Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Anti-Bubble Sheet


"By looking closely at student work with students and with adults, it sends the message that the quality of student work matters - Ron Berger, Chief Program Officer, Expeditionary Learning in DLMOOC Week #2 Google Hangout

This evening Mr. Justin DeVries, one of our outstanding teachers at Sa-Hali Secondary, was proudly watching students in his Digipen Academy do their first Presentations of Learning at our theatre.  Each of the six groups of students from his class were showcasing the different video games they had made to a crowd of more than 80 people that included teachers, parents, trustees, administrators, fellow students, and a panel of video game designers.  Although I could not be able to be there in person, through the miracle of technology, I was able to watch a live stream through a web feed, ask questions and give feedback.

Each of the groups went on stage and described the ideas and tools that led to the design of things such as the characters, the flow and play of the game, the sounds, the math, the artwork and the psychology behind their creations.  They then played the game for a few minutes to show the results of their hard work, and answered questions at the end.  As much as there were some fascinating technical questions that the groups fielded with amazing depth and clarity, the questions that I found most interesting were the ones around what the students had learned as a result of the experience of working together to design their projects.  These were just some of the (unfiltered) responses that I could jot down:
  • team work
  • communication
  • importance of a team
  • working at home--we wanted to do it at home
  • it was more up to us
  • homework is just one thing, like math or english or socials, in this its everything, math, art, group work, cooperation
  • it was more of a challenge, all the puzzles and I love puzzles
  • I loved all of the math
  • I loved working with my team
  • knowing what it is like to work in a group
  • we grouped together every week--we would meet every Friday and fix out all the bugs
  • cannot do well just being one guy not working well with other people
  • this is good for me, because I didn't used to like working with people
  • I don't like doing presentations - this is hard, way more stressful than a math test

Wow.

This evening, I watched students proudly display their collaboratively created projects that required them to use math, physics, art, psychology, and logic as tools to help them do something that was meaningful to them.  They needed to work together, delegate duties, create their own timelines, and keep each other on task.  They had to communicate with each other, evaluate themselves, give constructive feedback and accept constructive criticism.  And then they had to create a presentation, decide on what they needed to show and how best they could communicate their accomplishments in an interesting and coherent manner.  And they needed to present in an environment that had an incredibly high level of accountability--to a group of their peers, their parents and experts in the field.   

The kids were proud.  The teacher was proud.  The parents were proud.  I am so proud to have these students, Mr. DeVries, and this program at our school.  And after watching the Presentations of Learning tonight, I have never been more motivated or determined: I truly feel that the Digipen Program will be a touchstone for our staff, students and parents as we begin to move towards deeper, problem-based learning and authentic presentations of learning at our school.  To paraphrase Ron from the DL MOOC, we looked closely at the work, and we sent the message that the quality of work matters.  And our students responded with quality work.

Coincidentally, today was the end of our examination period for provincial exams in the first semester.  The Science 10 final exam had sixty multiple choice questions that required students to bubble in answers on a white, 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of paper.

I think it is time for us to think differently.   

Thank you so much to Mr. DeVries and his amazing students from the Digipen Academy.  We watched you learn so much, and yet through your learning, you have taught the rest of us so much more.

2 comments:

  1. I'm lucky to be in a place and assignment that allows this kind of assessment. It's thrilling.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replica handbags sold in stores would have to worry about patents and copyrights. However, the gucci replica Internet has brought a new dimension. In addition to handbags, replica items can easily be found online. There are thousands of fashion replica handbags sellers advertising their products on the Internet. Some even offer cash back offers. These bags manufacturing occurs in the Far East. China has become a leading supplier in this regard. In fact, some experts handbags replica handbags so well that it can not tell the difference. These prada replica manufacturers produce imitation replica handbags is good. Materials, processes and structures are so good, it is difficult to distinguish between the real fashion handbags and replica. In the end is what attracts a lot of customers replica handbags is their availability. In the online search sites, deal with specific fashion handbags. You can search for designer replica handbags. Spend less than two hundred U.S. dollars to get a copy of the handbag to attract a group of women. Therefore, the replica handbags business is booming. Women can not or do not want to spend a small wallet can now buy a dozen replica handbags. In all honesty, if a woman walking on a street in the real designer handbags or replica handbags, who can tell the difference? Almost no one! Fashion chanel replica houses are trying to block the sale of replica handbags. However, their efforts have failed. On the other hand, those who sell replica handbags flourish more and more. In fact, the competition between manufacturers replica handbags is thriving. More competition to become their customers get better quality replica handbags. Women buy replica handbags'm surprised they get a high quality replica handbags. This prompted them to http://www.docman.com/feed.html buy more of them. In addition, in order to match their shoes and other replica accessories.

    ReplyDelete