For the final project for Course 1, I chose our Science unit on the topic of cells. Our Middle School science program is modeled around an inquiry-based approach with an emphasis on having students discover the purpose and relevancy behind the content. We want students to explore the ‘why’ of the standards and how can that knowledge be used to improve current understandings. I see technology as a wonderful vehicle to fueling and promoting the students’ creative thinking and innovative solutions. Also, technology offers students global access and the ability to share their ideas and improve understandings through collaboration. These were the main technology standards I chose to focus on in this unit. How can students use technology to collaborate more effectively and with greater purpose and how can technology be used to foster creativity and deliver ideas in a more meaningful and powerful way?
In order to work towards these technology standards, I chose to focus on the sharing opportunities and collaborative possibilities of Google Drive. Each student created their own project folder as a way to track their progress and receive feedback from me via the ‘comment’ feature. A work in progress in this unit is trying to increase the communication/feedback possibilities between the students, in particular, between students of different classes.
To promote creativity and technology, I placed no barriers on what technology the students could use. I took the position of accepting the fact that students know a lot more about technology than I do and so I gave them a lot of room to explore and choose the best technology option. It was quite the experience to watch the level of knowledge some children had about available technology!
Here is an overview of my unit: Click here for more detailed unit plan
Technology Standards (AISR)
3.8.2 Be able to effectively participate in online learning communities to gather feedback about their own work.
Uses technology tools to effectively communicate.
3.8.1 Be able to use email and online learning communities to share ideas.
1.8.5 Be able to use digital media creation and editing software to create original work.
The world is composed of systems made up of parts which work together as a system
Essential Questions (Understanding goals)
How do different parts of the cell work together as a system?
How do all systems operate in similar ways?
How can our knowledge of a cell help us understand other systems?
Summative Performance Task:
Students choose any system they want such as how a watch works, a transportation system, a car engine, a prison, a hospital etc..Based on their knowledge about how a cell works as a system, they will use their understandings of a cell as a system in order to improve the functioning of their system or demonstrate how their system works very similar to that of a cell.