This year, however, I gave the students other options. Instead of creating a History of Me presentation, I told them they could geek out about something that they're interested in. I called it the Geek Out Project. It was a horrible title, but it worked.
I started with these questions:
- What do you really care about? Why?
- What is something that you're passionate about?
- What is something you know inside and out?
- What are some things you believe deeply in? What are some convictions you have about life?
- Seven Reasons Why __________
- Seven Ways to _________
- Seven Things to Know About ___________
- Seven Best _____________
- The Seven (Adjective) _________ in ____________
We ended up getting into digital citizenship and digital ethics. We started our blogs and added multimedia elements. We got into visual design and the do's and don'ts of slideshows (yes, I have them create Keynotes even if that's considered uncool these days). They learned about copyright and Creative Commons and developed a set of digital ethics in the process.
We'll eventually do the Create a Product project and the Global Issues unit. Hopefully, they'll collaborate with students in other countries. But for now, we're building a community in our own classroom.