I was able to participate on the Technology Data Inquiry Team this school year. As a part of the team we were asked to create a Project Based Learning Unit that incorporated technology. Once we developed our project ideas, we met weekly to collaborate as an inquiry team on how best to use technology to improve student performance and then how to share our findings in using the technology. Using the data inquiry model as a forum for completing this work was extremely supportive to us as educators. I chose to work on a project using movie making software, in addition to other media and integrating the Second Grade Social Studies content on New York City. I wanted students to learn about New York City, exploring land features and landmarks common to the area. Then they were to create movies about the five boroughs and their landmarks. Their movies would include video, still image, voice overs, music and text to convey their learning about New York City.
Before beginning the project, I created Smart Goals for what I wanted my students to achieve and teacher goals for professional improvement.
(Please see SMARTgoals below in the attachments.)
I then developed a diagnostic which I administered to the students. I shared a model video, similar to what they would be expected to do as motivation for the unit.
(Please see NYC Diagnostic below in the attachments.)
I then began teaching the content two days per week for one period and teaching technology one day per week for one period. To introduce the technology, I used the classroom environment as "content" because it was something they were familiar with and it would not distract them from learning how to use the technology.
After about a month the students were grouped according to level and personality. The rubric for the project was shared with students at this time (Please see Technology Project Rubric edit below in the attachments). Within their groups they decided on a team name and then they each took a borough to research for their team. We then went to the school library and borrowed all the books we could find about New York City. Students also created thinking maps about their knowledge of New York City. First a circle map, then a tree map and then double bubble map. Students were given time to research their borough on the internet to find new information; this included homework assignments to do research on the internet.
Once students had gathered all of their information, they wrote scripts for both their voice overs and video clips and saved images about New York City and it's landmarks to their team file on the desktop. Each team had a technology folder that housed all of their work for the project including their rubric, the team checklist and their individual checklists. Students were responsible for moving through their checklist when given time to work on the classroom laptops. (There were three laptops and six groups. Two groups shared a laptop).
(Please see Checklist Final Movie below in the attachments).
It took approximately 6 months for all of the groups to finish their movies. This was due to their lack of background knowledge on both the content and the technology. In addition, there were times when equipment was not readily available because it was being used by other classes. The only equipment that was consistent in our classroom were the three laptops.
Once they had finished their projects, I had students complete the end of unit assessment, the teamwork survey and the self-reflection survey.
(Please see NYC End Unit Test, Team work survey, and Self Reflection survey below in the attachments).
There were many observations I had made throughout the project that correlated with my goals and objectives. I have listed my findings under each of my original SMART goals.
(Please see Final Findings below in the attachments).