With the addition of 15 wonderful new digital cameras in my classroom, it was time to reassess and redevelop the graphic design unit I do with both my 7th and 8th graders. My changes primarily affected 8th grade but allowed 7th graders to become more prepared for the next year. I decided to create an online environment which allowed students to control their project and become creative at their own speed.
I also used Edmodo which allowed students to create an online working environment full of links, resources, communication and even bell ringers. Students logged onto Edmodo to complete bell ringers, etc and linked over to the weebly which gave a basic overview of project options and assessment criteria – from there students led their project in the right direction; knowing that they were in complete control of their time line.
For example, 8th graders had a choice between 3 projects they could do and if they wanted to they could converse with me about the possibilities of creating their own project. With the assessment means and materials right in front of them, class only involved 2 day of instruction and messing around in Photoshop and students were able to then work at their own pace. The students that truly understood things quickly could move at their faster pace and help the students struggling around them to catch up. This gave me room to really work one on one with the students who needed the attention and gave room to a few projects that I would not have normally thought of. I can recall last year being thoroughly exhausted by the end of the technology unit because of all the running around I had to do – but this set up allowed me to become a facilitator and required the students to have control of their projects – and they loved it! (They also enjoyed the cameras completely!)