Discussion & Reflection

Discussion & Reflection Tool: Edmodo

Teacher Use: In an effort to provide a safe and student-centered learning environment, I will implement Edmodo as a tool to aid in the discussion and reflection of the research my students have conducted over the course of the PBL pertaining to the American Civil Rights Movement and “race”. I will utilize this tool as our PBL begins to come to a close. Edmodo will be discussed the last 20 minutes of class on a Friday, where I will show them where to go, how to set up an account, and explain the safety and privacy features. I will also send home a permission slip entailing what Edmodo is and all of its safety and privacy features for their parents to read over the weekend. To be accepted into the Edmodo class site, students must get their permission slips signed with their parents’ approval to use the site, which they will bring back to me on Monday. After I pick up the permission slips, later that day I will begin accepting the students into their proper Edmodo groups, also informing them of the posts that are there to read. The students will be able to explore, navigate, and interact with Edmodo for the remainder of the week. Edmodo will also be the place where they must keep themselves updated through on all things concerning their PBL, as I will be posting anything ranging from discussions, polls, assignments, and even quizzes.

Student Use: This tool will serve as a way for the students to effectively engage in meaningful and scholarly discussions and reflections concerning their findings on the American Civil Rights Movement, the issue of “race” concerning the workplace, literature, film, and politics, as well as how it affects today’s society. Edmodo will foster the students’ hypothesizing and critiquing skills concerning the issue of “race” as seen through time (mid-twentieth century to the present). Each student will be required to set up an account and join his or her assigned groups/class periods. After which, each student will be required to respond to each post made by the teacher, and make three posts of their own, in an effort to create an environment that is conducive to discussion and reflection.

Content Connection: Edmodo connects to the content by allowing the students to “apply critical thinking skills to organize and use information acquired from a variety of sources” (TEKS: 29). Edmodo also allows students to “identify and support, with historical evidence, a point of view on a social studies issue or event” (TEKS: 29G). Furthermore, the students will also “use different forms of media (Edmodo) to convey information” (TEKS: 30C).

Example Artifact: I created an example Edmodo site as if I were already an in-service teacher. I made one example group out of a 1st period class. I posted a few examples of what my class Edmodo would look like and what kind of posts I would be making to enhance discussions and reflections by the students about racism, the Civil Rights Movement, and the present.



Word Clouds v. Mind Maps

Comparison: Word Clouds and Mind Maps are wonderful visual tools that allow students to visually attain information, both lending to differentiation in that capacity. They both are student-centered by the way they are created BY the student, FOR the student. They require prior knowledge from the creator (student) in order to be formulated.

Contrast: Word Clouds and Mind Maps differ in that Clouds take information already formulated by someone else (speeches, essays, newspapers, etc.) Maps are created on the thoughts/knowledge of the actual student. Clouds don’t really have much room to go as far as it regurgitates the most common word used in the implemented information. Maps have the flexibility to go wherever the student wants.

Student-Centered Instructional Strategies: Word Cloud: The student will be responsible for researching the needed document that will be used in their Cloud. They will need to show knowledge of their analytic skills as they determine if that document will be a reliable source to use for their Cloud, and their PBL. Mind Map: The student will be responsible for researching the material necessary to obtain a knowledgeable background in order to Map the gathered information. With the information at hand, the student will be able to Map their findings in an effort to organize and visualize their work.



Presentation & Remixing

Presentation & Remixing Tool: Prezi


Teacher Use: This particular day, I will have my students meet in the computer lab instead of the classroom. At the start of class, I will devote the first 15 minutes to introduce Prezi with a short presentation. I will discuss the tool, how to navigate it, and it’s features. After which, I will set aside 5 minutes for any initial questions the students may have. Then, I will allow the students 20 minutes to explore and become familiar with Prezi. I will be walking around, monitoring, facilitating, and answering questions as needed. 10 minutes before the bell rings I will have the students get into their groups to discuss Prezi and how they will utilize it into their PBL.


Student Use: This tool will serve as a way for the students to demonstrate their understanding of the information they have gathered, which will be used in their PBL on the American Civil Rights Movement. The students will collaborate not only in pairs, but also in their groups. The students will be given an entire class period devoted Prezi, in an effort to familiarize them with the tool so that they will be able to use it on their own to fulfill the requirements for the assignment. Once their Prezi is complete, they will not be sharing it with the whole class, instead they will send me the link to their presentations.


Content Connection: Prezi connects to the content by allowing the students to “apply critical thinking skills to organize and use information acquired from a variety of sources, including electronic technology” (TEKS: 29). Through Prezi, the students will also “use different forms of media to convey information, including written to visual and statistical to written or visual, using available computer software as appropriate” (TEKS: 30C).


Example Artifact: I created an example Prezi presentation for what one of the pairs in a given group would create on their topic and time period. This is an example of how each pair within their group will demonstrate their understanding of the information they have gathered so far. This artifact is specifically for Group 2: Movies (1900-1975). This is the link to my Prezi example artifact: http://prezi.com/zfzymhw8pnpt/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share