BlogWalker

Muddling through the blogosphere

July 25, 2015
by blogwalker
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More Than Words – Middle School Kids on Literacy

I love it when students speak out on issues that impact their learning – such as ways educators can promote – or kill – a love for reading. Of course, having the always-learning, ever-inspiring Jim Bentley encouraging his 6th graders to delve in and create a documentary really helps in moving a project from vision to reality.

Here’s the driving question Jim’s students worked on during and beyond the school day: How can we as filmmakers show middle schoolers the importance of developing literacy skills? I’m pretty sure you will agree with me that in 15 minutes, Jim’s students have produced an important piece for a broad audience. Drum roll, please …..

More than Words: A Documentary on Middle School Literacy

I am very fortunate to be working in the same school district as Jim. Whenever I need a little inspiration, his school is only a 10-minute drive from my office. Because Jim loops with his students (5th/6th grade), I’ve had the good fortune to follow their work over the last two years. Several times I’ve taken teachers to visit with Jim’s class. Although his students are always busy with their research and production schedules, they’re happy to provide a tour of their classroom and video production studio (former janitorial closet) and to answer visitors’ questions.

More Than Words is a wonderful example of student-driven, project-based learning (PBL) and of good things happening in public education.

April 21, 2012
by blogwalker
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Student-Created Content – Changing the question

Last week I was invited to present at our local county office of education on the topic I am passionate about: student-created content. To me, one of the most important reasons for students to have Internet access across the school day and and within the core curriculum is to ensure that they have multiple opportunities to take their work and their voices beyond the walls of the classroom and out to an authentic audience.

It has been my experience both as a classroom teacher and in my current position of tech integration specialist that when we provide and promote opportunities for students to share their work with their peers, community, region, or with an international audience, a commonly asked question changes.  For an audience of one (one being the teacher), the question they ask as they hand in their work tends to be, “Is this good enough?”  But when students know their content will be seen by their peers and beyond, the question changes simply to: “Is this good?”

How about your sites and districts?  Do you have samples of student-created content to add to the collection below? Please jump in and share, either by adding a slide on the Google presentation or by adding a comment.

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