Mr. Flick's Tech Badges: Take 2

#edtech #edchat As many of you know, last year I tried to flip my tech classroom for 4th and 5th graders and have them earn badges for the tech skills they needed to acquire while still in elementary school. I am pleased to report that it was a screaming success. With that said, there are still a number of things that need to be improved, and that is what I am now trying to do.

Student will use technology to help to improve literacy in Nicaragua.

My tech badge program is a mixture of the flipping model, PBL model, and Challenge Based Learning.

This summer I have been watching a lot of TED videos and they have really got me thinking. Thinking about how I can turn my students into little social innovators, students that care about the world around them and then try to do something about it.

So here is some of the info from the PBL planner that I am using to give you an idea...

Name of Project: Bethke Kids Helping Kids Program

Duration: all year long
Subject: Technology
Teacher: Mr. Flickinger
Grade Levels: 3rd, 4th, and 5th
Project Idea:  Students learn how to leverage technology to help change their world following the theme: "Using technology to make our world better."  In order to do this they have to gain certain tech skills (which will be tracked by earning badges) that will allow them to progress to different levels as they create projects that will be part of the Kids Helping Kids Technology Showcase and Dinner with the proceeds going to help a library program in Nicaragua. This will be a red-carpet event with awards to the top projects.
Driving Question: How can I use technology to make the world a better place, starting with me?
Stay tuned for more updates...

 

Kids Helping Kids Results

#edtech

This past year some my fifth grade students participated in an 80s cover band in which they only played iPads as instruments. They did it as part of a fundraising project to help end child poverty in Nicaragua. There efforts were very successful and this past week I have been in Nicaragua to check on the projects they helped to fund.

One of our biggest concerns was for proper sanitation at an orphanage. On Sunday I visited the orphanage and I am happy to report that they now have a flushing toilet! Watching water swirl in a toilet bowl might not seem exciting to you, but to these kids it is a big step in the right direction to a better, more healthy, life.

To me this is just more proof that many of the problems our world faces can be fixed with some of the simplest of solutions, like how a bunch of kids singing 80s songs can improve life to some orphans thousands of miles away.

For me this started out as just a tech project that I wanted an authentic purpose, but what I got back was so much more.

Brad Flickinger, tech teacher, Bethke Elementary

 

Using Technology to Make Our World a Better Place

#edtech #edchat Can students really use technology to improve our world?

Back in 2007 I came across a middle school film contest where the students competed to come up with the best ideas to improve their world. Please watch this link before continuing on. http://www.mabryonline.org/movie_html/2007BestPicture/index.html it might give a QuickTime error, but just click the middle and it should start.
 
Those videos have stuck with me all these years, and just yesterday I returned from a week in Nicaragua helping at an orphanage inspired by these videos. 
 
But do you hear what I am saying? 
 
Students back in 2007 made videos that changed me, a grown man, they made me want to do something more, they inspired me to help orphaned children. Students used technology to bring about real change in my life. So the reality is that students really can inspire adults to change, and I am living proof.
 

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My family has been working with two orphanages and a library in Nicaragua for the past three years, largely in part of those videos created by middle school students all those years ago. But what would have happened if their teacher had just done a typical report, seen only by the teacher? Or even if they had made the videos, but were never allowed to put them online for the world to see?
 
Using technology our students really can make the world, our world, a better place. We just need to guide them, help them and most importantly -- let them. And what we get back is so much better than before.