Friday, June 06, 2008

Sharing my Classroom Part 1: Grade 6

It is assessment and report writing time here at Qatar Academy. I have been in the unenviable position this year of having 12 different classes across 5 different year levels (about 250 students in total). Needless to say this is a challenge and in many respects an unworkable situation for any teacher. However, as I near the end of it all and look towards a completely different working environment next year that encompasses an administrative position with none of my own classes (something I have mixed feelings about), I want to share student achievements from this year.

As in recent years I have run a wiki-centric classroom. My Qatar Academy IT wiki links to all curriculum for this past academic year. I did have some excellent class photos on the home page in bubbleshare, but we had issues with it running through our network so I took it off. Here it is now, with great smiling faces of some of my students (all of whom have given permission to have their photo online).

BubbleShare: Share photos - Powered by BubbleShare

Grade 6 Classes
In Grade 6 this year, with one 55 minute lesson per week, we completed 3 units that focused on communication and skill building with multimedia tools as well as Web 2.0.

Unit 1: Introducing Qatar and Qatar Academy - using PhotoStory and being part of the global project run by Chris Craft called 'Life 'round here'. Our entries are found here.

Unit 2: Becoming a Web 2.0 Expert - where we explored blogging, social bookmarking RSS and created a start-up page using iGoogle

Unit 3: New Technology for Learning - here the challenge was to investigate an emerging technology and design a presentation to show the class, and Dr Hedger our Director how it could be implemented in the classroom. This unit used the MYP Technology design cycle of Investigate, Design, Plan, Create and Evaluate. The essential tools used were Animoto and Voicethread.

The challenges of this project were to create a presentation using the essential tools and to document the research and process (as in a process journal discussing deign, plan and creation of the final products) on a personal blog. The final presentation was delivered from the blog where animoto and voicethread were to be embedded. Animoto was going through some changes as we worked on this project. At one point we were able to download the 30 sec. clip, which we did and then imported it into voicethread to create a seamless presentation. However, the next week animoto had blocked this allowing only longer clips to be downloaded. Animoto also started an free referral service where an all-access pass for education was available (thanks to Ewan Mcintosh for sharing this). I contacted them and obtained one of these but my students had already moved on in the project to the next stage so we ended up not using it this time. Some students managed to get the download before it was blocked.

Here are some of the best examples of student work for Unit 3.

Felix - Tablet PCs
Abdul Rahman - Nintendo DS
Jonas - laptops in schools (this one has animoto uploaded to voicethread)
James - Laptops
Manuel - iPhone
William - E-Book
Simone - MacBook
Alexandra - Ninteno Wii
Hamdan - MacBook Air

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your classroom. I am in the process of trying to plan my MYP technology 6 class for next year and I really want the focus be on information literacy and web 2.0 tools. The framework and ideas you have shared are very much in line with the kinds of projects I hope to implement next year.

I was also interested to see how you are using Animoto. I think it is a really neat application but as it does the design work for you I wasn't sure how it could be used in a design technology course.

Julie Lindsay said...

Hi Phil
Thanks for reading my blog! Yes, I really like Animoto but I use it as part of the larger design picture, as in design a presentation. On my list of 'must do' before the end of year (in just over a week!) is to rewrite some of these units and get them ready for the teachers taking over from me next year. Stay tuned for some further MYP Technology ideas.

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