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Inspired March 23, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.

Inspiration Today in class, we had a real teachable moment. With my students’ permission, I shared some of their Inspiration projects with the rest of the class. Two of the presentations stood out. One dealt with the signs of the zodiac and included images, interesting shapes, different colored lines, plenty of details, and a well organized overall construction.

The other inspiration project, dealt with activities at a summer camp. For each of the colored boxes in her presentation, each representing a different rotation on a different topic, one could click on the box and see a detailed note about the activity. The rest of the class was quite impressed and immediately asked the student, “How did you do that??

This exchange of information is exactly what new technologies can bring to education. I took the opportunity to leap on my soapbox in class, and reminded them that in the past students would have submitted writing assignments to their teachers, and rarely would know how they were doing in comparison with other students in the class. They may have submitted a single page document written in pen illustrated with a crude pencil drawing. Meanwhile the rest of the class might have submitted documents that were word processed complete with images captured from their online research.

This interaction is the heart of what technology is doing to learning in the 21st century. Using electronic collaboration tools, students are able to get a sense of where they stand in relation to their peers in the classroom, in the community, and across the country. When one person comes up with an interesting innovation in the use of a tool, they can share that innovation quickly then other students can use it and expand upon in their own work. This creates a new synergy for learning and technology is the key.

A couple of students came up to me after class and said they wanted an extension of time. They wanted to improve and rework their own projects because they had been inspired by the work of their classmates.



1. Zs - March 24, 2006

Wow, it’s nice to hear you have the same feedback as my class.
I love this idea.
Thanks, I am so glad I met you there at UA and learned so much.
OK, you can tell me I am better because of that :-)

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