This year I teach Information Technology an elective subject at year 9/10 level. In this group are a high percentage of our school’s disengaged students. We usually survive a single lesson of 50 mins without too much drama, but I also have them for a ‘double’ class and this often proves too much for all of us.
At the recent ICTEV In Touch conference, I sat through a fast paced, action packed session called web2.0 for the Classroom 40 tools in 40 minutes. Starting to wonder how I could keep my full class engaged for 100 minutes I decided to use some of those tools and some from the recent Google Gathering with the class. How it would work:-
- 5o minutes working on spreadsheets – drawing up a budget for the upcoming school Presentation Ball
- 50 minutes of ‘timed’ use of 5 technology tools
Requirments: individual access to computers, external speakers attached to my laptop, a blog post with links provided to each of the sites.
The second part of the lesson:-
- Used kukucklock with a variety of sounds to indicate when times was up.
- Google squared (6 mins) Find google squared, search for Prime Ministers, describe what you can see, search for another topic you are currently studying. Discussed google labs
- Google timelines (6 mins) Search for Oprah Winfrey, search for another notorious sports person or actress/actor
- Find the google question of the day. (3 mins)
- Explore the global lunchbox project. Discover what students around the world are eating (5 mins)
- Goto sketchfu, register and draw the lunch that you will have today. Grab the code and add to a blog post. Include a text description of your lunch. (10 mins)
What worked well?
- the timed structure of the lesson with kukuklock
- a variety of short, simple, snappy tasks to keep them focussed at all times, allowing little opportunity for boredom
- the google applications worked reasonably well and exposed students to a different format search results
- the lunch box project was engaging and caused a lot of discussion
- sketchfu was the winner though. Students spent more than the allocated 10 minutes this tool, and were highly engaged. Here is a great student sketchfu example of their lunch by skippy.
Highlight of the day: Two of my most disengaged students who become extremely restless in the final 15 mins of a double, actually stayed into their lunch hour to ensure they embedded their sketchfu file into their blogs! Students want to work with it again next week.
Challenge: How could sketchfu be used and adapted in other subject areas?