The Advanced Placement United States Government class wrote their own textbook in the first semester using a wiki software known as PB Works. The purpose of the e-text was to encourage students to collaborate on an intellectual and creative project that would be used by future students in the APGOV course at St. Gregory. Students worked in groups of 3 on chapters traditionally found in AP Government textbooks. The difference? The e-text comes complete with a casual tone and accessible writing, Youtube videos, podcasts, and widget study breaks. The interactivity of the e-text coupled with its in-depth explanation of the United States government make it a wonderful resource for future students. Next year’s students will add to the e-text which ensures that it will be an evolving and current text — something traditional textbooks just can’t be quite as easily.
In a 7th grade science class:
Our MS digital natives, as opposed to those of us who are digital immigrants, are off and flying with their netbooks. In the first week of the seventh grade pilot of the 1:1 WINGS initiative students are pushing the envelope of learning with their netbooks. I observed one noteworthy application emerging in Ms. Faircloth’s science class. Her students were participating in a virtual heart anatomy lesson. One student, who was at home for the day, was able to join in on the class discussion and activities using the “Oovoo” program, a high quality video chat conferencing program that allowed this student to participate fully with her classmates in this exciting lesson. Via the netbook, there was a seamless connection between learning at school and learning at home. In the year ahead of us, students will discover many, many applications for learning using their netbooks.
In the upper school chemistry class:
Chemistry students who had recently studied acids and bases were asked to put together video presentations to teach those concepts to eighth graders. Each group of two to three students had a class period to work together, and were to email their presentations to Dr. Morris before their next class meeting. Students used PowerPoint (or the Google equivalent), photographs, video, and/or audio, to put together what they thought would be interesting and informative lessons.