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6-8 | Science & Tech | Online community tools

My Classroom Innovation

The classroom innovation enabled students to create collaborative spreadsheets anytime, anywhere. Students were motivated and engaged as content creators by identifying categories to use after they searched through online roller coaster databases. Students learned together and the teacher facilitated. The activity was memorable as students were able to relate it to real-life experiences, while learning how to use formulas to identify the mean, mode, median and frequency of a set of numbers. Graphs were created to represent the data on additional sheets in the spreadsheet. The majority of student groups completed categories and added roller coasters that went beyond the requirements of their rubric. Most importantly, students were able to enthusiastically explain what they did and how they used collaborative tools and an authentic learning challenge to learn mathematic, science and technology skills. This lesson reflects what I try to do as a technology teacher to foster memorable learning together in and out of school. I continue to promote the use of collaborative technologies in our school and convinced our district to implement Google Apps, wikis, Voicethreads, Nings and similar collaborative technologies to help with learning. I am constantly learning from and with students and other like-minded colleagues.

How Students were Engaged

Student engagement came easily with a topic that students could understand. As a result of a student-centered learning activity and the ability to construct knowledge throughout, students stayed eager, working from start to finish. Videos of roller coasters from sources and group discussion prompted ideas. Students of all abilities were eager to collaboratively input data, make graphs and explain their findings. Collaborative tools, including chat to discuss process and answer questions on the side of the spreadsheet, help students stay focused on completing the project. The motivation remained strong as many students went beyond the expectations outlined in the rubric.

PBS Program/Content Used