When reviewing the materials on the sites provided what I found is that there is very little where computer science is the focus of the project. Although all project have a technology component embedded into them this is not the main focus of the skills or pathway of the learning process. As a computer science teacher, this makes designing a PBL a bit more challenging as I don’t have a good model within my content and grade level to base my own project off of.
I did locate a finished project on YouTube that was not a unit plan that looked appealing on digital citizenship. In addition to this, I located a kindergarten unit on journaling and interviewing family members. I must say that the project seemed really interesting, however, I would love to see a blog where the teacher talks about what worked well and what problems she faced. As the project involves a lot of reliance upon parent involvement and work outside of the classroom at that level. The district in which I work does not give homework to students at this level. In addition, I know that homework completion is a major challenge at the elementary level within the school district in which I am employed. As a “specialists” I am not able to give homework. There seems to be a major connection in the projects I reviewed on student accountability. Another problem I face as a “specialists,” is not being able to hold students accountable for absences, work completion, or acquisition of skills. As I plan and think of what project to embark upon all of these components are looming in the back of my mind. Instead of conducting this project with kindergarten students, I can see it working better with 3rd grade students as a blogging assignment. I see this working better with this grade level for several reasons: First, they have better typing skills to produce a paragraph of text in a reasonable amount of time. Second, they have better computer navigation skills to be able to follow bookmarks, e-mail files to themselves, and edit photos. Instead of an oral presentation, I can see students creating a video log of the differences between people of the past and those of today then this could be added to their blog about their experience.
Another project I found was geared toward older students, grades 3-5 to create a business where they created a movie, apply for jobs on the movie, assign team roles, apply for loans, and sell tickets to their movie premiere. I can see students really having fun and getting into a project like this. Personally, I would like to see the topic for the movie refined a bit so that it wasn’t so broad and was more guided to align with possibly their social studies or science content. Give the instructional time I have with students I foresee a project of this size taking the entire school year, unless I could get the grade level classroom teachers on board with collaborating so that some work would be done with them and the actual video production and editing would be done in ICT.
Garden Ridge Elementary Fourth-Grade Digital Citizenship PBL. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWiF4deb_gM
Hall, J. (2009, January 1). Teach21 Project Based Learning Family Ties Kindergarten. Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://wveis.k12.wv.us/teach21/public/project/Guide_print.cfm?upid=3502&tsele1=4&tsele2=100
Merging Technology and Entrepreneurship. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://www.bizworld.org/Bizmovie-Entrepreneurship