Student Feedback on Major Project:



My final project for EC&I 832 was to redesign a unit of study on the Inuit. I wanted to provide new opportunities for my students to explore this topic by adding different types of web 2.0 tools and experiences.
My first intention was to have my students connect with students from Nunavut, where we could interact beyond our classroom means. I sent many emails to elementary schools, high schools, and universities, but received no reply. I was saddened by this as I know my students would have truly enjoyed meeting students from Nunavut. However, our class experience with Google Earth was probably the most valuable tool during the unit.
I set up a class tour where we “flew” to Nunavut to experience life in the Artic. We went to many different types of landmarks and cities, viewed photos and video clips. My students really enjoyed the “close-up views” of the different places we visited. We also enjoyed checking the weather everyday, and so far are very glad we live here.
To start the unit I had the students use SMART response to answer a variety of true and false questions. I used this tool to gain a better understanding of my students’ knowledge of the Inuit. This tool was also valuable for me, as it gave instant feedback on what the students know or didn’t know. The students enjoyed the process as it was both new to them as it was to me. Even though this tool was not a Web 2.0 tool, the SMART response system was just purchased by our school and I was the first teacher to try it out in the classroom. This was a great learning experience for me and it allowed me to share with my fellow colleagues’ different ways it could be used in the classroom.
Lastly, I had the students take pictures of the dioramas they created for their Inuit topic and we posted the pictures in slidestory, where the students shared what they had learned about the topic. I tested this tool before I had used it with the students, however when we finished the project, a very frustrating error would not allow us to post the story to the website. Unfortunately, I had to delete many slides until it finally uploaded. Needless to say, only five pictures were left. I was very disappointed as I was hoping to share this project on our classroom blog, so parents and our global audience could see what we have learned. I will still have the students complete this part; however we will use the trusty voicethread to complete the story! My students also commented, they missed having music as part of their story. I think they were referring to the program Windows Photo Story 3, where most of our class stories the students get to choose a piece of music that best represents the story.
I think we both (my students and I ) enjoyed this learning experience. The Web 2.0 tools definitely added more depth to the project and allowed my students to explore and gain more information about their topic.