Saturday, November 21, 2009

Orville & Wilbur Wright - PPS Mega 3

The big day has arrived - our students are ready, they've researched Orville and Wilbur Wright, from Ohio to North Carolina - they've written a script, posted their work on the wiki, and practiced their skit.  But first, there are some other presentations to watch and an interactive presentation about robotics.  Teams of middle school students made robots - they researched to determine a purpose for their robot, then developed it to complete that task.  Our students and teachers were thrilled as these students shared their projects.  This all day videoconference was PPS (Pittsburgh Public Schools) Megaconference 3.  Schools from Pittsburgh, PA, NC, TX, Canada, and England participated; schools from elementary through high school.

The fun of the culminating activity of collaborative projects -- sharing it with others, interactively, adds dimensions of learning to students and teachers.  They stretch their abilities and observe other students in their pursuits.  The atmosphere, the joy, the presentation skills, all allow opportunities to students. And to teachers, as they thoughtfully interact with students in discussion of the presentations, oral and written reflections of the activities.

Our students will travel to the outer banks of North Carolina this spring and visit Kitty Hawk.  They will film and post videos and blogs of their travels - stretch the learning - take it to new layers.  "12 seconds that changed the world" refers to the first flight of the Wright brothers.  Yet, technology in education is changing the world as our students perceive it - and opening the world to our students, not to just a few who can afford to travel, but to all who can find internet access - sharing this learning through blogs, webpages, wikis, videos, videoconferences, twitter, web 2.0 tools, collaborative tools, and the new, yet to be invented, communication tools that enhance learning.

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