presenter Roxanne Glaser – Content director for Whirlidub, formerly at Region 12
This was a great presentation that used the principles outlined in Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds and told the story of a collaborative reading project called The Bluebonnet Project. Reading Methods students from Baylor University worked with teachers recruited by the ESC for the Waco area to get kids excited about reading using technology.
How can we connect reading and technology?
Students are immersed in technology from a young age and are enthralled by it, but teachers sometimes want to operate in a traditional classroom environment with no technology.
The big picture:
Teachers select books. (May)
Baylor students meet their partner classes via videoconference. (Students trained in Moodle in August)
Each class and their Baylor partners Moodle. (September-October)
Each class creates a 7 minute presentation to sell their book. (November)
The project focused on books from the Texas Bluebonnet Award list. Teachers choose one of the titles from the current list to read to their classes.
Classroom students and Baylor students met via videoconferencing to introduce themselves. Each class had two Baylor student mentors. During the first videoconference, the classroom students interviewed the Baylor students to get to know them and make a personal connection.
After the video meeting, the book discussion between classroom and Baylor students moved online to a Moodle forum. Baylor students posted conversation starters/questions for kids to respond to.
After reading and discussion, classroom students make presentations via videoconference about their book to encourage other students to read the book. Five classes presented to each other at a time. Baylor students give feedback on the presentation, then have classroom students ask them questions about the book.
Where does the learning occur in this project?
Classroom students are reading and discussing books, learning interviewing and interpersonal skills, seeing and getting to know students who are in post-secondary education and interacting with them, writing and creating a presentation as a group, presentation skills.
Baylor students learn how technology can be used in a classroom setting, how to construct higher level thinking questions, how to collaborate with another educator and communicate professionally.
Classroom teachers learn to collaborate, how to use technology they might not be familiar with, and new literature that they can recommend to their students.
Children really benefit from the authentic audience of college students and imitate the behavior of their role models.
This project can be easily adapted for use with any configuration of classes and technologies that are available. Key pieces would be a classroom of students and teachers, some older role model students, online discussion and shared presentation.
Try it out yourself!