Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Technology Management Plan

For the Multimedia Project Assignment, I created a Prezi presentation that showed the itinerary for a virtual roadtrip around the United States. Students choose four states to research for their roadtrip. The learning goal of this assignment was for students to learn about the geographic features and historical importance of cities and states in the US, and for students to develop important research, writing, and presentation skills in creating their projects. This assignment is a fun way for students to learn more about US geography and history, but steps need to be taken in order ensure students are fully comfortable with Prezi as a new web-based presentation resource.


This project consists of two parts: the research portion, and the presentation portion. In the research portion, students use web-based resources to research each of their four states, and copy their research on provided guided-notes worksheets. Therefore, I need to reserve laptops for several days (3-4) for my students. At my observation school, this is done through the media specialist, and usually must be reserved a week in advance. Although most students have used web-based resources before, I would still want to guide them through this process, and possibly provide them with helpful research links, including state and city tourism sites to make their research easier.

The presentation part - where the students actually create a Prezi - will involve a bit more preparation. Because Prezi is a web-based resource, users must sign up for an account using an email address in order to use the site. Rather than have each student make their own account (which might lead to some problems if not every student has an email address, for example) I will create a master account, and have students use this account to create the presentations. In order to do this, I first need to create an account and provide students with a password. I would then create a sample Prezi if my own roadtrip, so that students can see what they are supposed to do for the project. I would present this sample Prezi in class, after each student has finished his or her research, but before they are given class time to work on their own Prezis. Additionally, I will need to create a blank template for students to use to create each of their presentations. Though this limits their creativity, I think this is the best way to gradually introduce them to this new resource, without overwhelming students. The blank template will be easy to use, and have descriptions and explanations for what should go on each slide.

This is an individual assignment, where each student works on their own. I plan on giving students ample time in class to complete this project, so that they do not need to worry about having access to the web at home. If students need more time to complete the project, I would provide students with opportunities to come in after school or during free time in school (such as lunch or advisory period) to complete the assignment.


Since Prezi is a fairly new presentation tool, I am assuming most students have not been exposed to this resource before, and therefore must be very thorough in my explanation of how to use the site. As I discussed in the previous section, I will introduce students to the site first by presenting my own sample Prezi presentation in class. Then, I will give the following instructions to my students, in this order:

  • Sign in using the same given username and password
  • Go to “Your Prezis”
  • Click on the tab “Your Prezis” at the top of the homepage
  • Click on the Prezi “Student Template”
  • Click on the tab “Save a Copy” underneath the Prezi
  • You will be directed back to the “Your Prezis” page. Click on the Prezi “Student Template Copy”
  • You will be directed to a new Prezi presentation. Click on the title “Student Template Copy,” and rename the Prezi using the following format: “[Your Full Name] Roadtrip”
  • Click on the “Edit” tab
  • Begin your presentation!

Obviously, these are a lot of instructions. In order to ensure my students follow these instructions, and do not get overwhelmed, I will either copy them to the whiteboard, or pass out a typed instruction sheet, in addition to very clearly and patiently going over them. I will encourage students to ask for help and clarification during the process.

I will then walk students through creating their first slide - I will demonstrate that you must first click on the slide boxes, and then begin typing information found in their research. I will explain to students that the research portion of the project is now completed, and they will use the research they outlined on their guided worksheets to create their presentations. I will also demonstrate how to upload pictures, as the project expectation requires a picture for each slide. Again, I will encourage questions and comments from my students.

Students might be overwhelmed when first using this tool. They might get lost trying to personalize their presentation, so I will need to constantly monitor my students by walking around the classroom, and asking them to update me on their progress, to ensure they are staying on task. Additionally, I will provide benchmarks students should meet after each class - so for example, after day one, students should have two slides completed - so that students will continue to stay on task. In order to prevent students from getting lost or overwhelmed, I will thoroughly explain how to use the tool, as outlined above, and be ready to help students when needed.


