For my COETAIL final project, I will be working with Canadian Academy’s Japanese teachers to transform a well established lesson by adding an augmented reality gallery walk event to help them celebrate their learning with other community members. Every year, students create original book trailers in Japanese class based on a Sakura Medal Award winning book of their choice. The book trailers are submitted to a panel of judges who select the best book trailer in each category every year. My project will involve using these book trailers to create an augmented reality gallery walk that will be available to younger Japanese language students at our school. My hope is that by sharing their work, the older students will gain confidence and experience creating book trailers for a specific audience and the younger students will have the opportunity to see the older student’s work in an engaging and social library atmosphere.
Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?
I think that this unit will be a good possibility for my Course 5 final project because it combines many of the goals set by COETAIL as well as my own personal goals as a tech coach and library media specialist. In particular, the two goals for the Course 5 final project that I would like to focus on as I develop my plans are:
Use of Technology: Technology use allows for the creation of new learning experiences, made possible by current technology
Active Learning: Students are independently and actively engaged in the learning process nearly all of the time, including the use of technology. Learning is student centered. Students are asked to make most the decisions.
The rubric for the final project is based on the SAMR method which is near and dear to many tech coach’s hearts. It’s important to me that my final project allows for active learning where students are engaged but where the learning objectives come first. I also want to make sure that I’m using tech to redefine the lesson, something that has been a challenge for me in the past. I hope to do this by using augmented reality technology to not just engage students, but to allow them to collaborate and celebrate their learning in a way that would not have been possible 10-15 years ago before AR became accessible to students.
I would also like to meet some personal goals with this project, including:
- Combining my roles as tech coach and library media specialist
- Promoting a love of reading
- Using the tech tools available in the library in a meaningful way
- Fostering a connection between community members (esp. between grade levels)
- Sharing and celebrating learning
- Collaborating with teachers as an LMS and tech coach
- Expanding and promoting the library’s Japanese language collection
I think that I can meet all of these goals (personal and COETAIL) through this project and I’m hopeful that by starting with goals instead of technology (learning first!) that I will avoid the tech gimmick trap.
What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit?
My concerns about redesigning this unit are:
Stepping on the Japanese teacher’s toes and wasting their time with something that wasn’t their idea to begin with. Their class time is precious and they are really extending their trust by allowing me to collaborate with them on a lesson that they have already established and have been doing successfully for years. There is the possibility of adding something really meaningful to the project, but it’s also possible that they will see this as a lot of extra work with little payoff.
TECHNICAL. DIFFICULTIES. Crashing apps, low battery, wifi down, forced update installs the morning of a big unit, pretty much anything that can go wrong might go wrong and there’s nothing worse that getting a big group of students and teachers together and then having the tech not rise to the challenge.
What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?
This will require me to do something that does not come naturally and that causes me a great deal of stress: LETTING GO OF MY NEED TO CONTROL EVERY MINUTE DETAIL OF A PROJECT. Because the creation of the book trailers will be done in Japanese class and will be completed using only Japanese, I will have no way of knowing what the students communicate in their trailers (my Japanese is…ok. But definitely not great). I love the idea of student centered learning, but I will really need to step away from the book trailer process because the classroom teachers create their own rubrics and design those lessons. I have seen the trailers before and they are always great quality, but I will need to be flexible and really commit to the beautiful chaos that is student decision making.
What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from your students?
In the past, students created their book trailers, sent them in to the competition, and that was pretty much it. By adding the aspect of sharing their work with other students, they are opening themselves up to criticism and commentary that might not be entirely welcome. In this regard they will really need to be risk takers willing to receive the less than constructive feedback so often provided by middle schoolers.
I’m still in the planning process for this whole project, so let me know what you think! Have you ever used AR before? Any success stories? Any words of wisdom/caution?