Sunday, September 19, 2010

How We Express Ourselves with Communication Technology

In my classroom, 5D, we’ve kicked off out 1st unit of inquiry of the year. It is a unit based on the transdisciplinary theme, How We Express Ourselves and the central idea is, “Changes in communication technology create different types of connections between people and their audience.” 

This is a very exciting unit for this grade level, because within the first week of school all of my students receive their very own macbook pro which is part of a 1:1 learning and teaching technology program designed to integrate technology into our IB curriculum. The computers stay in specialized cabinets where they can be charged and locked at night.

As an integral part of this unit, we began learning about blogs. Blogs are a fantastic way for people communicate their ideas to a global audience. My class will soon start their own student blogs and we will continue to use our classroom blog to share what's going on, start conversations, ask questions and eventually strengthen our school community by giving everyone a platform for their voice as well as an audience to receive them.

This week we dug more deeply into our unit of inquiry. We are creating time-lines of important changes in communication technology throughout history as well as learning about ways that communication technology connects us to people and communities around the world. The 5D DJs have begun a journey into the wonderful world of PREZI an online presentation maker program.

Another great inspiration came from watching the following TED talk by Pranav Mistry about his ideas for the future of technologies that allow humans to interact with their physical environments in different and new ways. Although some of the ideas here seem far fetched and hard to completely comprehend, the students drew out many ideas and inspirations for their summative task for this unit. They will have to invent a communication technology of the future, demonstrating their understanding of what a communication technology is, how it can be used by people around the world and how it creates connections between people. There should be some fantastic projects that come out of this working task and who knows, maybe even the next big ideas for an invention in communication technology will be born in the 5D Disco!

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