I was working with a teacher the other day who wanted his/her students to make a brochure about regions of New York State. She/He is a veteran teacher who does not normally use technology – so keep that in mind.
As I watched this experience unfold, I jumped in to help the kids and her – I wanted them to have a successful experience. Here are some guidelines:
- If your students have never used a piece of software before – she/he wanted the kids to use Microsoft Publisher and they had never used it – provide them a template to download from your web site. This template can then be customized by the kids to demonstrate learning.
- Provide good links to sources – organize them on your web site. Kids waste too much time looking for resources. If you are teaching search, then let the lesson be about search.
- Teach them how to organize what they are learning – my suggestion is to use Firefox and QuickNote. If you dont’ have Firefox or Quicknote – get them to use Notepad on Windows or Text Editor on the Mac. When there notes are digital, they can be used for Essays, Reports, Spreadsheets, PowerPoint Presentations, blogging, etc.
- Provide a finished document so the kids have an idea of what to do, or what a finished product may look like.
Steps 2 and 3 are a must. Steps 1 and 4 will make you a marvelous teacher!