Thursday, February 25, 2021

Passion Projects

Photo by Randalyn Hill on Unsplash
 So, teaching remotely this term, I wanted to mix things up. I decided I was not going to have zoom classes 4 hours a week. I know from having meetings over zoom for the past year, it can be mind numbing 😫, and sitting in front of screen for most of a day - and more so a week - is not good for anyone 😵. Since many of the other courses are fully on zoom - plus assignments outside of class -  I decided that I would use a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. One of the projects I decided on was a passion project. Everyone has things they wonder about and would like to learn about - well, they should anyway - so I took this idea, often used in K-12, and decided to go for it. The stipulations were straightforward - explore a topic related to using technology in education, make a plan, carry it out, learn, create some artifact to show the learning, reflect on the process and what you learned, share with at least one other classmate and with me.  Boom! Off they went, and the results were amazing and projects varied!  The students seemed to embrace the project, and many commented how they enjoyed doing it! My hope is that they can embrace such projects, or at least some inquiry learning, in their future classrooms. Some of the projects included:

  • Several on video production - using videos in math, or physical education, or ... 
  • A few looked into podcast creation and how it can be used in the classroom.
  • A few looked at various apps that could be used in different subject classrooms: math, geography, the gym, etc.
  • Some looked into coding, including making games, and robotics.
  • One looked at using VR in physical education.
  • Not to be left out, a number of music ed students looked into software for music recording or tutorials and creating amazing artifacts. One looked at using tiktok to deliver short tutorials.
  • Another looked at creating tours in google earth to use in geography courses.
  • Yet another collated and reviewed resources for teaching about reconciliation.
  • and on and on ...

This was one project I actually enjoyed going through and providing feedback - and there were over 60 of them! My own reflection was - why didn't I do this along time ago! I will not be teaching again after this term - as noted in earlier posts, I will soon retire, but I would keep using this project if I was still in the game, and I encourage any of you out there to give it a try, the results were well worth it!

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