For my final project in Course 5 I chose two options. As both options are in my lesson plans for this academic year, I am pretty sure that I will have to tackle both of them, though I have not yet decided which one to focus on for the final project. The first option is Year 4 blogging. Year 4 students will be introduced to the blogs at the beginning of the year and will keep working on their blogs through the whole academic year so that to have  completed their digital portfolios by the end of the year. This unit will be redesigned taking into consideration the experience we had last year. The second option is introducing Minecraft to Year 3 students. Minecraft is totally new in our school (Lower primary but it has been in Upper Primary which is at another campus) and has never been used in our curriculum. I was thinking whether to focus on Minecraft in Year 3 during their Ancient Egypt unit or in Year 4 during their China study unit. Most likely, I will do the both projects but my focus for the final project (at this point I am almost sure what I will go with) will be the Year 3 Ancient Egypt unit.

Option 1: Introducing Blogging in Y4

Describe the project. What will students do?

Year 3 students will be introduced to the blogs. Each student will get a blog and will add their work to it gradually during the academic year so that to present it as a digital portfolio at the students-led conference towards the end of the year. Students will work on their blogs during the whole academic year. After adding each piece of their work, they will write a reflection about the work completed. They will also visit each other’s blogs to comment.

2. How does this project reflect your learning from COETAIL?

It will include the blogging experience I got from COETAIL as well as experience on digital citizenship, collaboration, problem and project-based learning. Basically, everything what I learned in Coetail can be used here so I will have a refresh course myself.

3. What goals do you hope to achieve with this project?

Students will gain blogging experience and will collaborate with each other through blogging. They will consider their blogs as the extension of themselves.

4. Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?

First of all, because it in some ways mirrors my own experience when I was going through Coetail. We can implement a digital citizenship unit here, conduct a project-based activity, work on design.

5. What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit?

Last year we had some issues with the network – many times when students went blogging, the network went down, or when students completed their projects and were ready to upload those onto their blogs, there was a problem with the WiFi connection. Some iMovies turned out to be too big to upload onto the blogs and we had to learn a new application how to resize those which added extra unplanned time. This is one of the resigns for redesigning and introducing this unit at the beginning of the year (last year we introduced blogging in the second semester and we were not able to complete what we planned).

6. What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?

It is going to be more project-based long term approach through the whole academic year. There will also be more collaboration.

7. What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from your students?

Year 4 students will just be introduced to the emails and blogs. This is totally new to them. They will have to learn all the basics of using emails, online etiquette, and maintaining a blog. They will also be introduced to Keynote, Pages, iMovie and many other new applications which they will use to create their work and upload on their blogs.

 

Option 2: Minecraft Year 3 Ancient Egypt unit

1. Describe the project: What will your students do?

Students will be introduced to Minecraft. They will use Minecraft during the Ancient Egypt unit to create an ancient Egyptian city with pyramids.

2. How does this project reflect your learning from COETAIL?

In some ways, it will reflect what I have learned in COETAIL. In this case, a lot of project-based learning will be used. digital citizenship will be implemented and focus will be on collaboration as well as online etiquette.

3. What goals do you hope to achieve with this project?

Students will learn to collaborate and make decisions. Students will practice online researching skills before re-creating the Egyptian civilisation, pyramids and the tombs beneath them.

Students will also understand that games-based technology is a powerful tool in their learning.

4. Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?

This is totally new to me. I have never used Minecraft as a learning/teaching tool and implement this unit is a real challenge to me. I am pretty sure that some of my students know a lot and they are very experienced in Minecraft. No matter how well prepared I will be, I have to open to learn from my students as well.

5. What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit?

The unit is totally new and has never been used in our school. I have to design it from scratch.  I am not sure how much time it might take so we have to be flexible here. Another thing is that when I tested the Minecraft software with one of my classes at the end of the last academic year, my students went crazy.

6. What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?

the biggest one is I have to be ready to learn from my students. Although I will be planning my lessons, i have no ida how it will turn out and which direction it will take. I am feeling like I will be one of the students learning from my students.

7. What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from your students?

Collaboration, team work and self-management, creativity, differentiation, digital citizenship, engagement, independence, leadership.