Collaborative Project- The finish line!

19 04 2010

We have reached the finish line!

…well almost!

Here is my  final post on our collaborative project with a Computer Literacy 8 class out of Melville. We have started the evaluation process and it has turned out to be quite interesting.

Frustrations:

As we have been trying to mark student’s glogs, we have encountered many problems. The biggest issue is the links not working. We told the students that they could use Tikatok, but you cannot publish your story on the site unless you pay for it. What we told students they could do is send us their username and password via email, we would mark them and then they could change their password. For many students, this worked well and their stories in Tikatok were wonderful. For others, they did not read or pay attention to the instructions and either posted their username and password on their glogs or did not send us the information at all.

Another thing that has been frustrating is student accountability. Students sent us their glogs on the due date, but a majority of them did not check their glogs to see if their links even worked. Also, some students did not send us anything at all. We wrote our cooperating teacher, Don Wihak an email explaining who has not even emailed us and sent in their work and he said that he will talk to them for us. I sent each student an email explaining what they still need to send us and how to share their links so that they work. What is wonderful is that today I received emails back from all of those students with the fixed links. I am glad that we had Don to tell them to check their emails today because they do not have class again with him until tomorrow and we want to get their marks to them already.

My last frustration is that I feel you can’t beat face to face when it comes to something like this. Although it has been nice to have emails sent to my phone, sometimes I am in class or at work and I cannot reply instantly. Also, some students have the same questions, so instead of emailing each back individually, I could have given a demonstration in front of the whole class on how to solve the problem. I know that there are ways around this using technology, but at times when I felt overwhelmed with questions, it would have been nice to be in front of the class answering questions.

What I really enjoyed…

The stories! A majority of the stories created by the students are very well done. It is evident that they put a lot of time and effort into their work.

I also enjoyed the feedback we received from Don. Here are some things he said in some of our back and forth emails…

“Kayla, the timeline is awesome, and will keep the kids on task. It is also helpful for those kids who miss class for illness or an appointment of some kind. You guys have done an awesome job, and I will make sure to tell Dean how well prepared you are.”

“The kids are enjoying the project, and what I have seen in class from them is pretty good so far.”

“I am anxious to see the finished projects of many of the students, as I know the work some of them have put into it so far.  Thanks to you and Amy for crafting an excellent project, which I am not embarrassed to say that I have stolen liberally from for the other grade 8 class.”

It was nice to hear that the teacher we were working with was happy with our work and was using it with his other students.

We also sent each student an email saying:

“Just wondering how things are going with your digital storytelling tools. Which ones are you working with? Have you started with your second tool yet? Are you having any difficulties?

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us and we can help you!”

Almost all of them responded letting us know where they were at. Here are a couple responses we received:

“it’s going really good, I have finished both of mine already and i am working on the Glog now. i’m working with ToonDoo and TikaTok. no difficulties as of now.”

“Hey Miss Hanson and Miss Adams, I’m just letting you know that I think I am pretty much finished with my first tool which was Tikatok, and I am going to start on my second one, but I’m not sure what to use. I was looking at the scrapblog tool, but i wasn’t sure if that would be similar to Tikatok. So I was just wondering if you had any suggestions or anything.”

I also enjoyed the way in which Amy and I collaborated. As I mentioned in another post, through emailing and using google docs, we have not had to meet face to face which has been great because we both have extremely busy schedules.

Google docs has been a wonderful tool as we have begun our evaluation. We go in and assess, indicating why each mark was given, we can talk about the marks, if they need to be adjusted, which students we still need work from, which students whose links do not work, etc. It has been a great tool in keeping us organized.

What I would change for next time…

I guess the hard part about teaching online is that you do not know what types of problems the students will encounter or what types of questions they have. Perhaps we should have been more specific on each tool on how to “share” their stories because that is the biggest issue we are encountering right now. Many are posting the link right after they save their work and it will not open when we are trying to view them.

I also think that because we have never done this before, we did not know what type of time frame we would be working with. I have worked with these students before and if students that usually stay on task and work during class time cannot finish within the time frame we had given, then we did not give them enough time. The nice thing was that Don was open to extending the time students were given to complete the assignment. We gave them an extra week and they were very relieved.

Here are my prior posts about this collaborative project:

Collaborative project…the end is near

Frustrations and Concerns

Update on collaborative project

Collaborative Project

Here is our blog that contains the assignment and tools that students could work with. Keep note that we have pages at the top that contain information on evaluation, creating glogs, and all of their stories. We have locked the stories with a password because their names are on the work. We want students to be able to go in and check out each other’s work, so we will share the password with them once everyone has sent in their work.

Overall, I am very content with how the project ended up. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the students and doing a digital storytelling assignment with them. Now that the students have the links sorted out we are going to finish up our marking tomorrow and email them their marks with feedback. I am going to sub in Melville in May and June, so I am looking forward to seeing these students again. I loved that we were able to create something and see it through to the end. Although we had some road bumps on the way, I feel that I learned a lot from doing this collaborative project, and I hope the students learned a lot from us as well!

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2 responses

22 04 2010
Mike Wolf

Love that cat picture. It’s nice to see how much work you and Amy have put into this. This kind of stuff tends to be full of frustration. Hang in there!

22 04 2010
Kayla Hanson

Thanks Mike! It has been frustrating at points, but very rewarding at the same time! I would definitely try online teaching again!

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