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22 March 2011

Being persuasive about water

We had a great day yesterday in the Middle Primary Class.

A little background: In our last unit of inquiry, the class investigated water. Now we are looking into rights and responsibilities, and the class practiced their persuasive writing skills to create a variety of media to help people understand their rights and responsibilities regarding water. We had a whole day of "ICT". First, the students used our unit wiki to plan their writing, and decide on their media. Then, we held mini "workshops" for each media - comic strip, poster, webpage and magazine cover (for a "pretend magazine"). There was time before lunch to begin exploring the tools, and after lunch everyone set to work on their project.

Here's how they look on Flickr:

The web pages students made are here and here, and the Bubblr creation is here.

Be sure to read the superb description of the day by Judy on the class blog, and find out what the next step in the project is.

The wiki guidelines for the project are here.

Reflecting at the end of the day, the class teacher and I both felt that what made this day a success was

  • having two teachers (the class teacher and the ICT integrator) in the room all day; 
  • having planned the process together (some in person and some remotely with email, Dropbox and the wiki);
  • sharing the planning step by step with the students, so that they could work at their own pace, on material of their choice, (plus they can go back to it at home if they wish, as it's all on the web);
  • each student having a laptop to work on, and already having some basic computer know-how. In a previous activity they had learned to take and save a screen shot.
As I prepared all this, I discovered that weebly.com has an education section, which let me create free accounts for the students. (Our wiki is a wikispaces.com for eduction account.) Bighugelabs also has an education provision. These provisions are very much appreciated!