Classroom Projects for a Digital Age
Classroom learning today has left the age of flipping through textbooks to follow along with the teacher, at least not for every class lesson. Teachers today are taking advantage of the use of digital devices and media to expand learning opportunities beyond a pencil and paper assignment. And, assessment is no longer just a multiple choice test.
Consider changing your usual assessment to one of these projects:
- Project-based learning: Most students use digital devices regularly so why not use them for classroom projects to demonstrate mastery? Some projects might be:
- Film a tour with the narration of a significant place that ties in with the core subject.
- Design a GIF that explains a concept.
- Using an app, create a step-by-step video to explain a process.
- Film an instructive TV show with an app.
- Make up a song set to original music for a learning objective.
- Problem-finding: Students use intellectual and imaginative vision to find something that is missing. They then use the information to devise a solution. Invite an innovator or inventor to the class to talk about how they identify which problem needs a solution.
- Lunch and Learn: Use lunchtime in a creative way to discuss nutrition and then have students investigate changes they could make to improve their personal nutrition. This could span multiple subjects as they use an app to track food choices, math as they calculate macros and fats, and PE as they learn how exercise impacts weight and health.
- Utilize experts: Students can learn from experts in a field by visiting them as they work, or inviting them into the classroom for question and answer.
- Class information post: Students can record a weekly podcast or publish a digital newsletter to keep parents up to date with what the class is studying at any given time.
- LinkedIn: Encourage students to connect with people in their field of interest on this platform. They can use this communication as part of a final project.
- Create a school poll: Students can create a digital poll for the entire school to voice their opinions on the different aspects that affect student life.
- Multimedia presentations: These presentations combine core standards, a longer time frame, collaboration, real-life applications, student choices and multimedia of videos, slides, pictures, and clip art to convey what they learned through a digital presentation.
As you contemplate using digital assessments, some of the questions to address are:
- How can I show students that this is an important material for them to learn?
- How do I engage them in the learning process and help them over the humps?
- Where can I find allies and experts to help make the process the most meaningful?
Making a gradual shift to more instructional use of digital media for classroom assessment through meaningful projects can take time, but can produce outcomes that far exceed the traditional expectations. Allowing students to test their ideas in a real-world setting with the support of real people can bring about true learning excellence.