Monday, November 10, 2014

Digitize that Project!

Most of our teachers at Norfolk Senior High are getting their first taste of teaching in a 1:1 classroom this semester. We have challenged our teachers to try one thing with the Chromebooks. Do one assignment or project. Do a bell ringer or exit ticket. Use the Chromebooks for assessment. But we have left it up to each individual teacher on how they would make use of the Chromebooks in their classroom.

Recently a math teacher came to me and said that she wanted to digitize an old paper and pencil project. She had Geometry students create a storybook for a first grader using if this then that statements--along the lines of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." She shared the original project and rubric with me and asked if I could help her digitize it. In looking at the project, I determined it would be simple to add a digital element to this project. And the bonus was that she wouldn't really have to alter her project requirements or rubric that much to make the project digital.

So I turned to my Free Tech Tools for Teachers LiveBinder because I knew I had a tab on storytelling. I picked out three storybook creation sites that I thought would be easy to use and shared them with the teacher. After evaluating the sites she also agreed that these sites would be good choices to give the students. These are the sites we settled on:

The students were to write out their if this then that statements before they started on the story. I was in the classroom the day the students started their digital storybooks. I answered a few questions but as I suspected, most students were able to figure out the sites on their own.

We created a Google Form for the students to submit the URL or address of their completed storybooks. We embedded the form on the teacher's website so students would be able to easily access it. We could have just as easily done the submission through a Google Classroom assignment. Either of these options eliminates individual emails from students to submit the assignments and the teacher has all of the assignments linked in one spot.

Not all paper and pencil projects will digitize this easily but this is a good example of one that did. Digital projects don't have to be complicated or involve a lot of time and effort on the part of the teacher.

Do you have an old paper and pencil project that could be digitized? Want some help on the digitizing part? That's my job! Let's get together and work out the details!