Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Help. If you have some time...

My students have finally finished their first versions of their 2 Minutes to Make a Difference movies for this year.  A change from last years movies is that we are encouraging them to solicit feedback from classmates and around the world.  It would be great if your spring included having students watch the videos and adding comments and ways in which they would make the video better.  I will include the playlist from the spmath channel on youtube.  I have also included 2 screencaptures of the rubrics we will be using to make give the final marks.

What is important is that there is a global audience for these videos.  Please when commenting leave where you are from geographically so the kids see the power of audience.

Thank you in advance

Here are all the videos up to Tuesday. These are first versions of the movies. Please use the following criteria if you are interested in leaving feedback behind:

Use the arrow on the right hand side to switch videos. Thank you for your time

Here are 2 screencaptures of the rubrics

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Interviewing an expert

Part of the changes we made to the 2 Minutes to make a Difference movie project this year was an expectation that the students find an "expert" to talk to.  What was impressive was the amount of students scouring the internet to find people that might talk to them or correspond with emails.

Out of 75 marks the interview is only worth 5 but many students are having long conversations with people from around the world.  They are learning how to ask questions and how to collect information from these experts.  It is ironic how many of the "experts" do not have a great grasp on technology.  Many use email but when asked to skype or use a different online tool they had little knowledge on how to connect with my students. 

Welcome back the phone.  Here the students and the experts were comfortable and the information interchange was excellent. 

Part of the reflection at the end of the project will be to explain how the students found their expert and how the "expert's" information helped their movie project.  I am impressed with my students.  They constantly rise to the level of the challenge provided to them.  I need to remember this.  Set the bar high and they will achieve more than if they had the bar set lower.

Google Docs takes Steroids

I have loved Google Docs since I first started using it 3 or 4 years ago.  Now I like it even better.  Up to a gazillion people can edit and work on 1 document at one time!!! This is a change from the past. Long live etherpad. 

Combine that with the power of google and.... voila:) More importantly you can create images like in Microsoft Paint.  This has been a feature missing from most of the Macs in my room.  Now kids can enhance their posts using google docs instead of trying to find other programs on their computer. 

Oh yeah and it is saved with the rest of their work, you can pubish it and link it to documents and.... to your posts:)

Google Docs I <3 you

Monday, April 12, 2010

Movie Project Update

With the days rapidly dwindling before the Movie Project is done crunch time is upon us.  It is evident that this years students are different than last years students.... go figure.  Some reinventing of the Movie Project has evolved over the year. 

More work needed to be done during school time.  This is fine.  Problem is that most of that time came out of my math classes.  The "team" did not figure out that they too had to donate some time to the cause.  Oh well.  Perhaps next year the "team" will recognize the importance of the project and jump on board earlier... here is hoping!!

We have given the students  a rubric for them to use.

They should have a first draft of their movies done by the end of the week.  Next week we will use the rubric and student responses to edit and critique the finished movies.  My goal is to have the students leave comments behind at youtube.   The groups will then have a chance to redo their movie and resubmit it.  Peer feedback will be important to a better finished product.  The top groups will benefit from this editing time.  Last year we found many groups with grammar and topic errors. A good peer edit will eliminate many of these small errors.

A problem will occur when the other groups do not finish on time and hand in inferior work.  It is a fine balance with due dates and students.  Some make the due dates others do not.  With the movie being 20% of the third term I hope this motivates them to complete it on time.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by randomcuriosity