As part of my teaching load this year i have had a year class for an hour a week to… mould and do with as i please!!!
It’s been great having these keen and committed kids to use as guinea pigs to be able to trial new things on!!! 😉
Recently I have set up a PBL, Problem Based Learning, unit with these kids to really challenge their thinking and to get them creatively engaged in their learning. Earlier in the year i ran a Challenge Based Learning unit which did wonders for the students in terms of having them accept a challenge and trying quite hard in their groups to develop a solution to it. Even though as a class we’ve completed that unit, i have a number of groups STILL working towards meeting the challenge. From a teachers perspective, mind-blowing that i have students working after hours to continually make a difference! For more information on this, check out our CBL blog: http://yr7acbl.global2.vic.edu.au/
Following on from the success that i’d felt i’d had from the above, i decided to run a more structured type of PBL (Problem Based Learning) unit where basically i’ve asked my kids to, well, save the world from it’s impending doom!
Admittedly, this task was not of my own concoction but that of one Mr. Kevin Honeycutt (Twitter: @kevinhoneycutt). Kevin is a teacher form the U.S. who i heard as speak as a Keynote Address at the uLearn12 Conference in Auckland in October. Kevin was very inspiring and his thoughts on education, technology and teaching were great to listen to! One of the many fantastic things that i picked up from his talk was one of his teaching units titled the ‘D-1′ Project! This sounded like a great unit of work which has lead me to this blog post!
The idea of having my students ‘save the world’ was one that i could not pass up. The fact that they had to think beyond the hair brain schemes i knew i’d receive and look for genuine answers was enticing! I took what Kein had done and modified it slightly to suit our needs a little better and to make it a little more close to home. I’ve constructed a blog titled Doomsday-1, that contain all relevant information.
So far the students after 2 sessions have been working like mad to attempt to come up with a worthwhile plan for saving us all. The teamwork, collaboration and technology integration via their iPads has thus far been very rewarding to see. The ideas are coming thick and fast which is fantastic! What i am wanting now is more substance to these ideas… Will they work? Won’t they? Why not? As i’ve been saying to the students; “evidence, evidence, evidence!!!”.
I will be sure to keep you posted but for now, I’ve attached a few snapshots of the ideas that some students have thought of… some worth investigating… some.. perhaps not… 😉