Sunday, March 18, 2018

Year Two - Elementary Tech Team Plan

Our elementary school creates an opportunity for our fourth and fifth-grade students to take part in Friday afternoon electives where they choose from about 7- 8 choices that teachers lead from their passions. The opportunities have been awesome- woodworking, knitting, makerspace, board games, digital gaming, are just a few. For me, it finally gave me the opportunity to create an elementary tech support team.  Last year our students researched and created step-by-step instructional supports for our teachers regarding the technology they use on a regular basis. The opportunity was awesome and the details of what we did and accomplished can be found here in this post: https://techhelpful.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-beauty-of-ownership-and-belonging.html

This year we are going a different direction. The students will once again create "how to" instructional supports that might be a Google doc or a video but we are making it a bit more fun. Recently, I asked our elementary teachers what they needed the most in terms of technology professional development. The answer was, "we want to have a better understanding of our STEAM tools."

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a workshop sponsored by Mozilla that allowed the attendees to create an escape room experience that would allow the users to learn more about iOT (internet of things) as they went through the experience. I loved the idea! So I challenged my 7 students in this quarter's tech team to think on this. We will have 10 weeks of 45 minutes on Friday to create our experience. Here is what we defined and how we are going to accomplish it:

Day 1:

  • I gave the students 3 sticky notes each and had students write down 3 STEAM tools they felt they could teach their teachers more about. We then sorted these ideas and came up with a list to work from. 
  • We then used the sticky note idea to write down 3 themes for our rooms. Each student wrote down their ideas and we sorted those. Based on which idea had the most votes, we went with an "ocean" theme.
  • Our next step was to assign groups and have each student start thinking about what their experience will look like with the STEAM tool they were assigned. For instance, they want to dress their Dash and Dot robots up like "pirmaids" (pirate mermaids) and have them go on a treasure hunt. 
Day 2: 

Our new STEAM Project Assistant and Curriculum coordinator will meet with our students and they will teach her skills because she is new to the job. Based on the questions she asks and the things they think she should know, they will start creating a list of basic skills needed for their tool. I'm actually out of town for this week so I created this video to help the students know what they would do for this week: 


Day 3:
Students will start creating their lesson plan for their escape room experience based on their ideas from day 1 and their notes from Day 2.

Day 4: Students will create green screen video productions of "how to" use the tech tools. These videos will be viewed by the teachers before they start their escape room experience for each tool. 

Day 5: We will upload all videos to last year's tech team website so that there is one place teachers can go for support. 

Day 6: We will continue to create a good escape room experience. Our goal is to offer it for each grade level to work together. 

Day 7: Students will create the experience and try each other's stations out and give feedback.

Day 8: Students will take the feedback from the previous week and finish up their end product.

Day 9: Students will use the time to decorate the room and offer the 30-minute professional development opportunity to any available teachers, admin, and parents.

Day 10: Students will once again use the time to decorate the room and offer the 30-minute professional development opportunity to any available teachers, admin, and parents.