Monday, December 12, 2011

Where's My Hovercraft? Part 3: The Typical Student Project

Welcome to part three in my N part series on technology. In part 1, I bashed Smart Boards. In part 2, I shared my Christmas wish list for improving homework logs. Since my birthday is on the 28th, I guess this could be considered my technology birthday wish list.

Right now I'm finishing up my statistics unit with both my fifth and sixth graders (moving this unit from 6th to 5th grade, so I'm doing something similar in all of my classes at the moment). I've never taught a full fledged statistics unit, and it's going really well.  Here's an overview.

The project
Our hook was this slick movie by National Geographic called 7 Billion: Are you Typical?  We then posed the following question: Are you a typical 5th/6th grader (throughout, I'm trying to keep the idea of "a typical 6th grader" light and humorous with the understanding that this is kind of a silly question)? Kids brainstormed topics and questions that would help answer this question, creating categories from after school activities to the environment. They learned how to write good survey questions and how to use Survey Monkey. They then took the survey (which ended up being a whopping 150ish questions). The data was then downloaded and kids spent time learning to summarize, convince, and predict (what I presented as the three overarching goals of statistics). We explored ways to analyze data both graphically and numerically and kids put together a portfolio of their results.

The product
My goal for after break is to make our own version of the National Geographic movie. While I consider myself relatively tech savvy and relatively proficient in editing photography, the movie making business is completely new to me. Even Dan Meyer's simple drawing of a box and a diagonal leaves my mouth agape. Btw Dan, I'd totally pay to sit in a room for a day and learn the basics of After Effects from you. I'd also be open to a list of sites/books that you would recommend for novices. Anyway, any guesses how the NG video was made? It has a Prezi feel, but alas, Prezi does not have export to movie functionality yet (really...come on already). Those of you with experience with these things, am I asking for trouble? I'd love to teach/work with my students to create something as slick, but worst case see this becoming something where each kid creates a slide or two highlighting a statistic they found and then putting it all together into a slideshow/movie in power point or keynote.

I'd love some feedback/thoughts from people with more experience.

1 comment:

  1. I think you could do this in Keynote with some serious Ninja fu. It would just be a ton of animations and transitions.