Today my year 10s presented their research into an aspect (character, setting, theme etc) of The Tempest. They also had to choose a part of the play which represented the aspect and film themselves acting it. The whole presentation was made on iMovie.
I got them to peer mark by writing a marking schedule on the whiteboard and then getting one person in each group to photograph the board, import into Skitch and highlight the parts of the schedule that applied. They then emailed their Skitches to me.This all went to plan and I was pleased.
A disappointed teacher
What I was not pleased with though was the quality of work that was produced. Hardly any effort was put into the aspect research at all, even from the more able students. The part that was focused on was the acting part. I guess it’s more fun after all.
I told the class that the aspect part was not done as well as I had expected and asked them what they thought had stopped them from doing a better job. They said that they did not have enough time, it was boring and they didn’t really know what to do. They had plenty of time, but a lot of them wasted it.
What to do?
I feel that I am partly to blame for not scaffolding the research part more. I wanted to approach this in a PBL way and leave plenty of room for student voice and choice. However, we are still new to PBL and need more scaffolding. For next year I will add a list of questions for the students to answer in their research instead of leaving it so vague. The next project I introduce will be prefaced with an explanation of the 8 essential ingredients of PBL and how they relate to the work we will do.
Is the honeymoon over?
The year 10 group seem to be a bit bored with the iPad thing and a few of us discussed going old school for a while with pen and paper. Maybe some unfamiliar text in workbooks. Maybe this will remind them of how learning used to be and they will renew their appreciation of learning with a device.
This class has several challenging characters in it who are no longer motivated by the novelty of a 1:1 device. The challenge for me is to re-inspire them. Wish me luck!