Blended Learning Activity

By: Lisa Ali

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Unit:

Intro To Mobile Apps.

Description of the unit:

This semester was my first time teaching this brand new class to our school. I've done this unit with my class at the beginning of the semester. Transforming this unit into a blended learning experience for my students will certainly make it better when I teach it next time!


URL: http://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cofq2BeWk5

The grade level and learning level of the students:

This unit is geared toward 9th grade Mobile Application class. The students in this class are from various levels--IEP students, Gifted students, etc.

The standards:

NYS Math, Science and Technology Standards

Standard 1: Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.


Standard 2: Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.


ISTE:

Standard: 1. Creativity and Innovation- Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.


Standard: 2. Communication and Collaboration- Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.


Standard: 3. Research and Information Fluency- Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.


Common Core Standards:

CCSS: ELA- Literacy. SL. 9-10.5: Make strategic use of digital media (textual, graphic, audio, visual and subtractive elements) ti enhance understanding of findings, reasoning and evidence and to add interest.

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Day by Day

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Standards Met?

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McKenzie’s research cycle for critical thinking:

My project specifically aligns to McKenzie’s research cycle because my activities forces my students to think critically during their research process in order to generate new ideas during the process of answering their own questions! This unit consist of many research components because the class is heavily based on research. I want my students to research and figure out on their own the struggles of being an application programmer. By the end of this unit, I hope that they can choose their own platform that that are interested in based on the information they found during their research. In order to make such a big decision my students are going to have to develop questions to research and gain information, they have to sort and sift through the information to pick out the most meaningful things, then synthesize this information to create conclusion. Once they are done choosing their choice of platform, they must go over the process once more to make sure they attacked all parts of their research cycle and that their final conclusion (decision) will pan out. After they’re sure about their choice—students will pitch to the class why they choose this platform and provide support (evidence) that supports their decision.

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Standard: 1. Creativity and Innovation- Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.


Throughout this unit my students will thinking critically and creatively in order to create various projects based on the knowledge they gain from their research. Students are going to create conducts such as flyers and posters using technologies such a smore.com and glogster.com.


Standard: 2. Communication and Collaboration- Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.


During this unit, my students will work on collaborating in Google Docs in order to communicate and create a specific outcome that contribute their own personal contributions and that of their group mates as well. Each member of the group must add to the Doc to contribute to the learning of the other members of the group. Students are able to slip up tasks and learn from each other’s findings.


Standard: 3. Research and Information Fluency- Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.


Almost every day of the unit consist of my students generating questions that leads to research in order to find answers to support their decisions. One tool that we will use that will help my students to gather and collect information is Symbaloo. All of the tools through the unit supports students applying digital tools to father, evaluate and use information via research.

Equity and Access:

I understand that all students are not going to have the same exact skill set. Therefore, I will pair my students into groups that I believe they will thrive in. Each group will be treated fairly and equally when it comes own to providing help and feedback along with support and making them feel “safe”. In order to be fair I will pick the groups myself because if I leave it up to my students they are going to choose their friends and those quite students who end up with no one picking them will feel sad—I do not want this to happen. All the tools that I’ve chosen are not geared toward a specific sex, they are both boy and girl friendly. These tools are also free—therefore, my students socio-economic status will not result into them not being able to complete their projects. All of the assignments will be done in class where we all equipped with the tools in the exact same way. It will not be a requirement to work from home being that I can not assume that all students have a computer handy at home.

Personalizing instruction?

The tools that I’ve selected to use in my unit will help with personalized instruction because these tools are more student focused which requires me lecturing to my students less—this gives me the ability to walk around my room to help struggle students. Tools like Google Docs gives me the ability to provide my students with immediate feedback on whatever they are collaborating on—if I can steer them away from misconceptions early on by overseeing their collaborations I can help them get the most from their projects in the little time that we have for class. TedEd and Edpuzzle are two great tools for my visual learners who need to see certain things in order to understand. Other tools like Glogster and Smore, allows my students to be creative. Students who are not savvy with writing or using their words can use these tools to illustrate themselves with videos and pictures that provide the same evidence of research.

Common Core standard

CCSS: ELA- Literacy. SL. 9-10.5: Make strategic use of digital media (textual, graphic, audio, visual and subtractive elements) to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning and evidence and to add interest.


This common core literacy standard will be meet in my unit. Throughout the unit, students will be watching various videos and audios that will help them to enhance their understanding of mobile applications, mobile platforms, open source, etc. while finding evidence to answer their questions during their research stages each day.

Technology issues?

I don’t think I see many technology issues being face in this unit because our lab is equipped with the computers and technologies needed for it to flow successfully. If there were areas that my students would struggle with technology issues it would be with the 21st century tools that we are going to use in class. We’ve used many of the tools from this unit in the past. Some students are sometimes not as comfortable using tools (other than Facebook and twitter) therefore, I will work on creating come how to videos with a little background that covers how to use specific feature for various tools. I’m also afraid that some videos and content might be blocked on various sites. I will have to work on helping them convert certain videos to MP4s in order to view them on the DOE wifi. I will work my best to prepare for the tools they are going to use in order for them to use them successfully.

Better than traditional!

This unit will be better than the traditional way of teaching because students will definitely be more engaged. Throughout the unit students are going to be creating various types of projects using some really great 21st century tools. Using these types of technologies in the class will certainly motivate the students in my classroom. In the world we live in today, our students are extremely obsessed with technology and enjoy using it ALL DAY LONG! Using these great tools in class not only are they learning and creating BUT they are having fun and collaborating all at the same time. I strongly believe that the skills that they are learning from using these types of technologies in class is preparing them for college and equipping them with the skills they need for their 21 century jobs in the futures compared to the skills obtained in a more traditional unit. This nontraditional unit allows my students to feel a little more safe with having “different” types of ideas from their classmates and gives me the ability to provide a little more differentiations among my students based on their personal needs.

Safe Environment?

In order to ensure a safe environment in my classroom—I will be fair and equal to all my students. I will be open to answers and solutions that were not “expected” throughout this unit based on my individual learners and their abilities. In order to do this, I will work my hardest to create the kind of environment where my students feel “safe” to express themselves and all of their ideas freely without being judged negatively. For the project in this unit—I will assure my students that there is no one right or wrong answer. They have to create “their OWN correct answer” by supporting whatever they choose with evidence via research. In order to keep my students physically safe in our environment I will be certain to keep our computer lab clean, reinforce lab safety rules (no eating, drinking, running, etc.) and I will make sure that the computer wires are not on dangerous parts of the floor where students might trip and hurt themselves.