Three Great Project Ideas

One of the promises of a connected world is the way that it can facilitate guests from the outside coming into classrooms and the ability to collect data and feedback from a variety of locations.  The scope of the projects is only limited by imagination and the abilities of students.

What can you see?
In my opening remarks at the ECOO Conference on Thursday morning, I gave a shout out to @techieang‘s latest project.  She’s got a kindergarten classroom and is using the technology to open doors and windows for her students.  The project is simple in its premise but is only limited by the number of participants and the enthusiasm.  All you have to do is take a look in your backyard.  From her blog, she has made a Quicktime video available showing what her students see.

The video is rich in content and just watching it gives me all kinds of ideas about expectations that could be addressed by the sharing and participation in the project.

Sweet Statistical Computation Collaboration
As I was writing this post, I happened to stumble across another great example.  It’s designed for students a little older and is very mathematics oriented.  I would ask the rhetorical question – has there been a more used piece of candy in education than the M&M?  I know I used them many times for spreadsheet, classifying, and graphing activities.  And, if you’re on the way to doing a workshop and Mac’s Milk is out of M&Ms, Skittles fit the bill nicely.

In this project, students from all locations are encouraged to count the various colours in a bag of M&Ms and share the results with a class via a Google form.  The class even provides a baseline:

According to students at a recent College of Natural Science exhibit at the University of Texas in Austin, the makers of M&M’s state a bag contains the following: 14% are yellow, 20% are orange, 24% are blue, 13% are red, 16% are green and 13% are brown.

So, the results of their experiment could be used to test these numbers.

Food Survey
Finally, continuing on a food theme, what are your favourite foods and restaurants are two of the key themes being collected here.

Later on in the questionnaire, participants are asked in what country they live.  The results offer an interesting challenge, I suspect, when it comes to classify the data since it’s all anecdotal.

In all three cases, I can’t help but think of the engagement that there will be as students look at and analyze the results.

Even a few years ago, surveys like this would be difficult or impossible to take with the potential reach of these.  I like the creative implementation of technology that’s crucial for this to work.  Those that really don’t get it might consider these as examples of integration of technology.  I’d suggest that those aren’t there just yet.  These are examples of how educators use the best tool at their disposal to make it work in the classroom.  You can’t want more than that.

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One thought on “Three Great Project Ideas

  1. Pingback: An Interview with Angela Harrison « doug – off the record

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