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Using ICT Tools to engage, process, present and reflect on a passion day project

Cluster Goals:
 
Students to become successful digital citizens.

—Teachers to integrate elearning effectively into their practice creating an innovative and exciting learning environment for all students.
 

Passion day was primarily designed to give students the opportunity to increase motivation and work on their passions.

Students used ICT as a tool to support the process, presentation and reflection on a passion day project.

Passion Day

Passion day was designed :

  • For students to have the opportunity to work on something they are passionate about.
  • For students to have the opportunity to work with other students with a common passion.
  • To make links across year groups
  • To encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning
  • For students to use ICT as both a reflective tool – “survey monkey”
  • For students to use ICT to help with creativity and new ideas to enhance project
  • To build the key competency skills
  • To motivate students

Students get to choose what they want to learn about and they are given 2 school days to do it.

So that was the plan. It was put in place after I watched a presentation by Mark Osborne and changed it to suit the structure in our school.

Ideally it would have been good to have 3 consecutive days but we were restricted by the business of term 1 and getting it all finished before the term did.

The students were actively encouraged to use ICT to report on their passion days. All groups of students used ICT to present their final story of their passion days. Some group’s passion involved the use of a Web 2 tool. All students filled in a reflection on Survey monkey.


Reflections

Thoughts and changes that were put in place or could be put in place for next time.

  • In terms of the planning some students failed to come up with a plan in the allocated time. They were given 3 weeks of thinking/ planning time.  More often or not the students did not really start coming up with a workable plan for passion days until they came to the Lions den.

Next time students will know more about it and be better prepared.

 

  • Very few of the year 7 students managed a plan of their own.

Students need to be shown the process sheets earlier and maybe in smaller chunks so it does not feel so big.

  • Some students struggled with the freedom of being able to decide on their own project.

 

  • Students were given ideas and there was a list in the foyer which they could contribute to over the weeks prior to the passion days.

 

Next time :-We could use the ICT presentations to show students in the future what their passion day could be like.

As we share students will have more of an idea about what works and what does not. Students need to spend some time sharing ideas and coming up with suggestions.

It was hard for staff to step back and let the students find out about how their plan was to going to work out.

Remind staff to let the plan roll and let the students find the solutions rather than suggesting a solution before they found there was a problem with their plan (unless there was a safety issue).

Remind students that we learn more from mistakes than from getting things right. Staff were at hand to help solve problems when the students needed help.

  • Because of the lack of teaching time in term 1; teachers understandably did not want it to use up any class time apart from the 2 Fridays. It was also difficult as some groups were across the classes from M1-3. This made it very difficult to make sure that each group had a plan. It would be good for next time if we could allocate a period across the M1-3 group which could be devoted to meeting as a group and discussing ideas. This would have to take place once the concept was introduced and students had talked about possible options. Friday period 3a could be a possible option. Students could watch presentations and animations produced this time.
  • Students learned an awful lot about their key competencies; as teachers we often don’t get the opportunity to let students take control of their learning without time boundaries, and many of us watched students putting in extra time; coordinating with adults in the community and organising things for themselves. ICT allowed students to research any area they needed independently and we were given access to computers in the junior and senior ICT lab . All M1- 3 classes were involved this made it easier as the computer lab was freed up
  • Students were asked to fill in a survey on survey monkey and a key competency goal sheet as a final reflection of Passion day. All had learned something about working together and they all got a lot out of passion days.
  • Students using ICT as their main vehicle for learning were doing projects on

Making a wiki of “healthy “computer games

Making a stop go motion animation

Most groups used the computers for research

1 group used garage band (web 2 tool) to write a song

All groups used ICT for making their final slideshow

 

Students reviewed this activity using survey monkey and this was so easy due to cooperation of Ms ‘O Carroll who gave each of the classes involved a few minutes and a link to the appropriate survey.

 

  • Technical glitches:- Students were expected to tell a story about the process – a lot of students took photos on their phone then had difficulty downloading their photos onto the computer – this made making their Data slide show very difficult – as many had lost their cables. Next time we will ensure (it was planned for this time but they forgot their cameras) that they all have cameras which easily down load photos we managed to download a few using blue tooth.
  • The students really enjoyed their passion days and are keen to try it again. They have all learned things in the process (info from survey monkey and reflection forms to put in their portfolios).
  • ICT played a big part in facilitating learning; it helped students take more responsible for their own projects because they had experts on the web when they needed them.
  • The students have enjoyed sharing their presentations.

Students took more ownership of their learning – many enthusiastically told me of their learning experiences which were both ICT and people based.