Monday, September 19, 2011

Re-framed: Needs + Solutions

1. Decide the "players" among a classroom full of students.
This will start by making individual game “players” that take the persona of the student at the beginning of a game. Each of the players will be paired with a corresponding student in another classroom. The student’s will then meet virtually “face to face” and introduce themselves in their own language. There will be space to also type what you are saying. All these introductions could happen simultaneously in the classroom depending on available technology.

2. Virtual group activities. The classroom connecting, as a whole, with their partner classroom.
Each child would use its individual ipad simultaneously with the other classroom. In addition to this, the whole classroom could appear on a larger screen. This activity would require each partner to work together by matching words in each of their languages, earning points for their own classroom. These scores will appear to the whole classroom on a larger screen (or smaller on towards the bottom on individual screens) much like a timed race between the two classrooms.

3. To facilitate the virtual experience.
This requires a special version for the teacher to talk with the teacher of the other classroom. They will enter and oversee the scores of their students and find the areas that their students are struggling. For instance, Jane may find that Bobby and his partner are ranked among the lowest scores on the spelling bee game. This allows the teacher to closely observe, in the classroom, the progress of Bobby and his language partner. Based on the scores, the game will adjust to the level of the student as it adapts.

4. The student wants to play a game. Where do they choose one that interests them?
The curriculum should include various games, readings, equations, problems to solve, cooking, art, hygiene, and family life. The student’s are allowed to choose a game (on their turn). This particular one wants to solve a math equation and earn points with their partner. Since both are at a second grade level, timed addition equations will be completed to earn points for that partner pair. This allows them to earn “stars” that can be used to open up new levels.

5. First year language students have trouble communicating with their new partners.
Since the introductions will be difficult at first, the initial activities will include a series of items that can be dragged onto the screen after visiting “parts of the classroom” “parts of the house” “parts of the park” or “items in the kitchen.” Each of the items will be chosen and “held” by the student as they virtually tell the other person about that object and write it at the bottom of the screen. For instance, Zhang drags a carrot to the middle of the screen and explains, not only the name, but also what she uses it for. Once the partner understands and writes its name on her screen. They switch turns.

6. A teacher wants to introduce the new program to her classroom after hearing about it but doesn’t know where to begin.
First, the teacher will most likely look up the program online. Here, she will find a chat board with other teachers that have used the program. She will register her classroom and join the list of teachers available to be paired with other classrooms in other countries. She will enter information such as grades taught, language, language needed, and how many children are in the class. Here, she can chat with other teachers and learn more about other classrooms before she chooses a partner class.

7. To have fun and learn something at the same time.
Matching games, math competitions, spelling bees, geography, and vocabulary and drawing games. One game includes “Pictionary” where both children are given the same word in one language. The student that recognizes the word will draw it on the screen for their partner who will guess and write the same word back to their partner in their own language. Each session will be timed and the students will earn points or “stars” for that category of games.

8. One of the students would like to use the program at home.
First, they would go to the website and enter their login information. This is usually done by the teacher for the classroom as a whole, but there is another option for the individual students. From here, they can check to see if their partner or another student from that classroom is available to play games or just chat at that time. If one is online they ask to “connect” with them, make introductions and then choose a game to play together.

9. Student needs to check scores.
Once a student finishes talking with their partner and want to see their scores for the day (or the teacher) they can select the "Progress" tab. This takes them to see their daily score, weekly and year in comparison with each other. This allows them to track their personal progress and not compare it to the rest of the class.

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