The Mini Projects Part 1

I like the “mini” projects play on words. Mini… many?  Anybody? Anybody at all? Okay maybe only I laughed out loud a little bit at this… because it’s many (four) but they’re mini. It must be said over and over again. This class blows my mind week after week. I mean literally. I think at first I was intimidated by this class. I am considered a digital native but I mean come on. I email and that is about all. I have Facebook and I have Twitter but I am not a huge fan of either of those. So I say it again, I email. I have this fancy Mac computer (because any windows computer I have ever had has crashed and burned on me) and I don’t know how to use it or do much with it. This class has changed my entire view on what technology in a classroom can look like. It has given me full confidence that I can totally do it. I mean totally absolutely manage and survive using technology in my classroom. I will use the things I have learned in this class for a long long time.

Truth be told I don’t know what mini-project options are for next week but I secretly hope they’re the same as this week because I wanted to do all of the options. I mean digital storytelling seemed a bit wild but I wanted to try it. The wordle I wanted to do it too (and think I actually still might try it because I was that intrigued) but ultimately tried my hand at comic making instead because it’s something that challenges my creative side. I think there are students that LOVE comic books and I confess I know nothing about them nor do I found them that enjoyable so I challenged myself a little this week. I made a little comic strip about ethnocentrism. I just presented the idea or term and use comic strips. Nothing incredibly cartoon like because using free and shareable photos made that hard because of the term I chose but I created a comic none the less. I loved how easy Comic Life was to download and use. The tutorial that Dr. Coffman provided was money! It really gave a simple overview of the basic elements but otherwise a lot of things that come with templates are trial and error. This is what I created! Screen shot 2013-03-17 at 9.20.31 PM Screen shot 2013-03-17 at 9.21.16 PM Screen shot 2013-03-17 at 9.21.33 PM

Ethnocentrism isn’t a term that needs a TON of time explaining but in my mind using a visual like a comic makes the term more real and fun for the students then a single slide in a PowerPoint. I am learning about the term ethnocentrism in a book called “Teaching What Really Happened” by James W. Loewen and how he discusses that history can help end this idea. Therefore, I thought that it meant it was important for HS students to know that America is not superior. We have to learn from those around us who are different. I used picture that were fair and shareable. But in putting those pictures up I realized that I did not add a “reference” comic page which would have been a stellar example for students on always citing where things come from. I of course saved all this information so look for the reference sheet for the finality of this project. The classroom use of this tool is endless. This is a new kind of poster. It allows students to create something using historical pictures. Students can interpret a battle or a war or even a conversation. Students can present a speech of a famous historical figure through a comic strip. Those are just ideas for history but a comic strip could do a lot in English too. I get a little jealous!

The other mini-project I chose was the Voki. Oh man the Voki. I loved loved loved this so very much. I am begging you guys to check mine out and please please do what I asked. I did not get the amount or the various responses I had hoped for on my sticky board and I used the Voki to ask anyone who sees it from my Google site to please comment on my sticky board. My question was something very important to me and therefore I really really wanted input. SO GO CHECK IT OUT! This little tool was something I found immediate use for in any classroom. As a teacher we do a lot of the talking and instructing. Why not let a talky critter do it? Let the critter give instructions? The Voki could wish students good luck on a test before they begin with instructions and specific things to pay attention too. The Voki could be a neat way to ask the warm-up question instead of always using PowerPoint. Those immediate things make the Voki super valuable and a diamond in the rough of resources. This is my Voki take a little looksie.

I miss spring break. I would be lying if I said I didn’t. I enjoyed the reading for fun and the relaxing. Time to work again. Have a good week y’all.

Loewen, J. (2010). Teaching what really happened: How to avoid the tyranny of textbooks & get students excited about doing history. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

1 Comment

  • We need to get together soon. I’d say to have coffee, but I don’t drink coffee.. or anything with caffeine for that matter. When are you on campus? I think it’s funny that we chose the same projects 🙂 And yet isn’t it amazing that we went in completely different directions with them?!

    I couldn’t see your voki, nor did I write on your wall wisher board, if only because I feel like my response would literally cover everyone else’s because it would be so long. But everyone else’s responses are interesting!

    I think you do great work, too 🙂 There’s value in it! I love that you love mine, but yours are equally good. Don’t forget that!