Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A case to be analyzed for Group activity 4----Role of students

Some links to the case: Project Learning in Maine


Project Fun Way: When Project Learning and Technology Meet

A Computer for Every Lap: The Maine Learning Technology Initiative

An Entire State Commits to Laptops on Every Middle School Desktop

Laptops on Expedition: Embracing Expeditionary Learning

Perhaps we can identify the roles of students in this activity - do they have the roles S1 to S17 in the activity?


  1. In this project, each seventh and eighth graders in Maine are provided with a new laptop on project-based learning. Students with stay with same group of teachers for two years, and undertake four- to twelve-week projects. Subjects include art, science, and language arts. The projects include considerably use of computer technology.

    From what I read from the articles, I found that students have at least the following roles:

    S3: Search for information - they use laptop to look for information from the web.
    S6: Data gathering and processing - they process the data after information searching

    One of the tasks required is to give a presentation to younger students, or the production of CD-ROM. So, students role on this activity is:
    S4: Presentation on own learning
    S10: Electronic presentation on own learning
    S14: Peer tutoring

    In addition, from the articles, there is an example that a group of students go to have interview some homeless people (in a homeless project). So, students role are:
    S6: Data gathering and processing
    S11: Engage in collaborative tasks with other students
    S12: Engage in enquiry
    S13: Collaborating with remote peers

    I can see there are many roles that students have in this project...

  2. We can further look into the other roles of students in the activity. Also, we may also see how innovative is this activity by looking at students' role...

  3. There are a good set of research papers on the Maine initiative here;

    I am reading through some of them and will comment here if appropriate.

  4. Besides Ken's talking about student role on S3, S4, S6, S10, S11, S12, S13 and S14.
    The remain student roles still find on Maine's laptop project:
    (S1 Listen and understand presentation + S2: Follow task instruction + S17 Determine own learning schedules and strategies):
    When every student got a laptop, they can do their own presentation work easily and follow the task instruction in a convenient way. Because the instruction or guideline can always find through their laptop by online browsing. Also, the self management software such as scheduling tool and project management tool, which can install inside their laptop or access online to use it. The self-management facility tool can provide them a service about study planning and progress monitoring on their own learning need for scheduling and strategy!

    (S8 Peer Evaluation + S9 Reflection on own learning): When laptop everywhere, student can complete peer-evaluation-form and put their own reflection everytime and everywhere.

    S15 Provide technical support to student: This is fact. When students get online, they can send email to ask help and assistance for technical support and other supporting service by sending email, online chat and social network tools.

  5. Totally, among 17 students' role, only S5, S7, S16,S17 have not been mentioned above.
    S5:Design and create products;
    In the video, students designed and created many products and they even hold an exhibition to show the results.
    S7:Analyzing and drawing conclusion from data;
    It seems that in this course, no data is offered to analyze, but it does not matter since it depends on the type of courses. In math course, for example, S7 will be obvious.
    S16:Provide computer courses for teachers;
    Although students did amazing assignment with the support of computer, they did not "provide computer courses for teachers". But if they further introduced their products, including the idea of design and functions, they may also provide excellent courses.
    S17:Determine own learning schedules and strategies;
    During the process, students are not intentionally required to make schedules and strategies, but to finish the assignment and design the products, they had to do so. So I think S17 is included.

  6. It seems that the case can reflect many of the 17 students' roles. I also observed one of the role of student that could be the "18th".

    In one of the article "Project Fun Way: When Project Learning and Technology Meet", there is a case called "bacteria project", that students are invited to have a visit to a university's lab visit. I think this could be one of the role of students:- to gain personal experience on site visit or field trip. Such experience cannot be obtained from textbook, and I believe the site visit can on some way stimulate students' learning motivation too.