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Collaborative learning through technology assisted projects

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Keywords: Project Based Learning, Computer Art, Reading, Writing, Technology, Computer Literacy. Typewriting, Graphic Design, Photography, Art
Subject(s): Information Skills, Art, Business, Photography, Social Studies, Technology, Science, Writing, Reading, Math
Grades K through 6
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Tangi Academy, Hammond, LA
Planned By: Szabolcs Varga
Original Author: Szabolcs Varga, Hammond
Students at TANGI ACADEMY will attend a computer lab twice a week to gain computer literacy and typing skills. The school is an arts integrated elementary school and part of the focus of the class is to teach digital media as an artform. About 220 elementary school students will utilize Google chromebooks to learn computer skills. Part of the curriculum will be to practice typing sills during every lab visit.

For the first quarter (2 months), the classes will focus on teaching students on how to operate on the google platform. This includes login in to their specific google accounts, learning how to access their storage and files on google Drive. The lessons will also focus on the core google suite of Docs, Sheets, Slides and Google Classroom. Once students are familiar with the tools, they will be given tasks to collaborate with one another by sharing certain folders and documents. This quarter will culminate with writing a short research paper by collaborating with one classmate. The assignment will be scaled for grade level ability.

For the second quarter, students will begin to learn digital image and photo editors to create logos and marketing. Students will use their google accounts to use Pixlr, YouiDraw Logo Creator and Polarr Photo Editor 3. Students will learn to take, upload, edit and store photos on their google drive. They will also learn what makes logos and product marketing effective by studying the packaging of items that they are familiar with. The culminating collaborative project for this quarter will be to design product packaging and a marketing campaign for products purchased at a Dollar Store. Students will be working in groups of 4-5 with specific jobs assigned to each member. Some students will focus on the marketing and presentation of their product while other will work more closely with the artwork. Students will use google tools to collaborate and share ideas. Students will have to present their product and marketing campaigns to peers and parents right before the Christmas holidays.

For the third quarter the class will collaborate to write their own fiction book using Storybird.com. Students will work in groups of three to write short stories that will be published, printed and bound to be added to the school library as well as be available for purchase by parents. The Storybird website provides students wonderful artwork to inspire their writing. Every student can create their own account and experiment with writing every class period. The final collaborative project will be to publish a book that was imagined by the three students who shared and edited and re-edited their writing and story to make it the most exciting possible. Chapters will be required for upper elementary; whereas lower elementary students will write simpler shorter stories.

For the four quarter students will be given a choice to either create their own digital artwork. Teams will be tasked with creating artwork, marketing, design to beautify our school and to spread awareness in the community about our school. Students will be working in groups to make an impact! This could be a fund raiser, a poster, a t-shirt, a community event, a garden, or video. Students will be using all of the software and collaborative tools that they learned to make an impact on the community of our school, to raise awareness or to raise money. Students will need to submit a proposal, elect responsibilities and jobs in the group, make advertising, write messages, and present their idea to the class.

This will be a yearlong learning process that will make students computer literate, better communicators and collaborators and teach them valuable job skills. The fact is that the workplace is a project based system, not broken down into subjects such as math, science, social studies and English Language Arts. Allowing students to use creativity and critical thinking skills to use a multitude of tools to overcome challenges is the goal of my class.
Materials: Digital SLR, Wacom Tablets, Art Tools, Camera Bags, Tripods, Memory Cards, LCD Monitors, Keyboards, Mice, Books, Keyboarding, Integrating Technology
Other Items: 150 Chromebooks, $150 each, total of $22500.00
6 Laptop charging Carts, $900 each, total of $5400.00