Learning should be celebrated!
I believe that at the end of each unit, time should be allocated to reflect upon the learning experience. This gives students the opportunity to acknowledge their achievements and recognize the newfound skills they have acquired. This can be a challenge when a unit of study does not contain a finished product to hang on a bulletin board, post on the Internet, or present on a computer screen. This is the case with the Internet unit we just completed.
I wanted to celebrate the completion of TechnoJourney. Since the technology project was comprised of Internet-based activities there was not a final product that students could easily share. I decided the way to demonstrate our learning was to transform each student into an Internet Tour Guide.
In TechnoJourney, students take a trip through the Internet and discover the wonders online. Since they were now Internet experts, I thought it would be fun for them to show the sites to someone else. The classroom teacher arranged for another Grade 3 class, who had not completed TechnoJourney, to visit during our computer lab time next week.
The Internet Tour consisted of six activities: Super Searcher, Trust Test, E-Library, Picture Power, Learn with Videos, and Making Maps. Each activity focused on a skill that students had acquired while completing TechnoJourney. The classroom teacher divided students into six groups. Each group was assigned an activity that they would teach as part of the tour.
During today’s class we prepared for the Internet Tour. To start, students gathered into their groups. I provided each group with an activity sheet that had a set of instructions students could use as a guide when teaching. As a group, students followed the instructions on the activity sheet and discussed other important elements they believe should be part of their mini-lesson. Next, students took turns teaching their fellow group members. Once familiar with their topic, I paired each student with someone from a different group. Each person from their new pair group took turns teaching their activity.
Students love the idea of becoming Internet Tour Guides! This activity provided them with an opportunity to take ownership of their learning. I noticed that many students:
- Modified the Activity: One group decided that the activity was missing an essential skill and they changed the activity. Originally, the task had students use bookmarked resources such as encyclopedias, atlases, dictionaries, and thesaurus to showcase the valuable resources online. The group members decided that the activity should have visitors type the URL instead because this action would make the web address easier to remember. I agree!
- Made Notes on the Activity Sheets: Many students wanted to make sure that they did not forget important points while delivering their instructions. For this reason, they made comments on the activity sheets to help them remember. Excellent idea!
- Understood the Needs of Students: One group decided that they wanted their visitors to pick a topic instead of give it to them because it would make the task more interesting. Originally, the activity sheet had provided a list of videos to find on the Internet. Group members decided that they wanted their visitors to pick a topic they were learning about in school and find a video about that instead. Great plan!
Next week is our Internet Tour Guide activity. I am looking forward to having students use their skills to teach their peers. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our success!
Other Articles about Teaching Internet Skills using TechnoJourney
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A Teacher Speaks Out: Yes, you should teach Internet skills!
Peer to Peer Teaching – Students Become the Teachers
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