The Power to Enrich

Rocky View Schools

  • RSS
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Youtube

Globalization, Robotics, Authenticity oh my!

Posted by Angela Spanier March - 28 - 2011 0 Comment

Guest author, Josh Hill – When I started this blog one poignant commenter called for exemplars that would illustrate what authentic instruction actually looks like in the classroom….and what would a blog about  “real world” learning be without some real world projects. The video below showcases a robotics inquiry project embarked upon by grade 8 students at Langdon School. The striking part about this project for me is the work flow; in this project students collaborate to build robots with students in other homerooms who they rarely have the opportunity to meet face to face with. The students work as far as they can during their science block and leave the robot for the next class; the challenge became how do you make sure the next group is up to speed, understands the progress that has been made and the rationale for your design decisions and can take up exactly where you left off. Students utilized web tools and several creative solutions (my favorite being an end of class state of the project video message) to ensure successful asynchronous collaborative work. Not only is robotics a combination of physics, engineering, mathematics and computing all combined to solve an authentic problem but students were working within a complex project management workflow inspired by the hyper efficient global businesses of today. Thomas L. Friedman, in his book The World is Flat, outlines how increasingly when knowledge workers in North America are at bed at night, their peers in Asia (who thanks to the time zone difference are working during the day) continue work on their projects, when the North American workers arrive back at work their work has progressed a whole days work, over night. Friedman reminds us that “it is now possible for more people than ever to collaborate and compete in real time with more other people on more different kinds of work from more different corners of the planet and on a more equal footing than at any previous time in the history of the world. Friedman’s book boggled my mind….these students are doing it in grade 8, enjoy: