How To Take the “Guess Work” Out of “Group Work” to Encourage Project Based Learning

Collaborative Project Based Learning with Analytics /- click here to try Ignite Teaching

I firmly believe each teacher must start integrating technology at the point where he or she is most comfortable. I’m often asked, “How I do it all.” My answer is simple: I start small. I think that translates to the success of my blog along with the workshops I do across the country. During my speaking engagements, I disclose my fear of technology. While I’m intrigued by all there is to offer, I’m terrified to use many sites and devices. However, it is this very fear that forces me to embrace these opportunities for children. After all, how can I expect my students to take risks if I’m not willing to do so myself?

By “starting small,” I give myself permission to only focus on two or three new apps, gadgets, websites, etc. at a time. That’s it. I focus on learning those resources inside and out. This way, I can integrate each one into all of our curriculum. The students become creative and collaborative, and I become more comfortable. But because I “start small,” it is imperative I select quality resources. If I’m only going to use two or three new tools, I want to make sure they’re versatile enough to be applied in a variety of creative ways. I also want to be sure they’re not going to simply be a substitute for something we could have done without technology. We should never use technology for the sake of using it. We should utilize these powerful tools to enable our students to do work that couldn’t have been done without the integration of such resources.

This year, I’m excited to start using Ignite Teaching with my class. This is one tool I know we can use throughout the year, across all subjects, in a variety of creative ways. Any tool that allows students to create, collaborate, and share is always a favorite in our class. One of my favorite parts is that I will also be able to see their work in progress as they collaborate with one another, and I’ll be able to offer feedback along the way.


Students Working Together

The Ignite Teaching page spotlights sever examples of student’s projects; however, I’ve been thinking of other creative ways to utilize the platform as well. While I appreciate the end products children can create together, I value their process. Luckily, as a teacher using Ignite Teaching, I can see this process. Ignite Teaching allows me to view exactly which student contributed each part for the project. This is valuable for me so that I can hop on at any point and see if someone is not contributing as much as the other members. I can intervene if needed and offer support to scaffold that child’s understanding of the content or how to work more collaboratively, a life skill much needed for today.

This year, I even plan to use Ignite Teaching not only to have my students work on the completion of projects but also to demonstrate their understanding during math workshop. As my small groups rotate in stations during math, each group can work on problems together. Students can each have their own device and be working on the same project together – amazing! I love this idea because even though I may not be with that group, I can still have insight into what they’re working on and how they’re processing the skill or concept. This information will be instrumental as I move forward with planning for each group’s personalized learning path.

As a teacher, be able to see who contributed which part of the project.

5 Key Parts I Love About Ignite Teaching

  1. Collaborative PBL: The perfect tool for collaborative Project Based Learning through digital projects. Finally, a digital storytelling platform made for any K12 classroom.
  2. Analytics: In addition to editing tools that rival the likes of Google Slides and Powerpoint, Ignite Teaching‘s analytics is where it truly shines. Finally, you can take the guesswork out of group work and see qualitative and quantitative individual contributions in a group project.
  3. Storytelling: Ignite Teaching is a great tool for digital storytelling. Here’s an elementary school in Portugal that uses us pretty heavily. https://igniteteaching.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/school-spotlight-o-parque-libson-bilingual-school/
  4. Simple Subscription Model: Ignite Teaching‘s editing tool will stay free for both teachers and students. However, access to Analytics and My Students (the ability to organize student projects into folders) will expired after 30 days. After which, you can sign up for two simple teacher subscription plans . $3 per month recurring or $25.00 annual recurring. Unlike other subscriptions plans out there, we don’t limit student seats per license, so no need to worry about calculating student licenses. We also make it easy for your department head, EdTech department and/or administration to pay on your behalf. Just give them the email you used to register. Pricing model will be introduced Fall 2015.
  5. BYOD-friendly: Available now in the App Store for your iPad or through the web on any major browser.

Try Ignite Teaching Todayclick the button below

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“Disclosure of Material Connection: This post is sponsored by Ignite Teaching. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Erin

Mother. Teacher. Keynote. Author

Erin Klein is an award winning educator, national keynote speaker, author, and mother.

19 Comments
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