Been thinking about how to expand the newspaper template into other classes and have come up with the following for next quarter’s media class: Six groups of four or five kids each with an area of study they are responsible for, say advertising, gender issues, violence, news reporting, video games, and Internet. Each area will have it’s own section in the newspaper. Groups will be required to post links to either news or to research information about their areas four times a week (once a week for each group member)with a bit of analysis and annotation (3-4 sentences). We’ll do this for seven weeks, meaning at the end of the project we should have a current study of each area with somewhere near 175-200 pieces of information collectively. At the end of the term, students use the information they have collected as the basis of a presentation (both oral and in the Web log) about their topics. Assessment will center on meeting posting requirements, depth of analysis, use of information in the presentation, and the presentation itself.
I really like this idea for a number of reasons: first, it’s not a high maintenance project for either student or teacher. It’s constructivist. It puts the onus on the student to collect relevant and useful data. It focuses learning on the student, and allows students to teach one another as well. It supports collaboration. It uses Web logs.
I’m sure I’ll flesh this out as I get closer to it, but I can already see many different ways to use this template in many different settings.