Web 2.0 Projects – The Lesson I Never Learn

The Scenario

This scenario, involving web 2,0 in the classroom, has happened to me so many times you would think I would know better by now. Here’s a typical situation.

I work with a teacher to develop a project facilitated by educational technology…usually utilizing various web 2.0 sites. It will be the most awesome project ever! Students will create images, videos, soundtracks and everything else known to man. As the students say, “It will be epic!”

I do my planning making sure the sites are functional, student accounts are created, etc. I create a demo project to demonstrate to the students. If their project is going to be epic…mine is going to be epic-er! Then, the teacher asks me the dreaded question…the one I am never prepared for.

The Question

Is the question, “What NET-S are we hitting with this project?” Nope. “Does this type of project translate into real-world skills?” Nope! “Can I print it so I can grade it?” Yep!

Web 2.0 in the Classroom - No printOh man, that question gets me every time! I am so over printing that it’s like a slap in the face when a teacher wants to print a Prezi or a Vuvox collage.

The Remedy

It’s my fault this happens and here’s how I have remedied the situation (until the next project when I completely forget my own advice). This is not Earth shattering news but the assessment needs to be worked out during the early planning phases.

A successful strategy is to develop a rubric along with the teacher. This can usually be accomplished quickly. Then, explain how assessment will happen. For example, after the digital project is created, a link is sent to the teacher. Then, the teacher can have a stack of printed out rubrics  they can write on while experiencing the project. I know the grading could be done digitally. But, I can tell you that teachers totally get this type of assessment. A printed rubric, pencil in hand while viewing digital work…it works!

TIP: On sites where you can create a project and include tags when you save it, use a unique hashtag such as #myclassPeriodA. Then, when you go to the site, search that tag and you will find all of the students’ work.

The next time you are involved in a digital project; don’t make the mistake I always make. Create your assessment right away and avoid the dreaded “Can I print this out” question.

Have you experienced this? Please post a comment below and thanks for reading the educational technology blog Teach Amazing!