Sorry for the big break in posts. My husband and I celebrated our tenth anniversary on Valentine’s day with a cruise to Mexico where we renewed our vows on the beach! Good times! It has taken this long for my mind to leave Mexico and return to normal things, like my classroom.
I guess the biggest thing going on right now is the TV/ “digital kiosk” that I’ve recently had installed outside of my classroom door. In September, I wrote a “Quality in Science and Mathematics” (QSM) grant for a 40-inch TV and an Apple TV unit to use as a digital kiosk to display my student’s tech projects. In my previous job, I worked at a school where project-based instruction was the norm. To show off the projects students had created, teachers would fill the halls with posters, dioramas, models, and other artifacts of their work. As I have made the transition to tech projects, I was finding it very difficult to find ways to display my students’ work. Of course I could print things out, but they would not have the same dynamic qualities that could only be shown in digital form. Here we were doing all these great projects and no one had a clue! I know that when you display student work, they take more pride in it. Students also feel their work is validated when they have an audience, even if it’s just passersby in the hallway. Of course the big TV in the hallway made quite a splash when it was first installed, but like all new things, it is slowly becoming a natural part of our school landscape that occasionally catches someone’s eye.
When I first had the TV installed (by the shop class who built and painted the case for it, (thanks, Coach Bridges!!!) I envisioned it showing a never-ending slideshow of student work pulled from my Flickr account. That’s why I got the AppleTV–it has lots of cool options for slideshows that can stream directly from Flickr or your computer via iTunes. Shortly after, I realized that I could stream video from iTunes and suddenly the floodgates opened.
I created a slideshow of student work using Animoto and added it to a video playlist including student video projects, instructional videos, and my students’ favorite–math rap videos I downloaded from youtube. I find ones related to what we are doing in class, and the kids in my classes (and everyone else’s) love to watch to see what the new video is! Here’s our current favorite: