When good lessons go (slightly) wrong

I had it all planned. I needed a citizenship lesson about crime and punishment and after 5 weeks of paper-based reources and activities my form were starting to revolt.

So, we’d watch a video from TrueTube, discuss alternatives to prison and then the pupils (in pairs or small groups) would choose a presentation method – from Slideshare, Mind42 or Museum Box.

Problem #1 – At first everyone loved the idea of a collaborative mindmap, or the fresh approach of Museum Box. 30 seconds later almost everyone had decided that creating a PowerPoint and uploading to Slideshare was the easier option. Harumph.

Problem #2 – Slideshare is blocked in school. Despite testing (my teacher’s account is slightly more open) and then editing the firewall policy I still couldn’t get it to work.

Problem #3 – If you’re using Museum Box and you accidentally close the window without having saved your work then you lose your work. Both pairs who chose that option made the same mistake.

Problem #4 – Once you;ve convinced the disheartened pupils from #3 to quickly knock together what they can, the box then has to be submitted for moderation which is likely to take days.

Problem #5 – Having decided to overcome #2 by uploading the PowerPoints myself, I find that most of them are half finished and not really of presentable quality. So do I upload them as they are? Don’t upload any? Upload just the ones that I approve of? Not an easy decision.

But take heart faithful readers! All is not lost. The class DID enjoy the lesson, certainly moreso than last week’s paper-based activities. And some learning did take place, even if the outcome is not what I had hoped.

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One thought on “When good lessons go (slightly) wrong

  1. Sounds so-o-o familiar. I am a tech teacher for 3rd-5th graders. Having just recently attended my state’s tech conference (TCEA), I came back to school ready to rock my lessons with projects. First project, have students produce Powerpoints (5 slides) and share among classes. Problem, I have over 300 students. Spent six hours over Spring Break pulling them up on 24 different computers and saving them in folders and on my pindrive. Ended up only publishing 194 due to incomplete, poor punctuation, incorrect spelling…etc. Then did not know how to best “share” them. Couldn’t figure out how to tag them so only those particular slideshows from a class would show up. (Some very inappropriate things can come up). Some students lost three weeks of work when trying to pull up their files, they used “Save As” instead and replaced their project with a blank one. Thank you so much for your creative ideas. Can’t wait to explore ALL of them!

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