So, our first day was a good one! We had to work without the iPads, but the trend is set. The students were all enthusiastic about the goals they have to achieve and the ways to achieve them. We started of with a bit of explaining. An overview of the project with some rules and tips & tricks. After that we thought them how to search Google effectively! You have no idea how many students just copy and paste the question into the Google Search box! Bart and I had to tell them a search engine is quite dumb and that they should interpret the questions before just entering some words. After a while they got the hang of it and better answers to our questions were given!
Next up was the main task of the lesson. They had to look up information about a country. The goal is to present a country to the group, seen through the eyes of a tourist. First, they looked for some general info about their designated countries. We put up a Facebook group to share their info and to offer a space to present all vital information about the project. So instead of a website or a learning environment like Moodle or Blackboard, they could use a tool already in their PLE (personal learning environment). Connectivism thought me to let the students choose the tools they work with. Don’t force a medium upon them. Since the vast majority of them already use FB, the choice was easy. You could argue that FB in itself could also be seen as a medium chosen by us, teachers, but I think FB integration amongst teenagers is a well established fact. FB is not a new and strange environment for them! Blackboard, Moodle (and others) are and these also create a new space for them to manage. FB is used in their daily life, so keeping track of new messages, links, dates, etc. is easy.
Today, I’m out, overstressed voice, so a day of silence will, hopefully, do the trick. Tomorrow will be a new introduction day for 1 more group (and finally use the iPads for the first time!), on friday we continue with the others (also with the iPad). So looking forward to experiencing the same lesson but with this mobile device. Keep you posted on the upcoming events and impressions!