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2012-2013 Brian Jackson: Grade 6 studio based learning

 

Research Question: "How does mobile technology facilitate collaborative learning in a grade six classroom?"


Collaborative projects really make for an excellent education experience not only because students bounce ideas off each other and improve each other's writing skills, but also because the process itself teaches them how to work well with others- a valuable skill for everyone.

-Richard Ellwood, Technology Coordinator and Digital Arts Teacher, Columbia Secondary School

 

 

Summary: This project will enable student collaboration through the use of iPads and Macbook Airs to create Learning Pods (LPods) - student-centered  stations used for research and product  creation.  An LPod is a group of five to six students using the technology of a Macbook Air and two iPads simultaneously for both research and final product creation.   It is a learning group where student collaboration is driven by  access  to  meaningful  technology.  An  LPod  will  allow  students  to  search  for answers to the questions posed in any given class and present their group (or alternatively, an individual) solutions to the class.

 

Description:

The focus of our classroom,  our grade six team and my Professional  Growth Plan is on the way technology can assist and advance student centered authentic coliaboration within the grade six classroom.

The  equipment  requested  will  create  5  LPods  and  will  require  that  five  desk stations be set-up within the classroom with 5-6 students at eachLPod.

The iPad will predominantly  be used as a research tool and the Macbook Air will be

used to develop final products.  However, as more apps become available and discovered, the iPad could be used as a final product tool as well and the Macbook Air could be used to research  within the LPod.   Determining  which  device is best suited for which  task  (research  vs. product)  will be a good  research  question  for students to solve.

Student groups within the LPod will be presented with a question within the context

of curriculum.   For instance,  the question in Science asks "What modifications  have been  made  to daily  objects  that  have  made  them  more  aerodynamic?"   Student groups would research a variety of objects, come up \Nith one that they would like to share with the class and develop some sort of final project (eg. podcast, powerpoint, image in Skitch) or they can create a Pic Collage of all objects that are streamlined for sharing with the entire class.

Students will use the technology to develop various 21st century learner characterisics to enhance  their creative, critical and complex thinking skills to solve  the problems presented in class OR to create questions of their own.

Students will be able to apply the LPod concept to all subject areas.

As   students   become   more   comfortable   with   the   technology,   they   will   be encouraged to share free online resources that they use at home or have discovered in their group searches. This will add to the repertoire of tools available to them.

The LPod can be supplemented  with the BYOD program that has been initiated in

our school.  Students may bring their own devices to add to the research power of the LPod.

The LPod will clearly embed the RMS level of innovation  and implementation  of

21st Century pedagogy that exists in our school into my classroom.

Regardless  of the technical level a student enters the classroom  with, the LPod and  the  collaboration   it  emphasizes   will  advance  all  students   in  an  ongoing development  of their skills.   As we drive towards exemplary  practices,  student will learn from their work together and from seeing the work of others.

The sharing that comes from collaboration is the key to the success of this project and the learning of the students. Sharing within a group and sharing within the class can be facilitated using iCioud,  Dropbox and programs  such as Google Docs.  The use of the iPads  with MacBook  Airs enables  the content  between  the devices  to become ubiquitous.  The students do not have to actively save or share the content


because the cloud solutions complete this task automatically and (almost) instantaneously.   This prevents the task of sharing seeming to be another job as the technology begins to 'disappear'  for the students. The nature of the cloud also allows the students to work from home, without the device.

 

 

8ud1get :

ITEM

QUANTITY

SUBTOTAL

 

iPad 2- 16 GB (x10)

$419

$4190

 

Macbook Air 64 GB (x5)

$979

$4895

 

 

Tax

 

$454.25

 

 

 

TOTAL

$9539.25

 

Connections:

 

To the RVS three-year plan and the RMS SEP:

Outcome 1.3- Resources and programs ensure all learners succeed. Outcome 1.2 Learning is universally accessible.

Outcome 2.1 Learners direct and feel ownership for their learning. Outcome 2.2 Learners demonstrate 21st Century competencies. Outcome 3.2 Instructional  design engages each learner.

Outcome 3.3 Instructional  design enriches the learning experience

Outcome 3.4 Instructional  practices empower learners.

Outcome 4.1 Learners use digital technologies to enhance learning. Professional Development:

My Community of Practice group relates collaboration to the grade six social government   topic.    The   LPod   would   be   an   excellent   tool   for   encouraging collaboration  in the work that comes  out of this community,  providing  consistency, focus, and continuity to the project.   By working with colleagues  from other school in this group, we can further develop the ideas of the LPod and  the uses  for  it across RVS.   My   Professional   Growth   Plan   also   relates   to   collaboration,   but   more specifically  to  the  role  that  technology  plays  in  collaborative  groups.   The  LPod concept  would  encourage  the  collaboration  that is developed  in these  two areas.

 

Extensions:

 

Beyond this classroom during this school year, the LPods will remain a valuable learning tool.  Being able to apply this technology to this classroom  in the future will be important.   Even more importantly,  being able to take this model and apply it to future    classrooms    around    Ralph    McCall    School    will    be    a    tremendous opportunity.   Being able to work collaboratively  with other students in other grades, and ultimately,  other  groups  within  their secondary  school,  post-secondary  school and  in  the  business   world  will  be  the  true  indication   of  the  success   of  the collaboration  skills  that  the  LPods  developed  through  this  innovative  technology grant.


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