Kids will be Kids
Thanks to my wonderful friend KRabs and my new virtual colleague MagistraM (via Classroom 2.0), I've been inspired to update my blog reguarly, and gosh darnit, I'm going to succeed.
Today my students had the option of creating a wiki, a Capzle, or a PowerPoint, and I closely watched who picked what option - because I think it says so much about a student - with regards to everything from risk-taking to learning style. Overall, I think that students were pleased that I'd decided to give them a project-based final assessment for our unit on Islam as opposed to a good, old-fashioned paper and pencil test. Seeing as the children had three tests this week, I saw this as a good opportunity for an alternative assessment. I wanted to keep my standards high, challenge their thinking, give them the opportunity to create an internet based-product, and give them choice in the matter. I believe I achieved all those things with my assessment. Only having done one wiki with my students, I think some students were influenced, obviously, by their past experience from the last unit with our China Wiki - did things go smoothy? Did any work get lost? Was it successful? Did I get a good grade? The Capzle was new and exciting, and for a student who wanted to try something new, this was it. And finally, the old PowerPoint standby; I remember when this was exciting and cutting edge. Now, PowerPoint has become the bland cousin that still relies on that silly card trick he's been doing for the last seven years. Alas, the cycle of life.
Even if this was a paper and pencil essay-writing test, kids would have reacted similarly: some students would stress too much, some would not stress enough, some would forget their supplies, some would struggle with organization of ideas; so it's not the kid that has changed - just the forum. Students will be students and kids will be kids; behavior and struggles haven't necessarily changed, just the forum. As for next year? I'd love a fourth option to put in my arsenal. Let me know any suggestions.