My proposal for Microsoft Inovative Teachers Award

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					Innovative Teachers Awards
Proposal for an innovative project
Submitted by: Roberto Gauvin

Innovative Teachers Award
Proposal for an innovative project Roberto Gauvin May 1st, 2008 Applicant Information: Name: Roberto Gauvin Applicant web log: School: Centre d’apprentissage du Haut-Madawaska School Web page: Adress: 323, boulvard Long City/Town: Clair Province: New-Brunswick School Phone: (506) 992-6006 Home Phone: (506) 739-7483 E-Mail:

Section 1- Project Overview (one page) Which tool does your project use? Learning Essentials X Which category does the project fit best? Communities, Cooperation and Curriculum Zune X

A: Title: PowerPoint to the Next Level… B: Author: Roberto Gauvin C: School: Centre d’apprentissage du Haut-Madawaska D: Subject areas: Science, French, Technology E: Grade(s): 7 grade students F: Objective (Maximum of 5): 1. Be able to present and synthesise information 2. Use technology tools to present information 3. Know the importance of biodiversity in an ecological system. 4. Recognize the importance and the dependence of nonbiotic and biotic elements of an ecological community. 5. Be able to self-evaluate their own work and develop the use of a rubric.


Section 2 – Detailed Explanation of the project

A: Explain exactly how you would use Learning Essentials or Zune. (500 words) The proposal for this innovative project will include the use of Learning Essentials fro Microsoft and Zune. Students will have to use a PowerPoint presentation from the Learning Essentials package and include information from the science curriculum taught in class in order to synthesize a unit. Students will have to create a video while they present their work. They will be in the presentation like a weather forecaster uses a blue screen to have an image behind him. This effect called “Chroma key”1, will give the impression that the student is part of the PowerPoint presentation. We will then convert the video in a MPEG-4 video format and download it into the Zune.

The purpose of the project for the students will be to accumulate as many presentations possible from other students of their class. Student could then review the presentations from their classmates and decide if they can improve their own presentation, bringing it to a higher level. They will learn from their classmates when their projects are presented. This will help students improve their



learning. By posting their presentations on their own personal blog, they will be able to converse and exchange ideas with other students all around the world.

PowerPoint is a presentation program that offers a wealth of opportunity.2 Learning Styles is defined as the way each person concentrate on new and difficult information, processes this information, internalizes and retains this information and then uses this information. PowerPoint has also the ability to help the auditive, visual, tactual and kinesthetic learner. By doing so, it brings learning to a higher level and improves better a higher level of thinking skills. If we can go even further and turn these PowerPoint presentations into short movies, students will have to develop new communication skills in order to view the final product. The viewers will see it from themselves.

When we know that someone will be seeing us presenting our work, we tend to apply ourselves and present quality work. When we see our own performance, we understand and realize what we need to work on in order to raise the bar of our own limits. We then work and learn to improve ourselves. When we see other presentations


Learning Styles and Powerpoint. A new and exciting approche. Ole Lauridsen,

Aahus School of Business, University of Aarhus, Denmark. Page 4


like ours, we are given a chance to learn, get new ideas and improve our next presentation. As students develop new communication skills, they gain confidence, are able to get their message and can focus on essential and accurate facts. Students are more exposed than ever with a multimedia society and will need to adjust. We need to prepare students to jobs that don’t even exist. They will need to solve problems that we don’t even know. How can we better prepare students to theses tasks? We need to give them tools that will develop their problem solving skills. When they have to solve a specific problem, they will tend to rely on past experience end use strategies that were effective in their past. If theses strategies were successful, theses transfers will be easier to make. We can’t rely only on memorizing facts and irrelevant information to teaches anymore. Students can now go on the web to find the information they need. This is why we need students to participate in quality web content in order to participate in learning construction.

B: Explain why your project is innovative. (500 words) As a francophone school, access to French contents on the web is not always easy. Also finding materials or information that is culturally usable in a classroom environment is not always available. Students who are working on the web quickly realize that the


contents they publish will be used by others across the planet, downloaded and used to constructive learning.

