Peer review can truly be one of the most useful learning experiences in my book.
While reviewing both Schuyler and Marianne’s lessons, I feel that I just shared all the great things they did and didn’t necessarily give suggestions for improvement. Yet, I felt they each had a solid lesson, unit, and rubric! I also found as I stated before, that I think while I love Jing as a tool, the 5-minute limit on free recordings are really limiting. Five minutes is good because people tend to lose focus after that, but at the same time, then I think peer reviews of larger units of learning should be broken down into sub-sections for review. One way or the other, the perspective that peers can bring to a project in the making is incredible. As we talk about the powerful benefit of elementary and middle school students learning from one another, I think that we as adult students benefit just as much.
Here is a link to my comments on both Schuyler and Marianne’s lesson plans on Jing through screencast.com. They are excellent. I would be thrilled to learn that my middle schoolers were involved in projects like these.
Schuyler’s Review – http://www.screencast.com/t/47n4Gsz4QZ
Marianne’s Review – http://www.screencast.com/t/ZtdePSXwi
In this final project, the greatest challenge was recognition of the way we were to change our thinking over the course of the semester. Thinking of many in the field of education is simply to use technology to support learning, yet as was seen in our tinkering projects throughout the term, technology can be and often should be used to make learning happen. Not just to support it, but to affect it. It was tremendous to take all we have learned and answer the question, how can meet the needs of the students and targeted learning objectives entirely through the use of technology. To answer questions how of taking learning beyond the traditional walls of the classroom and engage students in ways they never expected, is wonderfully satisfying.
I appreciated the peer feedback and should I rewrite the lesson plan, I would definitely incorporate some of the suggestions. I appreciated the way my peer’s input really gave me perspective and allowed me to quickly see what we always professed, that peer feedback makes our work stronger. I am glad I included peer feedback in my students’ lesson. I hope they have the same positive experience with it that I did. As a result, I didn’t change my lesson plan from my original, which really could have been a draft, because to see it and hear what peers’ can offer is so significant.
Lesson Plan and Assessment Rubric
Exemplar for Math Blog Lesson Plan
Peer Review from Schuyler Kidd
Peer Review from Marianne Butzler
The biggest change I could expect is that the 90 minutes that I outlined this lesson to run is really based on working with students with a fantastic understanding already of how to use computers and the tools included. It is almost crazy working in the computer lab with 21 6 & 7 year olds to accomplish more than just learning to use the tool in the 90 minutes. I hope that would help other teachers to take time to learn first what their students do know by planning to work with them on the individual pieces of a whole plan for a while. Then after the students have a working knowledge of the tools, the students can use them to tackle other learning objectives.
Here is a synthesis of the semester of tinkering and grappling with how to deal with the amazing number of options teachers have in integrating technology into teaching.