I have had some experience with project-based learning in my school career. In my American Literature class I took my junior year of high school, our teacher assigned a project based on The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The project’s requirements were very open-ended; our only instructions were to create a piece of art or give some sort of presentation that reflected the themes of the novel. Students created paintings, videos, skits, and various other creative projects. There was even one student who performed a chemistry experiment in which each chemical reaction represented a theme or character of the novel. In a way, the project also required my peers and I to teach our classmates about The Scarlet Letter using our project creations since we had to present our projects to the class. I created a piece of music using the the computer software Finale. The project was very challenging and time-consuming, but it forced me to think outside the box and apply my knowledge of the novel to a specific task. To this day, I can still remember a lot about the plot and overlying themes of the novel.
I think that there are many advantages to project-based learning. It allows students to apply what they are learning, which will help them to remember the material in the long-term. Project-based learning allows students to see how the material is used in real world an gain a sense of accomplishment from successfully applying their knowledge in a real-world situation, as seen in the Schools of the Year 2050 project. Projects are valuable tools for teaching students lessons about time management, teamwork, and out-of-the-box thinking. For teachers, project-based learning is advantageous because it helps their students to obtain a deep understanding of the material and gain a sense of accomplishment from their accomplishments. The only disadvantage I can think of from a teacher’s point of is the time commitment, since teachers are under so much pressure to prepare their kids for standardized tests in class.
Project-based learning can be very useful in speech pathology, which is what I hope to do in the future. At Shrines School, students with profound learning and communication disorders complete a gardening project over the course of a year. This project integrates multiple subject areas, practical life skills, and the use of technology in the curriculum. I think that project-based learning can be useful in any type of learning, whether it be corporate training, a classroom, or vocational training.
I did my stop animation project on an app called allrecipes.com. I am a food enthusiast, and I figure that since everyone eats, what could be more useful than an app pertaining to food and its preparation? With this app, users can search for recipes by what ingredients they use or how long they take to prepare. Users can also focus their search on a certain type of dish, such as a salad, main course, or dessert. The app’s recipes are provided by its many users, so there are a wide range of recipes available using this app. I think that this app is a great tool to teach someone how to cook a simple recipe. The instructions are very simplistic, and each recipe even comes with extra information such as nutritional information and reviews. I have cooked with my family a few times, but I am by no means an expert chef. I thought the app was very easy to use, and I learned a lot about cooking by using the app to physically cook a dish and by playing around with it to find new recipes.
I think that using these applications is a great way to promote learning in our 21st century world. I think the “Stack the States” app is especially useful to K-12 students. In elementary school, I had to learn the geographic location of all the states on a map of the U.S. and all their capitals, and I was bored to tears studying with flashcards and other, more traditional methods. If I had a resource like this in elementary school, I think I would have enjoyed that part of my education much more! This app is especially fun to use because it is a competition! The Oxford Picture Dictionary app seem as if it would be very useful to students as well as they complete reading assignments in their classes or write papers. I think that an app like this in another language could be incredibly useful. As a Spanish minor, I am always running into new words in Spanish that I don’t know, so such an app would be very convenient!
I totally underestimated how challenging making a stop animation video would be! My partner Morgan and I discovered that we could not put our video in Youtube due to the copyright attached to the song we used, which was a bit stressful. I was also unfamiliar with using iMovie, so it was a bit frustrating to use. However, we still had a lot of fun, and it was very satisfying to see our final project come together. I would recommend taking as many pictures as you can while making a stop animation video to make sure that the movements in your video are smooth and continuous. I would also make sure to start the project early because doing the final editing on a video is very time-consuming.
I think that using the idea of augmented reality in education and day-to-day life would be advantageous to people as a whole. Augmented reality is a promising new advance in technology, and will likely only increase in popularity. Thus, it makes sense that educators use it as a learning tool to prepare students for the real world. Augmented reality is a very effective tool to demonstrate how certain concepts apply to the real world. Is it also a great tool for visual learners. Programs like Arduino in which kids create augmented reality apps teach children about teamwork, time management, and giving and receiving criticism. “Augmented Reality in Education: Teaching Tool or Passing Trend?” argues that frequent updates in augmented reality software and fees for using it could prove costly to users. However, I think that this argument is irrelevant because this is true for any form of technology. Jim also discussed in his talk how many public schools do not allow teachers to use augmented reality apps in school. I believe they will be allowed eventually as educators begin to view them as advantageous to the learning of children.
The idea of augmented reality can be a very useful tool in speech-language pathology. Augmented reality apps can be used to project certain images into reality and encourage kids to make certain word associations and produce certain sounds. They are great for keeping kids’ attention during therapy sessions. I have used a few augmented reality apps in my daily life. I used them mostly for fun rather to help someone else learn or learn something myself. Starmap is an app that uses a smartphone’s GPS location to determine the location of major constellations in the night sky. Wikitude is another augmented reality app I have used that allows users to engage in their surroundings using augmented reality. Wikitude users can access fun facts, restaurant ratings, Yelp ratings, ATM locations, Wikipedia articles, and many other features pertaining to their surroundings using this application.
After doing some research, I found an augmented reality app that I think would be very good for 21st century learning called ZooBurst.ZooBurst can be used for personal expression or academic projects. With ZooBurst, users create images and stories and place them in various locations throughout the world. Users can interact with these other stories or choose to make their stories private. ZooBurst is a useful tool for visual learners and shy students who wish to interact with their peers.