A few weeks ago I blogged about Ms. Talley and Ms. Thomas and their poetry project. The students were to create a pitch for a poetic device or poem to convince poets to adopt them into their work. I had a really fun time working with the students and with the teachers. It was a challenging project due to logistics, technology adoption, and the nature of the project itself.
On the logistics front, we shared a single iPad cart that was also being used for other projects. I’m really glad I did not run over anyone as I raced down the hall with the iPad cart between blocks. Even if it is a challenge, this is a good problem to have. High demand of whatever technology we have available is better than having piles of tools in closets and storage rooms.
Many of the students who worked on this project had not used iMovie on the iPads. They all know their way around iMovie on the Mac, and it took a bit of getting used the pared down iOS version. The universal complaint, which I take up wholeheartedly is the automatic, unstoppable Ken Burns effect. I love Ken Burns and his documentaries, I love Ken Burns effects on the Mac, but this is a bit much. Please, Apple, shut it off.
As far as the project went, well, many of the students were pushed out of their comfort zones. This is good. Making things just hard enough to make students think beyond what they are used to is a good exercise. If we had asked the students simply to write about their assigned poetic device, they could have just paraphrased whatever they found in their textbook or online. By asking them to illustrate and narrate, we made the students think about their writing as more than something to turn in to their teachers. They had to get creative both in the writing and the illustrations.
Of course, there was one more dimension to this project. The adoption best of the adoption pitches have been posted to YouTube. Expanding the audience beyond the teacher and the students in the room gives students the added incentive to make their work worth sharing.
Here is one of my favorites.