1:1 No Fear
Remember those t-shirts from the 90's with all the cliche phrases? I work in a 1:1 Laptop middle school. Some teachers might be hesitant about learning how to use this tool to enhance learning... I am NOT one of them.
My U.S. History students watched part of the Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War and were challenged to make their own documentary on what they thought was the most important event in the Civil War. The students were able to work in groups and could use any form of technology that they wanted to. I couldn't believe the different types of products that they made. I had a student do a whole documentary on one power point slide. I didn't even know that you could have pictures move from side to side and add different text on each picture all within one slide. I also had students use Vimeo, PhotoStory, and Movie Maker. In these projects, some students did interviews, battle reenactments, and even a satire with Charlie Sheen vs. Chuck Norris. I was very pleased with how much work the students put in on these projects.
On the day we were going to showcase these videos in class, I walked into the building mumbling the words "Half the videos won't work today and it will all be okay." This is where I think some teachers are too afraid of getting to a day planned that relies solely on technology in case it fails. I instead took the path of saying that stuff happens and I will work through it. I am proud to say that I chose to have no fear when planning for technology. And I was right - half of the videos didn't work on that particular day. The project was still successful and I hope hearing this will encourage more teachers to use technology to enhance learning... No Fear.