To give you a bit more clarity on the final project, here are some comments aligned with the various elements of the project.
From the course, the following is the assignment description. (I have added comments to offer further explanation or examples).
Leadership in Professional Learning: Designing a Connected Classroom Program
This culminating task will help you to bring together your learning from all five modules in this course. For this final project, you will envision what connected learning could look like in your professional context (Context is important for this assignment – to really do it justice, try to describe the project within your own context as much as possible).
As a culminating task, you will individually design a connected classroom project that you could use with your students (You will find it much more rewarding as well if you can design something that you could actually do. This will allow you to point out issues that may arise and give a practical edge to the work. As it is a project for your students, it needs a beginning, middle and end. There needs to be clearly defined goals for the project.).
You may choose to present this project as a project or unit plan or in another format so that you can share your ideas with your colleagues and inspire others to foster and create connections in their own teaching and learning (Whatever format you use to design your regular lessons might work, as long as it is readable and logical. For example, does your plan show sequence, materials, preparation, and the larger context of the semester or work within which the project is set?)
A successful project or program will include:
- Strong and Authentic connection (to your larger semester or learning context, to your local learning environment e.g. are you in Canada or another country, and to the students own ‘world’)
- Rich learning that uncovers the curriculum (For example, are there identifiable goals that require individual work, group or community work, and reflection? Do the students have a chance to contribute the design of the project?)
- Ongoing learning– not a one-time thing (Are they developing skills as well as demonstrating new learning or knowledge? Are they building on previous work? Are there opportunities to use a product or skill beyond the end of the project?)
- Theoretically-supported pedagogy (Although there are overlaps between some of the approaches you have examined, can we discern a clear adherence to some of the principles throughout the work?)
- Technology-Enhanced opportunities (How are they recording their work, producing their work and preserving it for posterity? How are they sharing with others and interacting with their classmates and / or the community? How does technology help them do something they couldn’t otherwise do?)
- Feasible design (Can YOU and your students actually do the project?)
Output: Connected Classroom Program and Written Rationale (35%):
Along with your connected classroom plan, please write a rationale (600 words MAXIMUM, double-spaced) detailing (Please keep to the word count within 20%. Interestingly, virtually no student ever goes under the word count. Use a proper essay / academic writing format as indicated in the blog post about your case students):
- How the program relates to pedagogical approaches (cite scholarly work)
- How you decided which digital technologies to incorporate
- Who you could share this work with and how you might share it.
- Why you chose this approach and how it shows professional growth from your previous teaching and/or planning.
Both components of this assignment (project plan and rationale) should be shared on the Leadership in Professional Learning Discussion Board.
For those of you who are not actually teaching, here is some feedback I provided to a student who also does not teach.
“I have just read through the assignment again and watched the video (again!), and read your introduction to remind myself of your context, so I have some familiarity with your role. Here are a few thoughts.
Since you are a point of first contact, or at least, first sustained contact with parents, perhaps you could build on your appreciative inquiry work (https://positivechange.org/how-we-work/appreciative-inquiry-ai/ ) from the earlier assignment and try to think (Dream in the 4D model) of what you think parents could do to contribute to the school and their children’s success through your interactions.
Then, build your project around that (the next 2 ‘D’s, with the intent hopefully of attaining the 4th). I think that will easily comply with the requirements and the rubric.
- What do they need from you to keep in touch with teachers?
- How do they find out about the inner workings of the school and not just the parent-day events.
- How can you facilitate communications between parents, and between parents and the school, parents and their teachers, and parents and their own children.
Keep in mind the community aspect and your role at the school. If you use Appreciative Inquiry as your theoretical model for your work and build on the 4D model then you will be inspired to really do something that is real and that you could actually do.
You could even get your colleagues to give you an hour over lunch and work through the 4d model with them in the context of your project. They might give you some great ideas that you can work with.
Capture all your thinking and make it visible. That will help you to design the project part. You might want to use Prezi and think of your project as a process.