Thursday, March 11, 2010

Speech Students Blazing Along

The Speech students have been researching the Horizon Report trends this week.  While they have been researching and discussing those trends, they have also been blogging on their activities and experiences.  The frustration level has decreased as they are progressing through the project.  Earlier this week I demonstrated Diigo for them, and they played with the tools using our classroom site as a workspace.  There were post-it notes and highlights all over the NetGen2010 page of the site!!!  We discussed professionalism that must be used in placing post-its and comments.

Most recently, the students began using Diigo to bookmark sites that demonstrate the Horizon Report trend that they will be working with.  We created a PPHS Speech Group for Diigo and used the tag pphsnetgen so students will have a little practice with Diigo before they begin bookmarking sites with their NetGen subgroup team members.

The Elluminate meeting went well on Tuesday - I feel really comfortable with the status of my students.  We are a little ahead of some schools in the research, but I think that the Speech students needed to have a solid background before they begin working with their team members.  The Speech students seem to feel good about their understanding of the project now as well.

Students are joining the wiki and by the end of class on Friday, all should have editing privileges on the wiki.  The only thing that appears to be a concern with students is the amount of email that they are receiving from the wiki and ning.  I have been showing them how to filter these messages in their gmail settings and will show them how to regulate the messages from the settings menus of the ning and wiki as well.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dickinson Sites Galore!

I seemed to have been falling in a rut the last week and a half.  I felt bored, and the students had to be feeling the same - one student in particular fell asleep twice last week.  We had to shake up the dull-drums . . . therefore, I created a project last night that will not only challenge the Accelerated English juniors, but it will also place the learning process in their hands, giving them choices for the products of their learning.  Students will be creating Google Sites to demonstrate the importance of Dickinson's writing and the impact of her writing on American Literature.  Throughout the process, students will study the effects of Dickinson's life on her writing, her writing style, the themes of her writing, figurative language she used in her writing, critical reviews of her writing, and other writings by Dickinson such as letters of correspondence.

In doing the project, students will not only learn about Dickinson's writing, buy they will also use skills in research, writing, critical thinking, collaboration, communicating through various forms, and using technology as a tool to create a product for others to reference.  Student are grouped into teams of three (there is one group of two in each class because of numbers).  Teams will first fill in the blank cells of the Project Plan below and share the document with me.  Afterward, each team will submit a timeline and workload plan.

The American Literature Sites Project is as follows:

  American Literature Sites

Students will collaboratively work with partners to create a Google Site analyzing Emily Dickinson's writing.  Mr. Langley's Digital Classroom will link to the site so people may view your work in progress.  One Google Site per partner group will be created.  The project due date is March 31, 2010.  Project Plan:

Emily Dickinson - need to know topics & assignmentsHow to Address the topic or assignmentHow to Support & Give Credibility to your work on the topic and/or assignmentProduct within the Site that will demonstrate this topic and/or assignment
Effect of her life on her writing

Dickinson's writing style

Themes of Dickinson's writing

Figurative Language commonly used in Dickinson's writing

Critical reviews of Dickinson's writing

Analyze ten Dickinson poems

Other writings by Emily Dickinson (letters of correspondence, etc.)

Which literary period does Dickinson's writing reflect?

Why is Dickinson and her writing significant to American Literature?

Grading Rubric:
The project is worth a total of 45 points in the Report category of your 4th quarter grade.  Each Product withing the Site will be scored on the following Expectations and scale:

Well Below ExpectationsBelow ExpectationsMeets ExpectationsAbove ExpectationsWell Above Expectations

  • Project partners will submit their Project Plan to Mr. Langley via document sharing.
  • The product demonstrates understanding of the topic/assignment
  • The product thoroughly, effectively, and accurately addresses the topic/assignment
  • The product is a credible reference tool for others
  • Credible sources are used and referenced
  • Web sources are hyperlinked with a text link.  Print sources are referenced with in-text parenthetical citations (a works cited page in the site is present)
  • Whenever applicable, project partners research how to use the tools necessary to create the product.
  • Project partners establish and maintain respectful and cooperative working relationships
  • Project partners seek feedback from multiple sources from outside Mr. Langley's English classes (a Google form is a quick survey tool).  Feedback results are presented to Mr. Langley via gmail or document sharing.
  • Project partners constructively use feedback from multiple sources to make improvements to the product.
  • Project partners organize a timeline for each project and submit the timeline to Mr. Langley via gmail.
  • Project partners organize a work-load plan for partners and submit the plan to Mr. Langley via gmail or document sharing.
  • Project partners maintain and complete their agreed upon workload according to the timeline submitted or document sharing.

NetGen2010 Project for Speech class

Wow!  Speech class plans have been rearranged for the rest of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter.  I'm excited to pass on that we are now part of a global project, and Speech students will be collaborating with students from the USA and from other countries.  The project is part of the NetGen2010 Flat Classroom Project.  At this point, I have joined the Flat Classroom Project Wiki, the Flat Classrooms Ning, the Grown Up Digital Ning, the NetGen2010 Google Group; have signed up for a Timebridge Group; and have signed up for Elluminate meetings.  As I have received numerous emails from the project leaders since inquiring into the project, my first reaction was that I met the Hippy Geeks of the internet.  They were so welcoming that I could almost feel them trying to hug me through the computer!

The project itself organizes students into teams of six to seven - incorporating students from the US and students from other countries in each group.  Students will utilize Chapters one, three (chapter three in particular), and five of Don Tapscott's book Grown Up Digital and the 2010 Horizon Report to research and disseminate the information from each texts to create wikis and videos on their proposals for the use of various technology as tools for education and business.  Each Pleasant Plains student is in a separate subgroup team.

My students have currently joined the Flat Classroom Project Wiki, the Flat Classrooms Ning, the Grown Up Digital Ning, and the PPHS group of the Grown Up Digital Ning.  Each also has a Speech Journal Blog to blog on the activities/ideas about the project.  Next week I will get the students set up with Diigo accounts as well.

The Speech students have reacted with a mix of frustration and excitement to the project.  They are excited to be a part of something "real" - something that matters.  They are also frustrated because we don't have all of the project information yet.  I have been relaying the project information as I have been made aware of it myself.  Most of the project plan will be made clear when the students begin working with their respective teams.

While the students are nervous about the project, the overall atmosphere is positive.  They are excited about activity on the nings - "friending" some of their team members already.  I'll update the blog on our progress as often as I can.