For my CoETaIL final project, rather than creating a new unit, my team wanted to incorporate technology to enhance an existing unit and accomplish established learning outcomes. It is our goal to improve the learning process for our students. The revised unit will include student choice, collaboration within a team, creativity, and problem solving. My team and I are redesigning the unit together and we will be launching the project next week. It focuses on world cultures, in particular, the Maasai of Africa, through the lens of the following six elements:
The essential questions for this unit are:
How do elements of culture influence the way people live?
How can I step out of my own shoes and see the world from someone else’s point of view?
The project requires students to select an element, based on their interest, and research that area, as it relates to the Maasai. Following the research, students will collaborate within a small group to create a media presentation, primarily using, but not limited to, Keynote and GarageBand,which highlights their cultural element within the framework of the Maasai community. The purpose of the group presentations are to share new understandings about culture and teach the information to their classmates.
Further, students will also be sharing their final projects online with a sixth grade class in Jakarta. Students from JIS will engage with ASIJ students by providing feedback on the projects and by sharing connections they have made associated with their own lives and the specific culture that they are studying in Indonesia.
We chose to focus on Keynote and GarageBand because our school division switched from PC to Mac just this year, and we want to help our students build their Mac digital toolbox. While many of them are familiar with PowerPoint, Keynote is considerably different. We will be learning together the bells and whistles of these resources as they complete their group presentations.
Supporting us with the implementation of the unit is our MS facilitator of technology. He has created an outstanding resource for students called Laptop Central. This is a resource offered through Edublogs that students can easily access. It contains tutorials, like the following, that highlight different features and applications of their MacBooks and web-based resources.
My students and I have contacted a representative of the Maasai in Africa and we are hoping to hear from him soon. We have asked that he review some of our presentations and offer feedback.