Post by: Erin Thomas, High School English Teacher
Cross-posted from techfellowship.blogspot.com
One of the struggles I have been faced with as a teacher is figuring out how to encourage students to slow down and think critically about a complex topic or text. The art of “wondering” our way toward an answer over time seems to have dissipated as technology has made it increasingly easy for students to arrive at immediate resolutions. One way we have been combating this issue, and working toward fostering ongoing, academic inquiry is through the use of essential questions.
A note on CP modifications:
My rationale for making these choices is really based on what my honors students are ready to do at this point in the year. My desire for second semester to be a release of responsibility back to all of my students; however, my CP classes still require some additional scaffolding.
In addition, I made the choice to introduce the tech to my CP students at the end of the period, the day before I assigned the project, because that class in particular can get a little excited when we try something new. For my own personal sanity, this modification was key. They were incredibly focused the day they actually started the project because they had already had time to squirrel around with the tech the day before.
Overall, I was pleased with how these projects turned out in all of my classes. The feedback I have gathered so far from my students has been general, but here are their overall impressions:
- They prefer Adobe Spark to screencasts
- They had fun coming up with their own connections for the project
- They preferred to create the slides in Google Slides first, and then transfer those slides into Adobe Spark, because this made it easier for them to collaborate
* As a side note, the essential questions I gave my CP students were slightly different HERE are their specific project guidelines
HERE is a link to the rubric I created to provide feedback to the groups.
- As noted by my students above, it does not have a collaborative feature, so if you want student groups to create one video, it would be worth considering having the begin in Google Slides. They would then have to upload each slide as a JPEG into Adobe Spark, but my students assured me that this wasn’t too labor intensive.
- Encourage students to keep the responses to 20 seconds or less. If they feel like they have more to say about a particular slide, they can simply “duplicate” it and continue their recording.
- I had to constantly remind ALL, despite my models, to not write everything they were planning on saying on each of their slides. Once they thought of themselves as the narrator of their video, they were fine.