I will debrief students at the end of the project by asking them what they thought of Prezi. Some students might like the tool, while others might think it was too complicated. This feedback is important to me, as the teacher, for future lessons. Additionally, part of the project is the presentation. Students will present their projects to the class. As part of an assessment, students will also write a brief reflection on what they have learned from the project. Together, these two components will effectively assess student performance and the learning goals. I will provide each student with written feedback regarding their research, presentation skills, and the Prezi project itself so that students can gain a full learning experience from this assignment.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Technology Management Plan

For the Multimedia Product I created a glog poster on the United States during the Cold War era. My learning goal was to show an understanding of one nation's perspective during the Cold War. While this medium was fun to use and created a visually appealing product, there are certain things I would need to consider before presenting this assignment to my students.

  1. There is a set of laptops in the classroom available for students to use, so access to a computer is not a problem. However, this website does require a login, and I am not sure if students can link their accounts to the teacher’s account so that all student products would be visible. If such a system does not exist, then presenting the final projects might be time consuming (having each student login to their account and then log out when done). I will have to determine if I can link the students’ accounts or if the system would allow multiple people to use the same account and work on projects in that account at the same time.
  2.  I think that this project would work well with small groups of two or three. One student could work on the glog, while the other group members researched and looked for videos, images, timelines, information, quotations, etc. that they want to put in the project. I would let students choose their own groups and then randomly assign (name out of a hat?) countries to each group that they would represent in their project. Nations could include: the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, China, Vietnam, North Korea, South Korea, and Cuba. I could also pare down this list and have multiple groups represent each country, so that there would be greater depth of information provided from each group’s perspective.
  3. This is a project that I would allot time for students to work on in class. That being said, the AP US History and IB 20th Century Topics students often complete homework assignments that rely on technology outside of class (online lectures, note-taking, and discussion boards), so there would not be any difficulty for students to spend more time on the project outside of class if they chose.
  4.  I would create a sample product for them to look at. I would probably present this product along with my instructions and expectations for the assignment, and a tutorial of how to use the website.

  1.   I will introduce the project towards the end of our unit on the Cold War. I will tell the students that this is a fun, wrap-up activity where the students use their prior knowledge (and some research) to present the perspective of their nation during the Cold War era.  I will explain that the project is meant to be a review and synthesis activity of what they have learned. I will show the students the sample product that I made, and give them a list of requirements for the project such as: there must be text, at least two images, and at least one video. The information must accurately capture: things that the nation did during the Cold War, issues the nation confronted, attitudes of the people during the Cold War, etc. I will also give students a rubric explaining the requirements and how they will be assessed on those requirements for the assignment.
  2.  Because the majority of the work will occur during class time, I will be careful to observe the students and make sure that they are on-task and all contributing to the project. I will go around the room checking on the groups to help them with anything and remind them that they need to stay focused on the project. I would also be interested in having students perform a self/group assessment, where group members explain their contributions and the contributions of their partners.
  3. Because this tool will be new to my students, I will provide a quick 10 minute tutorial to show them how to access the site, login, and edit their glog. I think that showing them how to add images, videos, and add text will help them a great deal. I can also quickly demonstrate all of the graphics, colors, and other aesthetic options that are available. This will give them a basic overview of the site and how it works.
  4.  I think most students’ challenges with the tool will relate to how many options there are and struggling to decide what they want their glog to look like. I think that I will try to guide them through the planning process so that they can have a streamlined creation process. I would suggest that my students plan out on paper what they want the layout of the page to look like and what information should go where – that way all they have to do on the actual glog is implement their pre-made plan.

  1.  I would like for my students to present their work to the class. Because the posters are small and cannot hold a lot of information and images, I think that it would be great to have the students explain why they chose to include the information they did. What does it say about the Cold War? Why is it vital to explaining their nation’s point of view during this conflict? Seeing these presentations will help students review key information and come to a larger understanding of the complexity of the Cold War. Additionally, the glogs are open to the public, so students from my other sections (or even other teachers’ students) can look at each other’s work and benefit from it.
  2.  I will assess their work based on the content and creativity of the glog, and also their presentation. Groups will also be evaluated on each student’s participation in the creation of the glog and the presentation to make sure that work was distributed equitably. I will grade based on the rubric I will give to students at the beginning of this process. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Technology Management Plan

