My three-woman group for this project was Erika, Andrea, and myself. Erika and I work together in second grade at our school and we collaborated on the final project in Course One. We work well together so I asked her right away if she’d like to collaborate on this project together. I knew from reading the Cohort 12 blog posts at the beginning of Course One, Andrea is also a second-grade teacher so I sent her an email asking if she’d like to join Erika and me on this project. Fortunately, she was able to join us.
The collaboration on this project went very well. Erika and Andrea out-did themselves with the lessons, resources, and their contributions. It is wonderful working with motivated, responsible professionals! Kudos to Erika and Andrea and I’m grateful to have had such a positive experience working on a virtual group project.
Although it can be rewarding working with a group, it is also challenging. We were all dealing with a pandemic, being in different time zones, and the jet-lag from traveling across the globe. Luckily we had the time for people to be able to provide their contributions. When collaborating on a unit planner with others who you never have face-to-face (f2f) meetings is different from planning sessions with coworkers at school. The personal connection aspect is missing. There are no quick hallway-meetings to ask questions or five-minute discussions. However, it is similar because we go back to our own computers to complete the work. We send messages and emails to get clarification and share ideas, just like our f2f coworkers.
We chose Option One, create a unit planner, because it was practical for Erika and Andrea to have created it for use with their students in their classrooms. Although our technology integrationist at school provides an introduction to internet safety to our students at the beginning of the year, this unit goes much more in-depth to helping students understand how to be proficient digital citizens. ISTE Digital Citizen 2 standards were the basis for the goals set for this unit.
This learning experience I helped design is different from my normal instruction because I am usually adapting or designing lessons for my English learners or my students with learning disabilities, not creating units of instruction. It is helpful for me to participate in the process Andrea and Erika used to create this unit. Of course, it is not completely different from what I usually do. This experience was like the instructional big picture instead of the snapshots I typically work on.
The Digital Citizen unit we created synthesized many of the ideas we learned in Course Two. Ideas like respecting the intellectual property of others, connecting with others on social media (safely), managing digital identity and protecting data, and differentiating between truth and misinformation. The ISTE standards for educators support the work we are doing with students and the Digital Citizen unit planner we created was based on the enduring understandings of Course Two.
My Course Two final project was a globally collaborative project. We used the UbD lesson template and included desired results, learning goals, and opportunities for students to show evidence of their learning.