For those people who are interested in what apps we used...
Solar System by Marcus Chown-
I think they were successful in their work for a couple of reasons...
*App/tech familiarity- My students are half-way through a year in which they have been encouraged to explore various uses of the iPad to create original works. They are fluid in completing research through apps, creation by combining apps, and uploading & sharing their work through Dropbox.
*Organized scaffolding- I didn't just ask my kids to open up LifeCards app to create a postcard. First, I set up the research with a sample postcard, rubric, and guidance in what we would be looking for. I wasn't at school for this first day of research. So, the kids had a list of apps use (that they were familiar with) and target research goals to accomplish.
*Team approach- Once students had been checked off on research (second day), they were given the directions to BUILD. My comment to them was, "Ask three, before me." I elaborated by reinforcing the fact that they had 20+ other learners around them for support.
*Audience- Each student was creating a postcard for another student or class that we had previously connected with on Skype. They know these other classes as their partners in Science. Some are even connected through edmodo as well! So, they connected the importance to doing a great job.
Here is a link to our class blog page.
And, here are a couple samples...
While every postcard is not flawless, this project allowed students to showcase their level and understanding of another planet in comparison to our planet. The project is designed to build into another project where students work together to decide the next NASA method and location for exploration. Having some expertise on various planets will make the experience authentic. Will they decide to send a rover to Venus, a space station to Neptune, or a moon base on Titan? Who knows, but they will have some background knowledge to get them started! And, the Lego rovers/space stations/moon bases will be wired with lights and gears for a great transition into Electricity! Woo hoo!
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