Sunday, February 1, 2015

Student Driven Project and I'm Proud!

It could be a great collaboration post or it could be a great smashing post so you be the judge.  It’s part of my job as a school librarian to model, create, collaborate, teach, find and introduce new tools, and the list goes on.  So I try and blend many tasks into one project.  Sometimes they work wonderfully and sometimes they don’t.  I’m all over simple and successful library programing and I believe I have a hit with our recent student driven project.

I have 20 awesome 7th and 8th grade library aides throughout the day.  May I also add that I have probably 20 more student library aide wannabes.   We began from the beginning of the school year to work collaboratively and I believe all our hard work has paid off.  

For this project we adapted the theme for February “Pike Loves to Read”.  It all began with a shared Google presentation asking teachers to add a slide with their name, favorite book, and teaching assignment.  We stressed that the student library staff would do the rest and we gave the faculty one week to complete the task.  As the slides began to appear the student aides adopted a slide.  They were to choose teachers they knew, contact them formally indicating they would be customizing the slide, and ask if there was anything in particular that the teacher wanted added.

As the students worked on the slides lessons emerged on color and contrast, font size, graphics, and more.  We all critiqued each slide with recommendations for improvement and the live collaboration was exciting to watch.  I was especially amused one day when a teacher was changing the background theme on all the slides instead of just his slide.  Let’s just say the students were not intimidated about using the comment button.  After a few comments between teacher and students there was an agreement to snip the desired background and insert it for the teacher.  Yes, my students took on the how can I help you role.  The slides are not perfect but they were 100% customized by the students.

Next, they saved the Google presentation as a PowerPoint.  It’s recommended to check the slides with this transition because there can be some formatting changes.  Once in PowerPoint they saved it as a movie file.  Yup, than they uploaded into my YouTube account and used the copyright free music in YouTube to complete the video.  So now we have a video link that can be shared on the student news show and  posted on the school’s social media accounts.  I took the saved movie file and uploaded it onto our scrolling TV at the front entrance of the school for everyone to see the books we love to read.

This was a simple student driven multi-step process that showcased literacy, modeled tools and collaboration, and was shared with the entire learning community.  It's exciting to see teachers gaze at the TV watching for their slide to appear. I know in the future we will continue to host more programming using these same tools and techniques.

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