Monday, May 2, 2016

Technology is Making a Big Impact

Google Sheet Learning Journal with Peer Feedback
How did technology influence, impact or change _______? 6th grade students in Mrs. Wilsie's Tech Apps class at Tidwell Middle School were tasked with this question and got to fill in the blank with the topic of their choice. They soon realized that keeping up with their ideas, sources, and summaries would be a big task!

The Tech Apps class has had many opportunities to utilize their Google Drive this year. This project, however, revealed that Google Sheets could be more than a place for numbers. Mrs. Wilsie found a resource to share with students that allowed them to organize their research and thoughts in different columns and tabs. After a few days of research, students shared their sheet with a small group to gather feedback on their progress. They then used the feedback to go back and fill in gaps.

Aryi wants to be a dermatologist, so she chose to research how technology has influenced the medical world. She's especially enjoying using Google Sheets for the learning journal. "The learning journal was very helpful. When I use technology for projects, it’s usually not very organized, so I go back to using paper. The learning journal showed me how to organize my information." She added, "I got to write out what I had learned in the different columns which was good because it kept me from just pasting a bunch of research in one place." Another student, Brody, points out, "I like using this because it’s an easy way to track your data. The sheet keeps up with the dates for us, so that we can go back and find them. I also like that I can have group members comment on my research." 
Students using a variety of tools from the
Tools That Make IT Click Blog to
create their final presentation

Another neat aspect of this project, is the amount of choice involved. Now that the research is complete, students are grouped based on their research topic. They will be putting together a presentation for the class on their research. Students are using the Tools That Make IT Click Database to get ideas. Brody comments, "We went through the tools and saw Emaze. I have used it once before and we chose it because we think that we can embed our different projects within the slides." 

Tatum is doing her research on Quantum Physics and is presenting her information in a Google Site. She wants to take something big and outside of the box and make it easier for others to understand. Another student LiLi is creating a PowToon video for her presentation. "I’ve never used it before, but it looks like a cartoon and I think my class would enjoy watching this." 

Students will be presenting their research presentations to the class this week. According to their research, technology has influenced many different areas of life, but it has also made a BIG impact on these Tech Apps students who get to try new tools and learn new skills daily!

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