Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Flat Classroom #12: Celebration and Summation

Challenge #12: Celebration and Summation

Do: Participate in a summit for your learning as part of your course or in one of our learning summits as shown in the schedule at www.flatclassroombook.com/ch9. The summit should be recorded and you should have a graphic to present in the on-line classroom as you reflect upon what you’ve learned.
Optional. If you do not have a course or group to present with, recruit three to four people in your learning community to attend your brief on-line presentation in a classroom. Share with them a summary of what you have learned and a celebration of your accomplishment!

Share: Blog about the process of presenting in an on-line classroom and summarize your presentation. Embed your graphic and a link to the recording of the presentation (if available.) Suggest at least one idea for a flat classroom - style project that relates to your content area.
tag: fcc12_summit

I am continuing the new project that I tested out where the students had to present their final projects to the rest of the 7th grade students as a two day final test of their expertise on their project.

For this project students had to tackle one aspect of the Cold War, research, cover two learning targets, and finally relate what they have learned to the events of today. After giving them time to research and plan(each student filled out their own individual learning target) students then had to create a presentation in which students(the rest of the 300 plus 7th grade students and teachers) would come to them to hear their presentation and learn about their field of expertise. The second day involved being tested and questioned by myself to really see how much they actually know.

Being the end of the year(we are already done) I did not have enough time to create an online community so everything was done in person. However, I feel that the presentations and learning was just as powerful as presenting online. I talked with Julie and she gave me the nod to use this for this challenge.

I think that overall, the project was a success. Time was too short and if students were given maybe one more week they would have done an even greater job. With that being said, we created a mini museum in our auditorium. Students had to get students to come to their station so they could present(they were graded on the amount of students they presented to).

Giving them the chance to pick one aspect of the Cold War to focus on was a positive. I held one on one conversations where I talked with them about the basic information that they are expected to know. We had four meetings where we focused on the specific learning targets so the learning was the same for everyone. However, they needed to go deeper and that is where the independent project came in. They could choose one area of interest and really dive into the topic and learn as much as they can. The unit was not canned. It was open for them to explore their interests.

Overall, the project was successful. We did not allow PowerPoint so many created either a movie or a triboard with replicas. I also hammered them with questions to see if they could make connections to the events of today. Really, that is the point of learning history to bridge the past with today.

I think if we were able to coordinate an online presentation to another audience the students would have taken it to a whole new level. There is something to be said to the focus of students when they have to present to others besides their peers. I have done other online projects and when we speak to other classrooms around the world there is a whole new sense of professionalism that comes into play without me having to really teach it. They want to look good in front of the "unknown" audience.

Next year, I will move this to the online world. Perhaps have them work with others around the country and present to multiple classrooms online and end with some online voting and assessing. This was a great step in the right direction.
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