Sunday, May 11, 2014

Develop Ideas, Build Capacity - Make Great Things Happen

Two of my students recently shared their work with me via Google Drive. It is common for my students to share the work that they do in their GAFE accounts, but it is uncommon for these two particular students to want to talk to me about what they did and why they did it.

The top two pieces of work were created in Google Presentation by one of the boys in my class. This particular boy is quite artistic and outspoken. He was excited to share his work with me because he was happy that he was able to 'focus' on something long enough to complete it.

The creation below, also done by a boy in my class, was done in Google Drawing. This student is pretty shy/quiet. When he said he wanted to talk to me about his work I was intrigued.

These boys had 'connected' on their time to talk about what they refer to as the "Super Hero Project". They are both interested in learning to draw, particularly super hero characters.

They told me that Drawing and Presentation are tools that make it easy for them to create what they are interested in. They want to invent their own characters. They tell me that these two Google Apps make it easy for them. They start by using the research tool within the apps to search out images of super hero characters, embed them onto their page, and then use the drawing tools to re-create what they found on the Internet and make adaptations. They tell me that they like to do this using paper and pencil as well but that it is not as easy. They told me that using the apps allows for ease of creation and change.

Their hope is that they will learn how to design their own action characters and use tools such as GAFE to make their ideas come to life. They have ideas and dreams and believe that a positive attitude and an awareness that it will involve a lot of trial and error will lead them to creations that don't yet exist!

In our talk they made a brief reference to the Leprechaun Catcher  (which I recently blogged about as being a pivotal point for me) discussion we had in March, where their classmate provided them with permission, by her example, to explore thoughts and ideas that they are passionate about and excite them. These two students took that discussion to heart and are putting their thoughts and ideas into action using the technology and tools that are available to them, particularly the Chromebook and GAFE.

Isn't this what we want our students to do in order to prepare for their future? Isn't it ideal to start at an early age so that it becomes a natural way of operating? Don't we want our young people to experience failure as learning so that they are not discouraged and paralyzed to act when times are tough? My students are on such an awesome journey and I hope that they continue to permit themselves to develop their ideas and build capacity to think outside the box and iterate in order to make great things happen.

Update - May 15

The "Super Hero Project" has flourished and many of the students have joined in. Here is some of the work...the discussions that are going on are really fantastic!

These are just some examples of what my students are up to. You should hear the conversations being had about the work and the WHY questions being asked. The students are holding each other accountable to stay on task and explain the thinking that is leading to the creations. I didn't think that this initiative, created by two of my students, would grow into a whole class (outside of class time) project!


  1. I LOVE this idea, Rolland, your students did a great job using Google Drawings!

    1. Thanks +Sylvia Dckworth! They are having a lot of fun.