Slice of Life Challenge Day 8
I have the honor and pleasure of working with a multi-age 3rd & 4th grade class of brilliant students. They are bright, talented, and immensely inquisitive.
But they are too young to drive.
Or so I thought. The truth is, many of them are far more proficient at driving than I am. Google “driving” that is.
At the outset of the year I received an email notifying me that each of my students had been assigned their own Google Drive. I honestly wasn’t quite sure what that meant, and in the hustle and bustle of the first few weeks of school, I left the message sitting in my gmail inbox.
Fast forward to February, and our class was investigating the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. I’m not the most tech-savvy guy in our building, but I am always trying new ways to utilize tech meaningfully. As students were creating biographical presentations on the heroes they selected, I had the notion of creating a visual project board with the use of QR codes. For those who have used glogster in the past, or thinglink now, our creation would be similar.
And that is where our driving lessons came in.
We’ve run into some challenges uploading homemade movies into our class dropbox account. Apparently when we enable camera uploads, EVERY camera roll linked to our class dropbox dumps ALL OF THEIR PHOTOS into our file. Automatically.
After spending way too many periods frustrated with trying to get urls assigned to our reports, videos, and music links (so we could transform them into QR codes), I had a tech specialist come to visit our classroom.
Kelly was amazing. One of he first things I learned is that there are 3 different versions of Google Drive, and each works somewhat differently. Perhaps everyone else knows this already, but remember, I don’t play a tech guru on TV. There is an app version of Google Drive, an IOS version, and the desktop version. We weren’t able to generate urls thru the app version, but we could access the desktop version on our tablets through a browser.
Is anyone else getting a headache trying to follow this?
I had two other staff members sitting with me, as we huddled around our iPads, listening to Kelly explain Google Drive to the class. We absorbed some of what she taught us, albeit slowly, but we were learning to drive.
The kids, on the other hand, vacuumed up her instruction voraciously. Intuitively.
In a few moments, they knew how to “drive”. Ready to hit the road, so to speak. Licensed to utilize the powers of Google Drive to organize their research and work collaboratively on their projects. While we drove forward hesitantly with our learning permits. With a foot on the brake, we pulled out of park and began to drive. With more trepidation than confidence, we experimented with some of the capabilities that Google Drive offers.
The students were on the highway, and we were on the shoulder; but we were all driving forward.
Our biography projects are wrapping up. The kids created a pic collage of their heroes, from Martin Luther King to Ruby Bridges. From The Little Rock Nine, to Daisy Bates. Around each collage is a series of 5 QR codes that the students generated. Each student utilized codes to embed their essay, a video link, interesting facts, a musical connection, and their own homemade movie explaining the lasting impressions that their character left on them. With Digital Learning Day fast upon us (March 13th), as well as our Open House around the corner, we wanted to display the presentations up on the hallway walls. They are available for students and guests to come by and scan with their tablets and devices, so they can share in our learning.
The lessons gleaned, and creations made, by our young digital drivers.