I believe that using Learning Essentials to build PowerPoint presentations and turning them into short videos could be an innovative way to promote student responsibilities in improving their own learning. Theses videos could then be posted on the web and downloaded by other peoples who share common interests. We could then download these presentations on the Zune and students could build a library of other presentations from their peers. For example, if we develop ten videos on the ecology unit in grade 8 Science, a student could have on his/her Zune those presentations, bring them at home, use them to review the material before a test and even evaluate if the content of each presentation is accurate, clear and useful. We need to have our students develop critical thinking skills.

We also need to get them ready for their world and a device such as the Zune will be part of their world. We see the machine and they see the possibilities. As a teacher, it’s important for me to inspire students to become more innovative in problem solving. Usually when we can do so, students go beyond what is expected. We shouldn’t under estimate what they can do and what they will do if


we give them the tools to succeed. We need to trust them and let them experiment with the technology available.

As more Zune is being released to Canadian consumers, this makes it the first time available outside the United States.3 I would like to experiment with the Zune and see how far we can go with its use in Education. Students can build PowerPoint presentations by adding a video component and increase their level of critical thinking. By making the presentation available as a movie, students are going to be able to exchange and interact with their peers across the world by placing their presentation on their blog. Students will be able to accumulate a number of presentations and review their notes to better prepare themselves for a test.

The innovation of this project is that any students with basic equipment will know to produce this kind of presentation if they want. We are then helping students to participate in the World Wide Web content in a positive way. When students are educate on the effective way to use the Internet and the responsibilities involved, there are better chances that this will help the publication of better material found while surfing. Students are proud of their accomplishments and with the Zune, they will have the opportunity



to show around their work, have friends and family see their presentation and hopefully give them compliments that will help students to construct their learning in different ways.

C: Explain how your project will engage learners. (500 words) Students will have to build their presentation from scratch, prepare their presentation, produce the video and publish the results. Students will have to help each other, check for spelling and help produce the video. When the student presents his or her information, he or she can’t see himself or herself. They will have to rely on each other and give each other, constructive comments in order to produce the best possible video. The tasks that students will have to do will be authentic for the learners and will have value to them outside the school.

Students will have to be actively involved in their learning. They will have a chance to have real world feedback on their work, as it will also be posted on their blog. Their presentation will be available to be downloaded in a format used by Zune and the description of this project will be detailed. This project is also problem-based. The required tasks will lead students to form a judgment, solve a problem, plan a course of action, persuade, convince and teach something to someone. 8

Students will have to construct their PowerPoint presentation using data from their science courses. The presentation will be an overview of a unit that covers most of the unit’s objectives. The presentation will be prepared during class time and will be put to the test in order to maximize its effectiveness. Students will have to keep in mind that they will be part of the presentation and that it’s going to be filmed. By using the Chroma Key function of the camera, they will be part of the image. It will be like visiting a new world. Their presentation will need to be made in a way as to allow the student to move and to make sure that no information is missed. I have experimented with this technology and an example is available on the following link;

I know that I can motivate students to a higher level and have these videos available for downloading on the Zune. Students will then be able to gather different videos on their Zune and be able to analyze and evaluate creations by their peers. By helping other students film and

produce videos, students will have the feeling of helping and participating. In order to produce such videos, Students need Their 9

cooperation is a key element in success.

to plan and to communicate their expectations.

friends will produce the video, as they won’t be able to direct the production since they will be in front of the camera. The needs for the students in my classroom are increasingly different. New technologies enable me to adjust and exploit the distinct potential from each student. My students did not know the world before Google. They surf, chat, communicate by e-mail and they blog. It is impossible to speak about use of the NICT without using the word motivation in the same sentence and this especially among boys. I do not have to wonder whether I must exploit the NICT, I have rather a professional duty to do so.

