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I’ve recently been collaborating with Ms. Hicks and Ms. Biehl and their students on inquiry learning. Students all self-selected topics. Some chose to work alone, while others worked with a partner. The teachers have done a remarkable job giving the students time to plan their projects and search for information. In the media center, I did lessons on searching the Internet using tools such as the Google Wonder Wheel. Students spent days in the computer lab for 30 minutes per day searching for information to inform their projects. The 4th grade teachers also contacted numerous experts to come in for interviews with the students. I, myself, was one of the people interviewed because a student was creating a project about being a media specialist.
As they were collecting information, we moved into looking at possible final products. I did lessons on using Powerpoint, Photostory, Animoto, Screencasts, and Windows Movie Maker. We learned about using Flip video cameras and digital cameras, too. Students thought about their own projects and how these tools might fit in. Many of them decided to incorporate multiple types of technology into their projects. For example, there might be a powerpoint of information with a Photostory or a Windows Movie Maker file embedded.
On February 16th, we’ll host a media festival where these students will stand with their projects as classrooms, district personnel, and parents file through to view them and see their hard work in action. We’ll also be posting some of these projects to our website for all to see.
For now, enjoy our Animoto of the students working on their projects.