The learning goal for my project is: Students will demonstrate understanding of the life and importance of a significant religious figure using independent research. Students would not necessarily be required to make a timeline as I did. Rather, they would have the choice between a written essay, a poster, and a virtual timeline like mine. They would, however, all share a rubric and the basic aspects to be included: a description of significant events in the figure’s life, a coherent presentation, correct grammar and punctuation, thorough research, etc. While the paper and poster would have guidelines, they would not need to be taught to the class in the same way as the timeline, which is something that the students would most likely be completely new to.
Before beginning the project I would need to give students an opportunity to see a timeline in action as well as work with it some so that they could make an informed decision about which option they would like to choose. That in class instruction would require preparation on my part, first by securing a computer lab or laptop cart, and second by arranging student logins. They are not complex, but require an email and password. It is possible that I could make one and simply have all of the students who do not have their own email addresses use it, but then they would all have access to one another’s work. In a tutorial I would first show them my final product, then show them the different tools available to them. Timetoast is a relatively simple tool to use, and does not have a confusing number of options. I could show the students in a short period of time how to create a new timeline, make a new event, change the information in that event, and add images. I would also allow them time in class to explore how to use the tool, which would coincide well with the fact that I would be giving them time in class to do research online as well. For this independent research project, having class time where they can work on their research and discuss their projects with me would be vital, regardless of the tool they decided to use. Having class in time would make up some of the work, but for those students who did not have access to computers or the internet at home I would also make sure there was time outside of class for them to work on the project. This could mean during homeroom, after school, or during study hall (my placement school has AEP, half an hour every day for all students to work on school work). During this time I would make sure I had a laptop available in my classroom and let them use that time to do either their research or create the timeline.
When introducing the project, I would emphasize the aspect of choice that the students have but the underlying consistency of how their work will be assessed. As I said above, there would be the same rubric for every student, and the students would receive the rubric. For a project like this, where there are so many variables of student work, I believe that extremely clear expectations are vital for them creating quality products. Also as discussed above, I would introduce the product to the class and allow them to work on it on a few different times in the process so that they could discuss with me any issues they face. This would include time without the whole class there – whether before, after, or during breaks in school time – so that students who had very serious issues or needed more directed help would be able to get the attention they needed. Some of these challenges would probably stem from the technology, though I imagine the majority of the issues would have to deal with doing research online, which is a whole other set of technological skills to learn. Doing research online would have to be something we worked on as a class over time, something that we built to over time before using it for a major project. This would probably mean a presentation from the media specialist about the resources the school has available as well as smaller assignments to work on these skills. Working with the timetoast tool, however, there are certain things that can cause problems, such as uploading videos or even deciding which events to include that I could help clarify for them. An issue with uploading videos would simply take practice and patience, while helping students learn how to make the selection of what went into the timeline would require individual attention to help the student increase their critical thinking. To make sure that none of these serious issues arise, I would most likely require students to complete this project in at least two parts. The first would be focused on the research, making sure that the students are keeping up on that and understand how to do historical research. An assessment for this would be most appropriate in the form of a short annotated bibliography, with the second part finishing with the final product.

Having a complete way for students to give feedback on how they created their products and me to give them feedback on how they did is, of course, vital for this project. All students, no matter the tool they used to create their final products, would be required to complete a brief reflection on how they did their research and how they used technology. This would allow me not only to understand the effectiveness of the different forms of turning in work, it would show me how they viewed the research they did and how they could continue to develop research skills in the future. This would help me in my assessments, which would center around the rubric discussed above. By completing the same rubric for each student, this would streamline the grading process, thus allowing me to focus on giving student individual feedback for what that did well or could improve on. This feedback would be in the form of a written response to return to each student with their rubric.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Multimedia Project

Learning Goal

USII.2: The student will use maps, globes, photographs, pictures, or tables for locating the 50 states and the cities most significant to the historical development of the United States.

The goal of this assignment is for students learn about the geographic features and cities of the United States. Students will also be introduced to a new web-based presentation resource, and develop research, writing, and oral presentation skills in creating their projects.