D: Explain how you will evaluate the effectiveness of your project. (250 words) Student self-assessment promotes personal responsibility for learning, encourages questioning and reflexion, and develops respect for the process required for life long learning.4 When they post their work in their blog, it becomes also an electronic portfolio. The work of Helen Barrett5 is an inspiration for me to understand that students need to have content. But most important is the need


Visual Tools for constructing knowledge. David Hyerle. ASCD. Page 113



to see a purpose in what we ask them to do and then they must have a chance to reflect on what they did.

The evaluation of this project will be divided in two parts. A rubric will be developed in order to have students create a presentation that is informative, stimulating, effective and complete. When the presentation is ready to be available on their blog, students will have to complete 6 higher levels skills question of metacognition in order to evaluate themselves as a learner. Questions could look like; 1- What does this project tell you as a learner? 2- What were your intentions when completing this project? 3- What steps did you take in order to complete your project? 4- Did you have to rethink what you did? 5- What skill have you learned and what other project could you now accomplish? 6- What were your goals when doing this project?

These types of questioning are usually hard for grade 8 students. These questions have the power to make them think and make then realise all the work they were able to accomplish. The answers to these questions can also serve as a starting point for a new project.


E: Explain how you would prepare other teachers to implement your ideas. (100 words) This project will be promoted through my blog and through the student’s blogs. It will be possible for teachers to have access to my “Virtual classroom tour” (VCT) and download it from my blog. Teachers could even ask questions, start a conversation around the project; it’s goal and sample of student’s work. For example, if a teacher wants to do a similar project, he/she could show student’s videos from my students and challenge them to do the same kind of work or to do even better.

My VCT will include a step-by-step guide to engage students and to produce the videos. There will be a “Frequent asked questions” section and samples of student work. I will include the rubric for evaluation and links to student’s blog who will have completed the 6 high level thinking questions.

F: Provide a timeline for implementation between June 1 – Oct 15. (100 words) The following timeline will be used: June 1- June 20: Meeting the grade 7 students in order to give them an outline of the project, examples of videos and the use of the Zune. Brain storming session on how to create video content in


science and how this could be produced in September. Review best practices in the creation of a PowerPoint presentation.

September 3 – September 20: Create a presentation on the Ecology unit in the grade 7 science curriculum. Students will have to create a presentation, summarize information and put it to practice.

September 21 – October 5: Video production, posting a post on their weblog.

October 5 – October 15: Rubric completion, reflective assessment, downloading on Zune, viewing of all projects by participating students, with the possibility of a project fair for parents and other students in the school.

G: Explain why you have chosen to be innovative in this particular area. (100 words) My experience as a science teacher makes me believe that students learn best when they are involved, engaged and taking an active part in their learning. Students have now unlimited access to a wide variety of tools in order to meet each of their learning styles. I will also use blogging as a way to have students reflect on their learning. This platform will empower them to have their say, to let 13

the world know what they think, sometimes have other people engage them in different conversations and rethink what they have learned.

Students are living in a video world as they are submerged with television, movies and video games. Having them be part of PowerPoint is a way to link them with this reality and to make them realize that quality work is hard work. By posting their video on their blog, they will develop a sense of pride of a job well done, well learnt.

H: Explain the skills you have that will enable you to implement this project. (100 words) I have been teaching for twenty years and am known to be innovative in my school. I have developed a television studio6 with a television network throughout the school. I have also developed with a group of teachers, a blogging community7 in our school so that all students can have their own blog. I have used podcasting8 in my science class and social networking tools like del.ici.ous9,






Flickr10 and bloglines11 in order to develop critical thinking skills with students.

I am also part of an interesting social network that includes teachers, principals and decision makers that helps me share ideas and find answers to my questions.

Section 3 – Documentation of Project I have included with this proposal a letter from M Luc Caron, Director of Education from my school district. As a teaching principal, there will be no problem for me to make arrangements to be able to participate in the Winnipeg conference and the one in Bangkok.

I am exited to have the opportunity to send a proposal for this project and hope that I will have a chance in participating in this Microsoft initiative and have the opportunity to meet other colleagues who share the same passion as me and to be able to learn from other to enhance my teaching skills. I also want to gather other exciting way to make learning better for my students




and share theses findings with my school, my school district, and my province and to other people that might read my blog.


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