.
I also have been made aware by Kaycie the absence of the driving question in my final rubrics. I will need to alter this as well.
I appreciate Kaycie’s feedback and I think it will make my project that much more effective!
“Give students an open-ended task such as thinking of various endings for a story, recommending what to do in a case study scenario, or proposing solutions to a problem. Debrief the process they used and how it might be improved”(Larmer, 2013).
This quote is an example from the BIE website. This is a pretty common statement in regards to PBL and the process that we should take as teachers. The interesting part of this quote is at the end when it talks about debriefing. The interesting take away from a PBL experience is you can reflect on the project, look at what could have been improved and what one did well. Unlike a final test, the project has steps, specific moments that students can reflect on, break down, rebuild to understand their own process through the project, but also to understand about themselves and what they can do. Learning occurs when we realize the problem and find a solution. Like Edison failing 1000 times creating the lightbulb, he just needed that one learning moment to bring him over the top.
How does the debrief happen?
For the project that I created I would have the students be very vocal into their projects. Students would have an opportunity to write in a blog or journal setting about each aspect of the project, breaking it down so there is more detail. Second, there will be a group debrief where the groups will get together and write a final review of their work, how they worked together, and what the plan will be if they work together on a future project.
My hope would be that this reflection would happen more than once. Once right after the presentations are done, while the content is on their minds. And a second time 6-8weeks later as students can compare their work on a future project.
For these activities it has been very interesting to watch the project unfold. For example, when I was laying out my products and performances that the students would be completing, the information was already completed from my first plan of the project. The task was simply fleshing out the details of the project in a way that was helpful to the students. I think looking over this experiences, each step helps you as you move toward the final completed project.