By: Ashley Howell
In the video, Super Digital Citizen, Mr. Pane, who is a fourth grade teacher, teaches his students about Internet safety. I feel like in today’s society kids are constantly learning how to use the Internet and technology, but they don’t really learn much about how to be safe. Mr. Pane wanted his students to learn how to be good digital citizens, which meant knowing how to act safely, respectfully, and responsibly on the Internet. He decided to teach his kids about Internet safety in a really neat, fun way. He had his students use a website to create their own Digital Superhero, as well as their own imagined situation in which the superhero would save the day when it came to Internet safety. The students basically wrote their own narrative, like a comic. Not only were the students learning about how to use technology and Internet safety, but they were also learning more about their English and writing skills. You could tell by the video just how much fun these students were having with this project. In the video, Mr. Pane mentions how it’s important to create some projects that are about the students because it makes them more meaningful. As teachers, it’s important to remember that the students are exposed to so much online and they need to know how to make good choices.
We have been learning a lot lately about Project Based Learning and how great it really is. In the Youtube video titled, Project Based Learning, we learn how three teachers in Canada restructured their day to use Project Based Learning. In this particular classroom, students don’t learn in segmented subjects. Instead, the teachers integrate subjects like History and English coupled with technology. In the video, we learn that research shows that integrated learning through projects allows the students to be more engaged and provides an opportunity for deeper understanding. The three teachers in this video realized how beneficial Project Based Learning can be, but all they needed was more time. The teachers decided to restructure their day to make time to blend ideas and content, go deeper into learning, and provide feedback. It’s hard to do a good, thorough project when the students are limited. With Project Based Learning, teachers are allowed to teach things beyond the curriculum. It gives the students a chance to create something great on their own and be proud of the process, as well as the outcome.
Brian Crosby-Back To the Future
Brian Crosby is an innovative, exciting fourth grade teacher who does not take the easy route in teaching his students. While most teachers are satisfied with high test scores and multiple choice tests, Crosby is not. In this video, he talks about a particular project dealing with atmospheric pressure and the levels of the atmosphere. Rather than just teaching his students verbatim what their textbook claims, Crosby used the book, charts and had the students complete various exciting activities. The students videoed their experiments and embed them to their personal blogs. In Crosby’s class, the students are doing more than learning meaningless facts, they are getting hands-on experience. By the students blogging they are getting to reinforce what they learn. The students are also exposed to flicker, wikipages, and other 21st century tools.
The most rewarding part of Crosby’s class is that his students are getting more out each lesson rather than just a simple science lesson. Students are learning to read and write to learn content, to write for the purpose of clarifying and sharing, and to give an receive feedback along with many other language intense skills. Brian Crosby believes in active learning where students are being empowered to learn and to learn on their own using 21st century tools. Students are also encouraged to collaborate in and outside the classroom. Students are motivated because they are able to connect with people all over the world.
By: Sarah Carl
The video of Roosevelt Elementary School's PBL program is proof of how project-based learning is so great for students. The Roosevelt teachers teach their students skills necessary for the real world such as public speaking. So many adults go through school and enter the real world never being able to properly give a speech or how to interview and that is a major reason why our society is the way it is today. Project-based learning not only teaches the students public speaking skills at an early age, it also teaches them self-motivation. They need to know that sometimes the only way to keep moving forward in life is to be able to motivate yourself to do things because they will not always have someone to hold their hand through everything. The students learn to work independently and cooperatively. By working together in PBL, the students practice social skills and how to work together which is also very necessary for the real world. Project-based learning does not use just one way of learning, it incorporates multiple intelligences so each child receives the most information from each lesson. By using multiple intelligences, it makes the students much more engaged and interactive. It makes them curious and wanting to learn. As the teacher's at Roosevelt Elementary School said "It's not easy. It's a lot of work for teachers." But I think to see the students so engaged and excited about learning makes it completely worth it.
By: Caitlyn Barton
Paul Anderson teaches AP Biology in Bozeman, Montana. This past year he turned his classroom into a video game. He thought it was a great year but a little too different. So this year he wanted to do a blended classroom. He talks about it in this video. His idea for blended learning is combining mobile, online, and classroom learning. For biology, he teaches his students by using the 5 E's: engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. His idea of blended learning combined with the 5 E's makes his blended learning cycle. Mr. Anderson likes to start a lesson with a big question that catches the students' attention. Next, he lets the student investigate to try and answer the questions they all have. Once his students have more answers, they get to watch a video that goes along with the topic. He ends his lesson with a review and testing. I think his way of teaching is something that every teacher should try in their classroom. The class does not all move along at one time. He makes sure each student is ready to move on to the next part of his blended learning cycle. Mr. Anderson says all of his students have responded positively to this method of teaching!
March Church's Making Thinking Visible video gives us a look into his classroom. Mr. Church likes to break his students into small groups. While in their groups he gives them questions to elaborate on with the other members of the group. Each group comes up with a headline that captures the essence of their topic. He then asks the groups to present their headline and explain why they chose it. To finish the project all of the headlines are joined together to make a bulletin board!