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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Give Me 5 - Critical thinking at its best!

This was their challenge:  Give me 5!

This is what it is all about!  The most impressive workshop I attended at TCEA was presented by students from Dublin ISD, TX.   It was inspiring to see the real tangible benefits of putting technology tools in the hands of students and focusing on 21st century skills.  It was like watching 21st century skills in 3D!
The challenge was based on these five skills:  Challenge, Collaborate, Research, Create and Assessment.   The students selected and effectively leveraged simple web tools in unique ways to achieve their goals.  The challenge they chose was to connect the schools and community to increase pride and school spirit.  They focused on the rich history of the town (home of the original Dublin Dr. Pepper) by connecting the schools with local museums.

Collaborate, Connect and Research
 How wonderful to see the students select and use the tools to do the job rather than have the 2.0 tools retrofitted to the project.  They started the challenge by brainstorming solutions to problems in both their school and local community.  Inspired by Steve Jobs, they sought to think globally and act locally.
They began their collaboration using TodaysMeet , a simple online meeting room to brainstorm solutions to community challenges from their school community to their local community.  This allowed them to post ideas, comment on posts and contribute 24-7 to the conversation.  They also used project share  as their workspace to “virtually” meet and share ideas, resources, etc.
Understanding the power of social media in their world, they chose to use Twitter (developing hashtags) and  Facebook to get the word out and increase school spirit, connect to local museums and increase community pride.  They also used Twitterfall  to research attitudes towards the Dublin Dr. Pepper plant shutting down production of the original Dublin Dr. Pepper recipe.  They continue to use these communication tools to improve school spirit and student participation by announcing school events, news, etc.

One of their solutions was to strengthen the connection between local museums and the schools.  Working closely with local museums, they created content, and contributed to off-site curriculum centers.  They made QR codes to link artifacts and information using Beetagg and Kaywa.    The created videos and posted them on schooltube to promote school spirit.

Are they making a difference?  In order to find this out, they used polleverywhere, a place to get responses to questions via text messages, to gather data about the success of their campaigns.  I have no doubt that this project will go further.
Bottom line, under the guidance of Jennifer Miller, these students were given the opportunity to problem solve, choosing tools to create an impact beyond their classroom doors.  This teacher has provided a true training ground for the 21st century.  No doubt, these kids will go far!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for supporting my students, encouraging Dublin ISD, and for helping us achieve in the areas of science. My students and I are very excited to work with you this spring.