Sunday, October 27, 2013

IPad Lit Circles: Daniel Pink, Aurasma, Wikispaces and Interclass Collaboration

While reading Daniel Pink's book Drive, I came across for me a very earth shattering passage. In his chapter entitled "The Rise and Fall of Motivation 2.0." Pink sets up a an interesting thought. To paraphrase, he asks his readers to imagine that it is 1995. He says, “I’m going to describe two new encyclopedias—one just out, the other to be launched in a few years. You have to predict which will be more successful in 2010.”
Below, I would like to set up his binaries.

Encyclopedia 1
Encyclopedia 2
Microsoft Funded
Doesn’t come from a company
Well paid Professional Writers
Written and edited by a thousands of people for fun.
Well compensated Managers
Contributors work 20 and sometimes 30 hours per week, for free.
Completed on time and on budget
There are no deadlines and no budget
Sold on CD Rom Later sold on the internet
The encyclopedia exists completely online and costs nothing

He continues saying "According to my crystal ball, in 2010, one of these encyclopedias will be the largest and most popular in the world and the other will be defunct."

Now, we are lucky to have the hindsight to know that Encyclopedia 1 is MSN Encarta, which Microsoft ended on October 31st, 2009, and Encyclopedia 2 is none other than Wikipedia.  Pink goes on to talk about why this is the case. I do not plan on getting into that today, however if you'd like to dive into that, I very much suggest you read Daniel Pink's Drive, or at the very least check out his Ted Talk.

After reading this, I wanted to test this out in a classroom setting. In our state, my Junior English Students are asked to do a lit circle at the end of the year. This body of educational evidence is known as "the Reader's Choice". In this assessment, students are to read a book of their choice and engage in class discussions surrounding theme, vocabulary, literary devices, special quotes and a handful of other topics. They are then asked to synthesize all of this information into a visual presentation.
I chose to do this a bit differently than what was done in the past.

All year long, we had done many group projects within classes. I felt like there were few combinations that I could make that hadn't already been done. So instead I took all 4 of my classes (this totaled roughly 105 students) and threw them all together in a pot. I wanted to see if I could have students working on a project completely online, and where they never once met face to face in person. I understand there are social aspects of group work that were missed here, but with our world operating on such a global scale, I thought this would definitely be a 21st century skill.

I began looking for an educational online platform where students could read, chat, post ideas,  and present their findings together. I essentially was looking for a wiki. I came across
I plan to post a few "how to's"  and specifics on what we were able to do with wkispaces. Suffice it to say, it had everything I needed and even things that I didn't know I needed that became essential to the process.

We essentially used 4 iPad apps for this activity:

I will go through how we used all 4 of these programs in upcoming posts. This activity was extremely successful. Not just by my standards, but I used an anonymous poll and found that the kids really enjoyed it as well. The students mentioned that they "felt like (we were) doing something special every day." I also had one student say "I usually read something and then forgot it. With this project, I was able to see the progress and remember."
Our website, which I give complete credit to our students for what they created, was featured on wikispaces as an outstanding use of their software. As a representative of the class, I had the opportunity to do a google hangout with Wendy Gorton from wikispaces on how we used it in the classroom. You can check it out below.
Here is the article.

Below you can find the link to the wiki, if you'd like to check it out.

Mr. Einfeldt's Class Wiki Page

No comments:

Post a Comment