This time of year, students are becoming increasingly comfortable with the technology and tools that they have at their disposal in the classroom and outside of it. They have had more than 2 months to get comfortable in their new setting and are ready for a challenge. Now is the time to challenge our students and make them use process-based learning to create a truly incredible product. For example, check out the video of this haunted classroom:
From here, these same students can use the concepts that they have learned to create standards-based films that reach far beyond the traditional education model. Imagine these same students being given the task of doing a book report using the same methods that they have learned (I would love to see their product!). All of a sudden, an elementary school class is doing stop-motion video production for book reports, word problems, historical events, science experiments, and so much more. Keep in mind - elementary school.
"Life has no limitations, except the ones you make" - Les Brown
As soon as we stop limiting our students, they will start being creative. As educators, we are the Colin Clive of the classroom. We are given the task of creating a monster that can think for himself, all from scratch. It's a daunting chore, especially when we handcuff our students to the textbooks, worksheets, and a culture of mass repetition. Replacing this concept is difficult, but necessary if there is any intent to move forward. Colin needed room to be creative and develop his thoughts into what we know now as Frankenstein.
As the leaves begin to change color and the holiday decorations come out from Halloween to Thanksgiving and beyond, it is the perfect time for us to challenge our students with whatever technology we can offer. Whether it's using something like the iPad (or any other tablet for that matter), iPod, laptop, desktop, video camera, or digital still camera, there are plenty of ways for students to prove mastery of the standards that you are currently working on in your classroom and make it come Alive! Who knows, your classroom might just become "Scary Fun!"
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