Meaningful Projects

Another fabulous example is during our 3rd grade project on weather, groups had the option to create a weather report using the Flip video camera, or to use Wikispaces to create an online weather report. Both groups learned that technology could be engaging when utilized correctly within the classroom. This project was completed in the 2009 - 2010 school year and was modified for the 2010 - 2011 school year. 

During the 2010 - 2011 school year, students were again given two options - to create a weather report on-camera, or to create a weather report off-camera, both using their voice. They could either be video-taped discussing the weather, or use a Screencast of a PowerPoint that they spoke about the weather. All of the students participated, and it's good to note that many students who do not have great participation really excelled at this project.

With each group, one could see that the students were really excited to put their name, face, or voice to the project. There was not a student who earned a low grade - all students were graded 2/3 or 3/3 (our current grading scale using formative assessment). 

Flip Video and Screencast Video

Google Maps - Track your Travel

Finally, a great example is a final project that the 4th grade students created. They were assigned a project to create a travel itinerary of a Spanish-speaking country. At first, we were going to use a paper pamphlet to convey the information. But then, I remembered how exciting it was to create a map that we are using to travel to Europe, to plan the entire trip using a Google Map. We implemented the Google Map to showcase our project and I showed the students how to use the application. Below is a final project of one of the groups. Not only did they learn geography of the country, they also learned how to search for flights, hotels, and things to do using travel search engines.

View Smith-Chile in a larger map