Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The creation of my final project

My digital project is not impressive in terms of what is available on the internet, but I am proud of it. I believe it is evidence of tremendous personal growth and it will be a useful tool for teaching SS 9. Its creation was arduous and I struggled a great deal to learn some of the basics of designing a page such as this.

The first thing I did was, obviously, sign up for a wikispace account. This may sound elementary to some, but for a man who only recently jumped on the Facebook train and, quite honestly, has no real idea how to use even the simplest of social utilities, even registration presented its challenges. For example, all of the names I wanted for my page were taken, so, in a state of rage and exasperation, I settled on socialstudies90, which, I realize, is lame.

The next step was to decide what a wiki was and what I was going to include in terms of material. It was not like I had a burning desire to try an build a wiki, I didn't even know what constituted a wiki. Ironically, I got the information from wikipedia.

The next step was to decide on which part of the Social Studies 9 course on which to focus. I decided to concentrate on the Middle Ages, believing that I would be able to fine-tune the site prior to actually using it in an interactive manner.

Then, I typed up my introduction, which is simply a recap of what created the medieval world and when it existed. It took me a great deal of effort to learn how to change fonts and sizes to create something somewhat visually appealing, but I think I did a good job.

I then had to decide what to include in terms of areas or links. I decided on assessments, assignments, participant directory, student resources, student work, and teacher resources. After that, it was a process of adding in links. Sounds simple, and it is, but it took me hours to figure out how to add links.

I put in student resources which align with the assignments which align with the assessments. I linked many youtube and united streaming videos (you need a password for the united streaming videos) that are matched with assignments. This took hours of research and watching videos (which I love) and hours of inserting links and making sure things looked organized. One challenge is allowing students to use some of the streaming sites such as youtube. Our tech guys have assured me that I will be able to allow them access under my supervision in one of our labs soon. This is necessary as all 17 video vignettes on the 100 Years' War are from youtube.

I still have to decide the level of interactivity with which I am comfortable and I need to organize the process of introducing students to the site and teaching them to use it as I see fit. I have explored a great deal and I realize I can allow them to edit and to really create and re(create), which is exactly why I embarked on the project in the first place. It is impossible and unnecessary to describe every edit, but know that there were hundreds, and not all of them were for the better!

I know my final product is not amazing, but it does represent a departure from my traditional methods of planning. I am proud of what I have created and you can view it at http://socialstudies90.wikispaces.com/ . Check it out, you might learn a little history!

@Dr. Couros - I will email you with a synopsis of my journey through technology when I am ready for the wiki to be graded.


  1. Trevor, from one grade 9 teacher to another, I think your final project is GREAT! You have no idea how many teachers out there will be "stealing" your ideas for classroom purposes (including me). All they need to do is type "middle ages" or maybe "SocialStudies9" and I bet they'll somehow come across your site and WHAM, they've got some goooddd stuff!!! Take my word for it.

  2. Of course you won't mind I borrow some ideas right?