Cool Toys pics of the day: Griffin Science Exam Study Guide


Griffin Science: Exam Study Guide: Participation Due Friday:
Exam Study Guide:…

Sam Harrelson uses social media and online tools quite a bit with his
8th grade students. He has a class blog, which is getting to be common
enough nowadays. He lets the kids comment on it, though, which is
nice, and they do seem to be chatting there. Podcasts, too! But I was
surprised to notice a Facebook page for the class, a comment and link
posting ‘Wall’ with lots of Youtube videos, a Twitter stream … even
a Pandora stream listing songs listened to. I wonder what that’s
about? Is it songs they play in class, or just background noice to
make him seem more human and approachable, or is he hoping to subtly
shape appropriate music choices among the students?

There is so much interaction on the various class ‘locations’ that is
is obvious the students are fully engaged. The kids are posting videos
and science games and saying, “Mr. H, you gotta play this” to which
the teacher is replying, “Haha, good one!” with obvious mutual regard
and respect and enjoyment.

Yesterday I noticed a tweet from Sam the night before. He had posted
the students’ exam study guide as a Google Doc on December 2nd. He
was asking them to build their own study guide before taking the test
Friday, and giving them credit for their work there. By the time he
was going to bed that night the students had made 876 edits!!!!!
Pretty amazing, and the quality of the work was excellent. Here is the
scenario he posed them.

” * Describe a robot you would construct for a specific purpose in
colonizing a new planet. Include the elements that make up the robot’s
parts, its purpose and what powers it has. State why you chose each of
these. Be specific. Include a sketch if you wish.
* Describe a possible journey through a black hole. You are alone
except for the DVD of your choice. Include where you start, where you
arrive, and what changes(if any) your body and the DVD go through on
your trip.”


3 thoughts on “Cool Toys pics of the day: Griffin Science Exam Study Guide

  1. Patricia-Our blog really is the central hub for all the content (online AND ‘offline’ we produce in the class, so it definitely has parts that are highly focused on our studies and then parts that are highly silly or random (like the zany YouTube vids or some of the inside jokes). It’s a fine line to walk, but the students have done a great job of it in the Fall semester. I’m really proud of them and hope that I’m helping to steer them towards a responsible digital curation model.By the way, the music or YouTube vids frequently become jumping off points for discussions in class on scientific themes. So, A Death Cab for Cutie song ( turns into a lesson on optics and color with tangents into Newton, wave-particle duality and even human cognition. It’s an approach that demands a great deal out of me as a teacher, but it’s fascinating to see the results when the alchemy happens just right!Our exam is next Monday, so I’ll keep you posted on how things turn out. Judging from the exam guide (now up to 1300 student revisions!), I’m betting on good results :)Nullius in verba-Sam

  2. Sam, what you are describing is magic. How wonderful and how lucky your students are. You are helping them to be completely alive.

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