Monday, March 2, 2015

Techno Expo - Student Style

First, I want to say that I was extremely proud of all students that participated in the district Techno Expo event.  As a selection committee member for our school, our student projects were not only creative but they exhibited the awesome technology integration by our staff.  I was fortunate to sponsor six groups that represented our school library program.  I proudly attended all six presentations and I was humbled by the honesty and passion from all students. Rooms were filled with parents, community members, other educators, friends, and siblings as students presented their projects.

Blogs

Eight library aides presented their blogs during the evening event.  The students were split up into four presentations with two students per group.  As student leaders in our school, I have set an expectation that all student library aides blog.  I gave them the opportunity to set-up blogs through blogger, complete freedom on design, and student choice in picking a passionate topic for blogging.  Since I prefer to model blogging rather than have formal lessons, to hear students use terms such as posts, embed, iframe, and more during their presentations was incredible.  They passionately showcased their posts, pictures, and projects while indicating blogging has helped with their writing skills and made them think more about digital citizenship.  In one session another educator in the room asked inquiring questions only for him to reply that the students had inspired him to try blogging in his classroom.  My hope is that I have inspired these students to continue to write and share their passions.

Hour of Code
The Pike Technology Club sponsored the Hour of Code this year in our 2nd annual celebration.  This was a completely student driven project with scaffolded lessons, student made certificates, and plans for continued marketing of coding in our school.  At the end of their presentation I publicly asked the students what they learned from this experience.  I was stunned to hear their responses that included managing people, making sure they met the needs of all learners, getting quality feedback, and follow through after the event. WOW, did they really come up with those answers on their own? I wasn't even offended when the students muted the video I produced from the event and narrated their version on the hour.  Projects such as these have convinced me to released and empower the students whenever possible.

Technology Club
Our Technology Club has been meeting for two years with an emphasis in coding.  The group is self motivated in learning programming and coding and is passionate to teach each other.  Officially we meet every Wednesday morning but the group has found a home in the library every morning and during lunch.  Since the group consists of mostly 8th graders I find this refreshing that I have an large 8th grade group that are avid users of the library.  Their presentation consists of examples of screencasts that they demonstrated with live narrations during the event.

Conclusion
The students had a great time and were proud of their presentations.  It brought the community into our program to see what our students have accomplished.  As I have said many times in the past, I will continue to host student lead projects in the school library program.

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