At the beginning of this semester I was on track to create a final project for COETAIL relating to my teaching of a redefined empowered use agreement for YIS. However, COVID-19 had different plans. As I scrambled to adjust my COETAIL final project to better adapt for distance learning, I sat down to think about how my teaching has changed as a result of learning from home. Coaching was looking different and I felt one step away from the students – more so than my ‘normal’ coaching. Thankfully, one aspect of my role was staying the same – I was still set to work with a group of students in the PYPx that aimed to express their inquiries using computational thinking or digital design.
I ran with it and was happy I did.
I didn’t completely reconstruct the PYPx unit of inquiry – I’ll leave that up to the grade 5 teachers (who are awesome, I might add), but I did completely reconstruct how I worked with my expression group. This learning engagement spanned 4 weeks and consisted of bi-weekly Zoom synchronous sessions along with a-synchronous learning facilitated through a Padlet we created.
I developed a few different goals for the students and for myself for this project.
- Support students’ specific goals. This is the PYPx where agency plays a big role, so I needed to be flexible and work within the goals that they set.
- Build a solid communication platform that worked well in the distance learning environment.
- Support students to culminate their PYP learning
- Focus on purpose and audience
Moving towards redefinition
I was very specific in this unit to get away from the idea of just using the technology because we are passionate about it. Primarily, I’m talking about Minecraft. I love Minecraft and our students love Minecraft, but I didn’t want to see a Minecraft project just because it was something that the students thought was fun. I wanted to see Minecraft because it’s creative and it gives a grade five student the ability to create and present something that might have otherwise been challenging without an architecture degree.
A also worked with a student who created an entire app prototype (check out proto.io). Her goal was to create a Buzzfeed-like survey that gauged how eco-friendly you were and provided recommendations at the end. What impressed me the most was how she worked with variables within her prototype so that her audience was given a specific paragraph and image based on their input in the survey – I wanted to share it with all my friends on Facebook.
I’m far from an expert in film making and I really enjoyed stretching my abilities to create this video. I’m very familiar with iMovie, but I really wanted to work with Premiere Pro on this project. I wanted to have the flexibility that Premiere Pro offered (at the cost of a much steeper learning curve). Thankfully, YouTube tutorials can get you through almost any challenge these days.
For music, titles, the opener and a small piece of stock footage I used AudioJungle and Videohive. These two sites, part of the larger Envato Market, sell various royalty free files for uses in a variety of media projects. I appreciate the professional look while ensuring everything is licensed correctly.
Hopefully this is just the start of my productions in Premiere Pro.