It was great to hear all of the positive feedback about our course prototype on Genius Hour. Many comments were supportive and enthusiastic adding that this is the type of project that will encourage life long learners. I agree and hope that other teachers choose to utilize this amazing opportunity to have student/teacher links right at your disposal.
One of the concerns about our project was the assignments and course information might be difficult for grade 3 students to understand. Throughout planning of this project, I thought that some of the modules may be geared towards a higher grade but I knew that for my grade 4’s, I would do one of two things.
- Use the modules that best fit my students.
- Use all of the modules but provide further instruction, a screen-cast, video, etc. where need be.
As a result, there was enough concern that prompted one of our group members to suggest that we change the grade level to 5-8 rather than 3-8, keeping in mind that for younger students some adaptations may be needed. Great idea!
As Danielle stated, our group chose blogging as the “thread” that ties our modules/project together. As a group we agreed that blogging would be a consistent way for the students to process, reflect, and explain their learning as they work their way through the project.
I was certainly on board for blogging because I have blogged with my students for 3 years now. I consistently see growth, their confidence increase and engagement during blogging. In our discussions, we chose specifically not to provide a specific blogging domain (kidblog, wordpress, blogger, etc) because every teacher might not want to set up their blogs the same way. One thing we missed was including a “How to set up your blog?” section of our prototype just in case.
As a result, Danielle decided to add a short “How to” video for setting up a wordpress blog. Many teachers also enjoy Kidblog, TheEdublogs and I have recently been using Blogger. I switched to blogger this year and the students and I are enjoying it. Especially because of the fact it is free!
As a result, it was an important suggestion to introduce blogging to students who do not have any experience with it.
Lastly, we received feedback about our considerations for common concerns. Now, the prototype includes;
- technology concerns
- EAL students
- cultural concerns
- attendance concerns or students who are out of town
- teacher/student communication
Overall, we had really positive feedback about the organization of the prototype and how user friendly it was. The modules were linked together well and flowed from one to the next. Everyone seemed to like the variety of videos and assessment tools that each group member chose for their modules.
For myself, I received great feedback on the introduction video for the module that I was tasked with. One comment was specific to the music I added to the video. In fact, I was thinking the same thing. One of my students had added the same music to his iMovie and it seemed to grab the students attention. So, I purposely kept that in mind because I know how easily a student’s focus can be lost, even while watching a stimulating and fun video!
Since completing the Genius Hour Introduction video, I also used iMovie for my Summary of Learning. I worked on smoother transitions and being more cognizant of not cutting out words here and there.
Now that the improvements have been made, it will be even better than before. I hope that it will be frequently utilized by students and teachers!
Check our protype here;
- go to classroom.google.com
- click on the + sign to join
- type in the code ku6m8y
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