Mo Platforms, Mo Problems

Well, we are officially in full swing with a Major Digital Project that my students are doing this semester.  I have started the process of setting up a blog hub so every student can access each other’s progress reports. Teaching high school students how to do this is a much different experience than being in an environment with people who want to learn how to integrate technology in authentic ways (EC&I 831). I’m exhausted.

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I absolutely love integrating these types of assignments into my classroom because I do see the value. Admittedly, I also like to demonstrate that theories I learned at the University of Regina can successfully be implemented into our teaching practice. Take that, naysayers! Integrating these assignments in classrooms can be extremely difficult but it’s not impossible.  When you give students choice to learn any skill they want and the ability to post their progress in different ways they can get lost. I’m getting a lot of “Ms. Koskie, what should I write about?” I have modeled progress posts and talked about my expectations with using online resources, but the question continues to come.  It’s not surprising to receive this type of feedback when they are trying something completely different. I think this is partially due to how students are conditioned to recognize that end products are the only thing that matters.

Then I realized I am struggling with the exact same thing that my students are in this class.  I’m not doing a project where I learn a new skill and post my progress on what and how I’ve learned.  There seems to be a more concrete fluidity to progress posts when doing that type of project.   I’m struggling with writing down my process for integrating this project in my classroom. What do I write about?

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Do I write about how I set up a blog hub? Share my handouts? Talk about classroom management? Talk about technology struggles? I don’t know. So I guess I am asking you the question: what would you like to see?

  • Koskie Out

3 thoughts on “Mo Platforms, Mo Problems

  1. It seems to me like you are identifying the most difficult part is classroom management and motivation. So I would love to hear more about that.
    Also, I think the reason this is so hard for us and for students is because they so rarely get the opportunity to make choices about learning. If it was typically done in education, they would have lots of ideas of what to do and what they would like to write/learn about.

    • I think you’re right– they rarely get the opportunity to make choices so we have to teach them it’s okay to take risks. It’s hard to tell them something when they have grown up in a system that discourages this type of learning.

      Classroom management is actually much better than I thought it would be. I think this is because they are (for the most part) excited to learn their chosen skill. Ultimately it’s relationships with students since they don’t listen to you if they dislike you. I’m not sure how to model something so open-ended so I am going to try and find strategies for that.

  2. I agree that it’s all about the relationship and that students respond when they know you like them! So important! (You likely saw the TedTalk by Rita Pierson on YouTube about this topic? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFnMTHhKdkw )
    I think helping kids identify their topic is also about helping them get in touch with who they are. What are their interests and passions?
    Little kids can answer this question better than any of us! They can tell you what they like and can make choices about what they want to do. I think we lose this ability over time and we have to reawaken it. But perhaps for those who are most stuck, asking them what they were interested in when they were younger kids might help. (There is research that backs this up – our curiosities and interests when we are a child often remain our strongest passions when we grow up).
    It’s also tough putting yourself out there – wondering if people will think your ideas are good or not. I imagine you have talked with them about that too?

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