Activity/Project Planning
Taken and adapted from the QESN
http://www.qesn.meq.gouv.qc.ca/cc/projects/step1.htm

Three steps to a successful activity/project:

  1. Plan
  2. Launch
  3. Nurture

Plan - with your teaching team

1- Choose your curricular goal

2- Choose the best type of activity for your learning objectives

3- Explore examples of projects launched by other teachers

4- Determine the details of the project or activity

Launch

1- Run the activity by your students and ask for their input

2- Make sure the infrastructure is in place

Nurture

1- Communicate

2- Create Closure


PLAN:

1- Choose the curricular goal(s)

  • Every activity you plan for your students is linked to curricular goals. The simpler ones will focus on a specific area or subject. But they can also easily be cross-curricular, an added bonus. Whatever the subject areas you want to touch, when deciding whether or not to do an Internet project, ask yourself whether:
    1. This use of Internet will enable your students to do something they couldn't do before
    2. This use of Internet will enable them to do something they did before but they will be able to do it better in some way or another.

Reflect:

  1. Are there activities/projects that you already are doing that could be done using multimedia or even made easier using the computer?
  2. Are there activities/projects that would be more motivating to the students if it involved multimedia?

(Let's be honest ! It may be hard to answer those questions if you've never tried it before. Teachers are often pleasantly surprised to discover that many learning situations arise that they hadn't initially thought of.)

2- Choose a type of activity

  • Choose your level of entry:
  • If this is your first attempt at bringing ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) into your class, aim for creating a short Fast Food type of activity.
  • If you are aiming for major integration, you are looking towards a Gourmet type project. Determine what kind of activity best matches your curricular goals.
  • Keep in mind that certain types of activities are better suited to certain types of learning objectives: polished writing, gathering and analyzing information, problem solving, etc.

3- Explore examples of other on-line projects (EMSB projects)

  • Examples are worth a thousand words and many hours of work. See what other teachers have done. There are many examples available in the QESN Project Centre through its many links to project registries.

4- Determine the details of your project

  • Experts agree that a detailed, specifically-stated project description is essential for success.
  • A sample of student work that the project will generate is often a good way to give participants a clearer idea of what you are aiming for.
  • Your project might require more detailed, specifically-stated, and numbered procedures to help keep participants on track. This is especially true for Gourmet projects. Write them down and save them in a file so they are always readily available.
  • Use the "Gourmet Success" form to help you plan the details.(Although the form was created with Telecollaboration in mind, it has many applicable points for non- telecollaborative activities or projects.)
  • Plan to involve both the resource teacher and regular classroom teacher. That means planning for the "where and when" for both the students and teachers!!!
  • This will ensure a greater diversity of content. Plan your project so that it can fit into the larger framework of classroom activities.


LAUNCH:

1- Run the activity by your students and ask for their input

  • Discuss criteria for what entails a good project with them.

2- Make sure the infrastructure is in place

  • Does all the equipment work? If not, then fax a request to fix whatever needs fixing to your technician.


NURTURE:

1. Communicate

  • Different types of activities will require different types and frequencies of communication between collaborating teachers. But there is more to it than "task-oriented" communication. The success of a project can also depend on broader communications skills and the feeling of support and inclusiveness that you can generate. And the energy will run both ways so that you too will reap rewards from the contact you nurture.
    1. If your project allows for it, plan some kind of opening activity in which both the resource teacher as well as the regular class teacher is involved.
    2. Include ALL your students in class to class communications. In an inclusive team of students, allow for them to have easy access and flow in and out of the resource room.

Be generous!

  • Be willing to share what you know and what you do freely with newcomers who may feel intimidated by the technology. By being open and candid about your project-related experiences, or your lack of it, you will also reap rewarding responses, help ands support from your fellow teachers.
  • Communicate often. Communicate freely. Let your students do their share.

2. Create closure

  • End your project with a final, tangible product such as a web page or other type of electronic publication, a report, a video, a list of "winners", shared results, content analysis, ....
  • Schedule a closure date and make sure all class contributions are received on time. You may need to nag in a supportive way... if you can imagine supportive nagging!

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