Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Project and Padlet Pensiveness

Forgive the title but I love me some alliteration.

My 10th grade Honors students are about to embark on a reading of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club.  Before they read, I assigned a research project.  A small one.  I found the idea online last year and adapted it for my own needs.  Here is a copy of the handout.

The students will choose a topic in pairs or groups to research and create a presentation that incorporates an online tool to share with the class so that everyone gets a little background on Chinese culture before the book.  The students do the presentation together but write their own paper.

Theoretically, the presentations should have only taken a day, but today is day two and we still have some for tomorrow.  In my opinion, these are the possible reasons for the delay:

  • Students in my second group were not ready yesterday and only about 3 groups went.  The groups that went today cannot get an A on the presentation due to the fact that they weren't ready yesterday.
  • Students didn't have their online tools ready to go.  It ate up a lot of time to log into accounts and bring presentations up.  Next time, I'm going to insist that students provide me a link that I can click on in the assignment on Classroom.
  • I insisted that students give feedback on a Padlet wall (more on that below) and that took up some time between each presentation.
Some students got very creative (and one group brought in food) in some of their presentations.  Those that created videos seemed to do the best in engaging the class.  Some students didn't pay attention to the fact that I wanted more than for them to just stand up there and go through their Google Slides (sigh).

In my own graduate work, I was instructed to create or adapt a project that had students collaborating via technology somehow.  I chose to use the research project to fulfill this assignment.  I decided to use Padlet and create a wall for students to leave notes to each group giving their feedback. 

I had the wall set to free form at first and that was just a fuster cluck of wading through the notes.  I switched it to grid view and immediately sighed with relief.  As did the students when they saw it the next day (some actually thought I went through and spent the time hand organizing it at first).  I think I'll set it that way automatically next time.

Ultimately, I like Padlet so far, and I think it's a good way to have students give feedback and be mindful of what they are saying because other people can see it.

Have you used Padlet?  Something better?  Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

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