I had the amazing opportunity to go to the ITEC Student Technology Fair. There were tons of middle school students showing of their accomplishments. There was an immense amount of projects covering a broad range of topics. The kids really put in some hard work and it definitely showed when we walked around to interview students about their work. It's amazing how the students are able to create these projects. I'm really amazed by all the new technologies that the students are using that I've never heard of. These kids are really getting out there and researching new technologies.
The first project I reviewed was two boys that created a song on GarageBand. The song was really cool and reminded me of a futuristic type song. While talking to the boys about their project I found out that they finished the song right before the conference started. They had both when working on different projects and had technical difficulties so they teamed up and decided to work together. I really enjoyed listening to their song and thought their teamwork paid off!
The second project I reviewed was of two students who used Google SketchUp. I was really fascinated with this one because I was presenting my PBL later that day and incorporating SketchUp. While talking to the students I asked them how they learned Google SketchUp and they both said they just played around with it. The students said they had some technological difficulties while completing their project and lost some data, but thankfully not to much. The students said it took them about a month to complete their tower replica of Big Ben. It was great to see a program that I know being used by others and be able to talk to them about their triumphs and failures with the program.
The last project I saw was of someone who used Blender to create two and three dimensions of an atom. His original idea was to create a tornado using this project, but was unable to do so. My favorite part of this student's project wasn't actually what he submitted for judging but a model he had created of his favorite video game. He took pictures of his favorite characters in a game and then recreated the virtual characters and then photoshopped himself into the picture. He was so excited and animated when sharing this project with us! It was great to see all the kids excited about technology!
The technology fair creates opportunities for students to be creative and find new ways to do things. Each child is allowed to do their own project and can really choose something they are passionate about, which is great to see. I would say that the students were using goal directed and infusion on the Technology Matrix. I would say that it is infusion because the students get to chose the technology they want and goal directed because the students are using technology to accomplish their goals. This opportunity allowed me to get some great ideas for PBL in my classroom. It also helps me realize that students are very capable of using any technology we just need to give them the time and software to use it. I hope I get the chance to allow my students to create their own projects using the technologies of their choice. I want my future students to be as passionate as these kids were.