Showing posts from June, 2015

Blogging in Middle School

Carmen de Tata's 8th graders at Basalt Middle School didn't just write a persuasive paper about an environmental topic this year.

After writing their papers in Google Docs, Carmen challenged them to use Google Drawing to create a logo and slogan, then use PowToon to create a public service announcement, and finally pull it all together into a blog post on EduBlogs.

The integration of multiple tech tools added authenticity, engagement, and relevance to a traditional writing assignment. Students learned to communicate and collaborate using 21st Century skills that empower them to reach a wider audience.

This project was based on a Springboard embedded assessment that recommended a multi-media campaign. At first Carmen thought they would use Prezi, then we considered VoiceThread, before landing on the combination of PowToon and Edublogs.

Carmen was determined to find a tool that allowed students to collaborate and to get comments and feedback from an authentic audience of parent…

Documentaries with WeVideo

When Denise Wright wanted to keep her 10th grade English students engaged in meaningful learning right up to the last day of school, she decided to have them create documentary videos about environmental issues using their phones, Chromebooks, and the WeVideo editor. They started by choosing issues and writing position papers, citing sources and gathering evidence to support their claims. Then they created storyboards to convert their position papers into an outline of a video, and finally it was time to shoot and edit their videos. The project concluded with an in-class film fest on the last day of school, allowing students to view each others' videos and vote on 'People's Choice' awards.

Why did Denise invest the extra time and energy into a project that could have ended with a traditional position paper? Was it worth it? What would she do differently next time? Find out by watching the short video (created in WeVideo!) below.

Below is a example of a student-created…