Monday, June 7, 2010

Wikis, Glogs, and Videos

In the past several weeks, I have designed and implemented a food and nutrition unit with the culinary arts students.  To say it was successful is an understatement.  To say that I was in CRS/ITRT heaven is not hyperbolic.
The lesson began with a wiki on Wikispaces, which I chose over PBWorks for it's easy-to-use discussion board.  The students watched a variety of videos embedded in the wiki at their own pace and used the discussion board to answer questions the instructor and I created.  The intensity and engagement with which the students watched the video and engaged in discussion was impressive.  The students were interested and thoughtfully responding in a way that would not have happened through lecture or whole-group discussion.  Because some students are not as comfortable talking in front of the class, the discussion board gave each student a platform for communication that they may not have found otherwise. 

Following the wiki discussion, we used the Smartboard to organize and extend the information in the videos.  The students really engaged in the class discussion because they had already connected with the information through the discussion board.  The Smartboard is a relatively new addition to the computer lab, but already I love it!  We used the pens to make a color-coded list that categorized the information from the videos.  The student groups used this list to choose their topic related to a current food and nutrition issue.

From this point, the students researched information related to their topics, and to keep it easy, we had them organize it into the 5 Ws and H format.  Using Microsoft Word's research feature, the students easily cited their sources.  All of this researched information was then transferred on the glog.

To pull this unit out of the knowledge and comprehension level of Bloom's taxonomy, the students created a video that proposed a solution to their nutrition issue.  We used several student-created sample videos from Marco Torres' iCan site to begin discussion techniques and methods for using either Windows Movie Maker or Microsoft PhotoStory to produce a video.  The students used a storyboard template to map their video, and their creative ideas were amazing.  They had access to several Flip video cameras and digital cameras to gather footage.  Many chose to meet after school hours to gather footage, which made me realize how much they connected with the content.

There were several formative assessments that helped the instructor and I assess the students' progress and knowledge.  We used SharePoint surveys for progress checks and exit tickets and PBLChecklists for peer review. 

The results of diligently connecting this unit to the NETS*T were great.  The students were engaged and captivated.  The digital tools and resources included were relevant and appropriate.  The multiple assessments and progress checks ensured that no student or group wasn't on track and completely high-level work.

Take a look at the wiki, and be on the lookout for new additions!  The other culinary teacher and students were so interested in what this class did, that they are halfway through the unit themselves!