Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Using Technology to Reach 21st Century Goals

It's the end of the school year so I have been doing lots of dreaming for next year while reflecting lately on the events of the past year.  What do I love the most?  Real-life assessments!  I brag about my students regularly and cheerlead them almost daily.  What does a teacher know, right?  Within a week's time we have three, yes, THREE major assessments going on in class.


Monday Spanish II students skyped a classroom in Argentina to practice the past tense.  This is our sister classroom in Buenos Aires.  South Hamilton students took turns talking to students in the ORT classroom who were learning English.  The Argentinian teacher and students commented on the kids' great Spanish.  This is a real-life test and the students succeeded with flying colors! 

The evening before, I got a call from a friend who wanted to do a project.  She wasn't sure what it would look like, but she had a goal and it matched what I was wanting to accomplish at the end of the year too so we moved forward, quickly!  Created within 24 hours, it has now gone international and gained world-wide attention! Information can be found here.  This post includes pictures of our students here at SH.  The details can be found here.  This is technology use at its maximum: google docs, google presentation, twitter, symbaloo, google hangout, and email are all included.  Over 21,000 people are watching this project unfold remotely around the world.  How cool is that?!

One of the responses to the final reflective assessment was:

Learning about Spanish art was very interesting. I noticed that a lot of the art was influenced by other parts of Europe. They also had a lot of Art schools there that produced a lot of famous artist. They have a lot of art museums that display these famous works. Artist, such as Picasso, influenced as well as displayed their culture, which showed that Spain was very art interested.
The other countries, such as Costa Rica and Peru had a very different style of art. While Spain was more European and renaissance,  Peru had a much more “tribal” version of art as well as portraits like Spain. The artists in Costa Rica and Peru also displayed a lot of the culture of their countries, as well as some of the government problems, like Spain as well. Although they are also interested in the arts, they weren’t so much influenced by Europe or the countries around them, giving them their own look at things.
It was interesting reading about the other countries as well as my own. I thought it was fascinating that although they speak the same language, their culture, homelife, and even dialect is very different indeed. It really showed that each of these countries are all of their own, and the stereotypes and grouping of spanish speakers being all form the same country  should not even be considered because they are not the same, and I think that this was a learning experience that was one of the intentions of this project. It also made me curious to learn more about these countries because they seem pretty cool.  

EVENT #3 Next week a former student who is currently serving in the Peace Corps in Ecuador will be visiting with all classes, presenting in Spanglish about her cultural experiences.  I will update this blog after she comes....

We are indeed living in exciting times, exponential times!