I assigned the project to my students yesterday. I got some very interesting responses. Even today, I'm getting responses. There were a few themes I heard all day, in each class.
First, "This is too hard!" This is the response they give when they have to do a lot of thinking on their own and when they feel a bit overwhelmed. Today, only a few are saying this and its mostly because they aren't sure how to start. They would rather I dictate the information.
Second, "Do I copy this down?" One student told me they hate summarizing the information because it requires them to think. It is much easier to copy things down.
Third, "I can't find the information!" This usually means they don't feel like trying to find the information either in the textbook or on the internet because they don't want to determine what is relevant and what isn't.
So as a reflection, I need to do a few things for next semester to help these students persevere in creating projects. Even though we've worked on things like this before, my students hate being independent and hate trying to put projects together.
Over the winter break, I need to add a few more apps to allow more choices and experiences. I want them to make more posters, infographics, etc in class. I am going to figure out how to make the next project as a part of one class so this is spread out over several days.
One of my algebra I students is using Comic Maker to create her project. She is using the frames to present each item on the list. This is a use I would never have thought of but for her it is working. Another has decided the Showme app is perfect for creating a video for bonding in chemistry.
Some of my students are watching videos to help them understand the material better and to get ideas for how the material is used in real life. I believe they would have found this easier if I had not required them to include information about how the math or chemistry is used in real life. Using it in the math class is not considered real life so they have to really look, read, and synthesize information.
Although I've had them working on the iPad, I think they easily get overwhelmed by something this size so maybe I'll need to start breaking the process down so rather they do one part at a time rather than getting it all at once. I learn as much as they learn but in a different way. Tomorrow, I'll talk about using a couple apps in different ways so that they offer more flexibility.