Sunday, October 5, 2014

Social Networking for the Quad Copter Project
My Scientific Research and Design (SRD) students have been given an unusual opportunity. We have been challenged with choosing and building a quad copter that is capable of taking pictures. This is the largest project we have undertaken thus far. We will have to plan, divide the responsibilities, track progress and continuously communicate. We will also need to communicate with our industry experts who have volunteered to help us be successful. Social networking web tools will be a key to accomplishing our task.

We have started the planning stage of this project. The first step is learning about quad copters and the physics of flight. For efficiency, students need to share the resources and information they find as well as comment on their contributions. Each student is expected to contribute at least one link or relevant information to a Padlet page. This will give students an engaging platform for sharing information and allow me to evaluate the relevancy of the resource and give credit to students when they contribute. As more resources are found, additional pages can be set up to keep things organized. We are also doing some self-evaluation in the class to see who has some of the skills we anticipate needed and who is willing to learn others. To collect this information students are collaborating on a google document. Once again, everyone is expected to participate so that we can plan effectively.

We need to establish our essential questions for this project. Partners have been assigned to read an article and share what they have learned on large posters. After all students get an opportunity to review the posters we will use a google document to collect thoughts, create essential questions and a learning plan. Students will be asked to participate in an online discussion identifying what they believe to be an essential question and a possible way to find the answer. They must also respond to a classmate with a question or constructive comment. This could be accomplished with a collaborative google document or using Edmodo, we will be using Canvas learning management system for our discussion.

With questions established and plans made for learning we can choose our kit, divide into teams and start the learning while waiting for delivery. From this point forward, teams will be expected to continue contributing to the Padlet page. Additionally, each team will maintain a blog on Kidblog that all students and our experts can access. By recording updates, progress, learning and challenges each week everyone will apprised of the work each team is accomplishing. The hope is to compile a class blog to share with the public each week.

This is an exciting project and by using web tools to network we will be able to more effectively communicate with each other, the experts and the public. Students will know what is being done by everyone in the class and can help each other solve problems. Our experts can track our progress without leaving their workplace. There may even be an opportunity for a Skype, or similar video phone, session with our experts if school technology allows. Improving communication through social networking web tools will help this project progress smoothly.

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