Students will choose four states, each of a different geographic region, to travel to in a "roadtrip" across the United States. For each of the selected states, the student will research the following information:

  • State capital
  • Region
  • Nickname
  • Date of statehood
  • Population
  • Three attractions: historical, geographical, and recreational ("fun")

Using web-based research sites, each student will research the above information for each of their selected states. Once they have researched the necessary information, students will then create an itinerary of their roadtrip by creating a Prezi presentation. Each student will create a Prezi presentation with the above information, as well as a brief description of each attraction they choose to visit and a picture relevant to their chosen state. Using the online resource travelmath.com, students will then calculate the distance between the capital cities of their chosen states, and display this information on the final slide. Additionally, each student will write a brief concluding paragraph explaining what they learned from the project, paying special attention to the histories, geographic features, and populations of each respective state. Students will then present their "roadtrip" presentations to the class.  

This assignment should get students thinking about the rich geographical and historical diversity of the United States, and could be used as a fun, engaging way to wrap up a unit on US Geography for a seventh grade US History Part II class.

UDL Principle 2
This project assesses three components of learning: research, writing, and presentation. The project allows for students of varying abilities to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a particular area, but also provides opportunities for students to further develop in another project component.

Multimedia Project
Multimedia Project: Cold War Project

My learning goal was to show an understanding of one nation's perspective during the Cold War. I chose the United States, but I would have students complete projects from the perspective of the USSR, Cuba, Vietnam, China, North and South Korea, Great Britain, etc. The Cold War is an extensive period, and I want the students to be able to show me that they understand the complexity and variety of perspectives that existed during this conflict. The project that I created tries to give a brief overview of the United States point of view during the Cold War, referencing hot-button issues of the era including: Berlin, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War.

This project connects to UDL because it enables creativity of expressing content knowledge. I could have students write a paper about various countries' participation in the Cold War, but this tool allows students to show me that same understanding through videos, images, audio, and text. The format was relatively easy to use, and it was fun to design the poster. This is a project that would help students who are artistic, struggle with reading/writing, or simply want to try something different express their learning.

Multimedia Product

Multimedia Product: Life of Muhammad

Learning goal: Students will demonstrate understanding of the life and importance of a significant religious figure using independent research. (Could touch on a number of different SOL standards, depending on the figure chosen)

To meet this learning goal, I made a timeline about the life of Muhammad. I chose this method because it seems like a way for someone who prefers discrete, straightforward bits of knowledge to think, though I would have probably done a poster or essay if I had been doing it for myself. While the life was very simple to express in a timeline, the importance was a bit harder to get at.

The timeline program itself also allowed for different means of expression, as I could include photographs, text, or video. It also very effectively allows the creator or reader to utilize different ways of managing information, as it is visible in an interactive timeline or chart.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Multimedia Project

Kaitlyn Wisniewski

Multimedia Project

Learning Goals:
The student will demonstrate knowledge of the factors that shaped colonial America:
(b) describing life in New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies, with emphasis on how people interacted with their environment to produce foods and services, including examples of specialization and interdependence (USI.5 b)

Students will choose a regional group of colonies (New England, Mid-Atlantic, or Southern colonies) and will compose a flyer, ad, newspaper article, or poster persuading colonists and Europeans to move to region of their choice. For this project, students are expected to explain different human, natural, and capital resources available within the colonial region. In addition, students will describe the geography, climate, and economic specifications within the region, population structure, social life, and economic interdependence of the region at hand. Each of these themes is addressed in the Colonial America portion of the SOL—each of the above topics covers a different objective. This project would be a great conclusive wrap-up of Colonial America and leeway into the American Revolution.

UDL Principle 2

This particular project connects well to UDL Principle 2 as it provides students a multitude of ways to express their knowledge. Students have the freedom to choose how they would like to persuade other colonists and Europeans to move to a given colonial region. Students with stronger writing skills may feel more comfortable writing a newspaper article while students who like to organize and design images may prefer to create a poster or flyer which has several bullet points (may be easier for them to organize their ideas in this fashion versus a formal written article or paragraph). This assignment will also allow students who are more artistic and visual, to express their knowledge through drawings, images, maps, charts, etc. 

link to final project: https://smore.com/c9yu