Greetings! As we’ve settled into the school year, our first projects are getting closer to completion. Here’s an update on where we are:
- 6th Grade is in the final phase of completing their Fun Fact Card projects. We have been exploring how to create an outline of research about a topic and how to create a great looking one-page fact card for younger students. Once we’re done with the project, we will print our fact cards and put them in the library for other students to read.
- 7th Grade is also working on a biography research project and they have been learning more about what’s hidden under the hood in Google Docs in the process. Students are now working on turning their outline into a biography complete with a title page, automatically generated table of contents, an infographic, and a media gallery. When students finish, they will have completed a fully featured e-book that they can share with others.
- 8th Grade has been working on creating portfolio websites. These websites are an online representation of what the students feel is their best work from their years at NDV. We have been learning about creating websites with the new Google Sites (or Wix for advanced users), and the process of reflecting on previous work. We will revisit and update these websites throughout the school year. Currently, 8th graders have been learning the basics of graphic design and digital image manipulation with the iPad app Pixelmator. This week we created business cards, and next, we’ll learn how to superimpose an image on top of another.
What’s next? Here is a preview of what we will be doing in the coming weeks:
- 6th Grade – Once we finish our Fun Fact Cards, we will do a quick boot-camp for slide presentation skills and best practices. Students will learn guidelines for great presentations while creating a short slides presentation about their favorite piece of technology.
- 7th Grade – Once we finish with the writing and peer review process for our Biography Project, we will take a look at Khan Academy’s Pixar-In-A-Box activities. This set of lessons is a collaboration between Pixar and Khan Academy to teach students about all of the different domains and disciplines that come together to create Pixar’s award-winning films.
- 8th Grade – When we finish learning about graphic design with Pixelmator, we will begin working on “TechTalk” presentations. These presentations are our version of a TEDTalk, where students will research a technology that will have a significant impact on our future and deliver a 5-minute presentation about what they learned to the class. The challenge is in the details: students will use slide presentations, but they will not be able to put any text on their slides. All information must come from note cards or memory. Additionally, students will be recorded while presenting and must do a self-critique. Our goal is to develop better public speaking skills while learning about how rapidly changing technological advances will change our world.