We (PDHPE) were given an extra period this year in Year 9 as an opportunity to pursue a “Project”. The “Project” concept was designed to exploit the opportunities that the DER laptops has provided us.
We (PDHPE) spent first semester playing with ideas and training staff in the software and potential ideas for the project. We liked the idea of Project Based Learning (PBL), and tried to make our piece more like this concept than not. Our lack of training in PBL probably means it is probably more not like PBL, but we were definitely influenced by that thinking.
Since Easter, the Year 9 students have been finding there way around the devices and are now confident enough to launch into most of the software and techniques needed for the project. With some help from classroom teachers (and hopefully some organic peer tutoring), the products that are the end result of this initiative should be exciting and broad in their range.
The final question – what to actually set as the project theme – was a question answered by my PLN on Twitter. This Wallwisher wall collected many responses to the question, and after a faculty meeting one idea was used to develop the theme.
Deployment was the next issue. Moodle was the natural platform, but a simpler method came to light – email. Every student has a DET email account. The project was sent as an attachment to every student in Year 9. All they had to do was download the portfolio to their DET laptop harddrive and away they went. (The only hiccup was that when we launched the portfolio project at a common time, the DET Enterprise Portal was down for 30 minutes, resulting in some ad-libbing until the kids could access their email)
And the result – check it out here. You’ve got the staff version, with some suggested teaching notes as well.
As a first attempt at something like this, it won’t be perfect, but my staff are committed to implementing, evaluating and ultimately renewing the project in the future.
If you get a chance, have a look and comment back here on what you think of it. Apologies to @deangroom and other PBL advocates – it’s not PBL , but it was the best fit starting point for us.
And as always, take it with you, play with it, change it and make it your own if you like it.