21Things4Students is an online resource to help students improve their technology proficiency as they prepare for success in the real world. Teachers value 21Things4Students because it's experiential, relevant, applicable and adaptable. Students say they love this class!
Design Thinking is a process for designing something to solve a problem. It shares a lot of similarities to the Engineering Design Process you might learn in a STEM class and the Scientific Method you learn in science. However, it tends to work really well with creating solutions to problems that impact humans, also known as Human Centered Design
In this Thing, you’ll work with a team to identify a problem, come up with ideas to solve it, make a prototype of your best idea, test it out and ultimately share it. Your goal is to make a positive impact on the problem you choose.
Students will take a sequence of events or steps for some process and create an algorithm. This could apply to any content area. They will display the algorithm in flowchart form. This activity can be modified for all grade levels and content areas.
In this lesson students create their own system for representing information. They begin by brainstorming all the different systems they already use to represent yes-no responses. They then work in small groups to create a system that can represent any letter in the alphabet using only a single stack of cards. The cards used have one of 6 different possible drawings (6 animals, 6 colors, etc.) and so to represent the entire alphabet students will need to use patterns of multiple cards to represent each letter. Students create messages with their systems and exchange with other groups to ensure the system worked as intended. In the wrap-up discussion the class reviews any pros and cons of the different systems. They discuss commonalities between working systems and recognize that there are many possible solutions to this problem and what's important is that everyone use the same arbitrary system to communicate.
In this lesson students design a structure to represent their perfect day using the binary representation systems they've learned in this chapter. Students will first write a short description of their perfect day and then review with a partner to identify the key pieces of information they think a computer could capture. As a class students will decide how a punch card of bytes of information will be interpreted to represent those pieces of information. Students will then use the ASCII, binary number, and image formats they have learned to represent their perfect days. Students then trade punch cards and try to decode what the other student's perfect day is like. The lesson ends with a reflection.
Create a Superhero is a five-part lesson plan asking students to research a current global issue which impacts them, their family or their community. Based on their research they create a superhero to help solve the issue. The project follows an adapted inquiry model and uses the online tools of G Suite for Education.
A Google Slide Deck introduction to the MITECS competency Creative Communicator - Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
Example: In ninth grade English classes, the students studied the elements of spoken word, a form of poetry, to addresses community or society issues. In teams, they watched several videos of examples as a form of author study. After researching their issue of choice, students composed their spoken word poetry in Google Docs. Their teams conducted two writer’s critique for each poem: the first was a live in-person discussion and the second was through using the Comment feature in Google Docs. Students presented their Spoken Word at a live event at a local cafe. This was recorded and posted on the classroom Youtube Channel. Students posted comments on the recordings to discuss the issues using prompts that supported positive and constructive dialog.
Questions for Reflection:
- How do the MITECS compliment core content?
- How might you and your colleagues develop cross-curricular experiences to support the MITECS?
- Which of the competencies are you most familiar with?
- Which competency is an area of growth for you, as an educator?
An engaging way for students to learn about and make comparisons in history is to create remixes using photos and paintings from that time in history. Using the Library of Congress archives and Google images in the public domain, students can download the images and remix them using iPiccy to communicate about that time in history.
Flipgrid is a fantastic FREE Tool where students can create a video presence to support collaboration and their learning. Students will use FlipGrid to share information on any given topic of your choice. It is a platform where they can communicate ideas and eventually collaborate with others.
In this 7th grade life skills lesson, students work as a group to make alterations to a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe and create their own type of customized cookie.
ABCYA Animate is a free, interactive website that assists students in creating a stop-motion video. Students use a variety of backgrounds, characters, and other images that are combined to create an animated stop-motion video that can be exported as a .gif file for students to showcase their work. The website is intuitive for students and also for teachers. This activity will take 55 minutes and the activity must be completed in one sitting.
Students study the interaction between environment and culture as they learn about three vastly different indigenous groups in a game-like activity that uses vintage photographs, traditional stories, photos of artifacts, and recipes.
Powtoon is a free app that quickly and easily creates animated videos and presentations. The free version allows students to create accounts and provides access to a host of options to customize any project in a highly engaging fashion. Students will use nearly identical skills needed to create a Powerpoint or Google Slideshow with the addition of learning how to use a timeline to add or remove objects in the video.