Looking Back on Course 3

The Workshop with Andrew Churches and Kim Cofino
One of the big things that I left this workshop with was the project plan (and assessment rubric) that my group wrote up and the subsequent project that we implemented.

My team was made up of three science teachers, one mathematics teacher and me, an IT teacher. Two of the science teachers taught chemistry and the other taught biology. Anyway, as you might expect, our project was chemistry-related.

I just want to insert here that I’ve never studied chemistry before.

After we were all given the green light to begin our projects, one of the chemistry teachers threw out (onto the table) chemical bonding as a possible topic on top of which we could base our project. I had never heard of chemical bonding before in my life.

After a couple of laughs and a bit of discussion, it was decided: chemical bonding was to be the topic.

I’m going to stop here on this thread. But, before I do, I just want to mention that the project plan, in its current form, really isn’t of much use to me and my students, as we study technology. So, when I get the time, I think I’m going to spawn a new version of the plan. In this new version, the topic being dealt with will be computer networks; specifically, the different types of topologies (and maybe protocols.)

I’ve embedded at the bottom of this post the project plan that we came up with.

More Reflection
I’ve been introduced to a variety of social media in Course 3 that I’ve never encountered before. Digital stories and infographics are two of these. Both are powerful ideas. (To read about how I plan on integrating digital stories and inforgraphics into the classroom, please refer to my posts below.)

Course 3 also introduced me to the idea of visual literacy for the very first time. Wow. What an incredibly important ability (is that the right word?) visual literacy is.

As a result of all the visual literacy reading we had to do, I’ve changed the way I blog. I’ve changed the way I take pictures. I’ve changed the way I make presentations. I’ve also changed my mind on what I regard as a beautiful blog, what I regard as a beautiful presentation and so on.

Bring on Course 4!

Image Credits:

Infographics in the Classroom

What I’ve Been Reading:

I really like this infographic. One reason is because, more so than other infographics I’ve come across, it communicates its dataset effectively. At a glance, you can clearly see the regression of Palestine over the decades.

This infographic, on the other hand, while having a nice design, fails at communicating its dataset effectively (in my opinion). To learn anything about Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, I really need to examine the infographic.

The data behind the second infographic appears to be unrelated, a random bunch of statistics, and maybe it’s harder (I’m guessing it is) to communicate all this effectively in a single infographic.

Back to the Point
In my grade seven math class, currently, we’re learning about functions, plotting functions, gradients and y-intercepts.

I was thinking, once the students have learnt about positive and negative gradients, a nice exercise might be to give them an infographic, like the one above (the one of Palestine), and have them plot the data.

The exercise could be extended by asking the students to find the equation of the resulting slope or line. (I might need to remind them before they start the exercise that their graphs need to be linear.)

I’m thinking, the complete opposite or the complete reverse could happen also: students are given a plotted function and then asked to go ahead and make an infographic that represents this data.

Second Idea
I haven’t really given this idea much thought. At least, not as much as the idea above.

A very relevant infographic exercise/project for my students (and for other international school students in Japan) would be to develop an infographic that shows Japan’s declining population.

At first, I thought the exercise/project would be best suited to geography. But now, I’m thinking it could work in math and technology too.

It could even become a cross-curricular project where, for example, students are given time in geography class to gather the data (and make sense of it) and then given time in technology class to create the graphic.

Image Credits: