By Teachers, For Teachers
If you've been swearing all year to get students online using some amazing digital tools, I have some ideas for you. These seven projects will be so much fun, students will eagerly welcome the new school year come August, hoping you have more toys for them to learn.
The trick with so many of these online sites is to let students explore. Don't rush them. Don't teach them every twist and turn. Don't expect perfection. Expect inquiry and enthusiasm, and self-paced discovery. Let them solve problems as they create.
Here are seven ideas for amazing end-of-the year activities that leave students thinking the school year is ending too soon:
End-of-year Activities: Multimedia Summative
Students take pictures of each other holding up favorite projects or working on tech skills - humorously, of course. Use these pictures in an Animoto movie to share light-hearted details of their Year in Tech. Open it with a magazine cover featuring students (created in Big Huge Labs). Accessorize with music, transitions, and text bubbles. Save to the class network and load onto the school set of iPads. Students can play these movies on the last day of class as they celebrate the end of school. If you don't have iPads, gather students in comfortable seating and play the student video as they reflect on another successful year of Tech.
Tips and Tricks Trading Cards
Create trading cards (in Big Huge Labs) for next year's students that share grade-level hints and tips for thriving in tech class.
Create a Voki that will greet next year's students with positive messaging when they most need it -- you can do it--just two more minutes of typing! You are blazing! And you almost never look at your fingers--woah!
Create a movie of the school for prospective students. Walk around campus sharing what goes on in the gym, the science lab, near the lockers. It should be upbeat and positive, underscoring activities that make the school a uniquely great learning environment.
Digital Welcome Book
Create a digital 'Welcome' book, telling next year's new students how to keep track of log-ins, what the computer UN and PW is, the best approach to keyboarding, when Minecraft Mania time is, and anything else you decide is important for new students. Maybe do the classroom tour that the teacher usually does on the first day of school. Walk around the classroom pointing out where the bulletin boards are with important news, what the 'Evidence Board' is, how to use the printer, where to get new headphones/pencils if yours disappear.
Play Tech Class Jeopardy! There are a lot of online templates for Jeopardy. Simply use questions that sum up the year's worth of tech knowledge or take the questions from the students. What do they think was most important? Divide the class into teams, give them study guides to prepare. While they study, you create the game slides, and then play on the last day. An alternative to this is to have each team create their own Jeopardy game, with questions of their choice, and spend 15 minutes on each game--see who wins.
Put up a Padlet (the new name for Wallwisher) on the class website, blog or wiki (in my case, the class internet start page), inviting all students to add notes about what they're doing this summer. Keep these up all summer, until the new school year. Students can check in while on vacation and add notes for classmates about what they ended up doing even though they planned something else.