English Technology Project Ideas

As a follow up to our focus on technology integration at the department level, and after meeting with all department heads, below are detailed a number of technology project ideas (using either the iPads, the computer labs or the 3D printer) specific to your department. It is our hope that at least one of these ideas might inspire you as you plan out your courses for the rest of the year.

1. Online writing portfolios, either as a classroom style blog with comments and discussion or individual writing portfolios that is updated throughout the year. The two main options for this kind of online site is through either an official Hebron Academy WordPress blog or through the the student’s own Google Apps Blogger account. The best example of this is the AP Lit poetry blog I helped Emily create a couple of years ago: http://blogs.hebronacademy.org/aplit/

2. Creating more creative document types, which contain en element of design. Students have to create their own layouts, with different fonts, images, shapes, etc to piece together their document. We have done this with the Freshmen newspaper project with restricted design rules and the Pages app but there is a selection of other apps and tools we could use as well, such as Storybird (https://storybird.com/create/) or LucidPress (https://www.lucidpress.com).

3. Choose the path narrative stories, using Keynote and the internal link feature to add buttons or a web tool like Inkle Writer (http://www.inklestudios.com/inklewriter/). Students have to write the multi-path story and then create the links and narrative choices so that a reader can progress through the story.

4. I have mentioned this workflow before during tech PD sessions but using the MindNode app to brainstorm and plan out a paper and then convert this into an outline to form the basic structure of final document. This image gives an idea of what a final outline can look like: https://abramkj.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/mind-map-with-outline.png

5. Book trailers. This is a great video project where students create a movie trailer style film based around a book they have been reading complete with over the top sound effects and voice over. Here are some middle school examples from my previous school that came out pretty well: https://techois.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/grade-6-book-trailers/

6. There are also other ways to using video in the English classroom, and one that I have seen work well is using animation techniques like stop motion or frame-based to create visual representations of the books or writing they have been studying. We have done a lot of stop motion projects with the middle school (http://blogs.hebronacademy.org/technology/?s=stop+motion+) and for frame-based animation we would use this app on the iPads: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/animation-drawing-by-do-ink/id364762290?mt=8

7. One project that could be used in most classrooms is the student creation of an interactive piece of writing using either the iPad app Book Creator (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/book-creator-for-ipad/id442378070?mt=8) or iBooks Author (http://www.apple.com/ibooks-author/) in the library computer lab. iBooks Author is the app Trevor used to create his writing textbook. Students could create these for themselves as study guides or for younger students and they can contain all types of media, graphics, audio and video.

8. Create a screencast with the Explain Everything app. This app lets you import all kinds of media and files and lets a student basically record a presentation as a video into the iPad. It records all their movements and annotations within the slides as well as recording their voice. Is very useful for students to plan out and explain a complicated concept. This gives you a good overview of the app: http://blogs.hebronacademy.org/technology/2015/02/19/explain-everything/

9. Interviews/podcasts/recordings using AudioCopy or GarageBand. This could be as simple as recording scripted conversations or role plays and then editing them for errors, or creating complete radio shows with professional postproduction including a soundtrack, sound effects, etc. This presentation gives a good overview of podcasting in the classroom: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1lRc8rAVVNR61VR6JnEhspH84W93vNZ8VMX

10. Creation of objects, buildings and archeological sites in 3D. Using modeling tools like SketchUp, Tinkercad and Sculptris students are able to create all kinds of 3D shape and objects that can then be printed in physical form. Multiple objects can be created and then positioned together to create more detailed models, for display or presentation. Here is a good overview of what has been done with our 3D printer so far: http://blogs.hebronacademy.org/technology/2016/10/21/3d-printer-update/. Here is a good example of how this can be used in the English classroom: http://blogs.hebronacademy.org/technology/2016/02/04/1414/

This entry was posted in Professional Development. Bookmark the permalink.