Mother's Day 2018 is almost coming to a close, and in the name of my amazing wife and Mother to our four children, I am struck with the urge to use the last little bit of energy I have today to giveaway 10 copies of Spark Learning to fellow educators in her name. An incredibly talented Special Educator Teacher, my wife was instrumental in supporting and counseling me as I prepared for TED and subsequently unpackaged the TED Talk's tenants in Spark Learning.. I will mail a copy directly to the first 10 people to register by completing the form below. In reading the book you are supporting work I am extremely passionate about, and in turn, sending love out towards all of the amazing mothers and wives in the world who serve as models of intellect and wisdom for all of us.
Central to the PBL Cycle (see Buck Institute for Education for more info), is the "Public Product" as a final showcase of learning. See image below:
Transcending PBL, I have been tinkering with the concept of a "Public Product" and how to authentically do this in my class beyond a blog post, google document, or the myriad ways I have had students showcase their products to real audiences beyond the walls of our school. All efforts felt/feel forced.
To tackle this in problem, in my Introduction to Robotics Class this year, in addition to our final showcase for teachers and parents where students presented a table (museum style) of their final invention, I showed students various "pitch" videos from the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, and challenged them to imagine that they were doing the same, and to create a video for their invention as if they were going to build a campaign around it. Click here for the simple instructions I gave to my students.
Albeit a hypothetical scenario, by starting with actual videos that contain real dollar amounts raised visible next them, the reality and power of showing your work in beautiful an meaningful ways online was evident. See a sample screenshot from a sample Kickstarter project below. Click here for the pitch video.
To be honest, 5 minutes showing my students pitch videos from Kickstarter empowered them to produce amazing public products more than any rubric, speech or guest lecture I have prepared for them. The final showcase was amazing and their pitch videos, although rough drafts done on via their phone cameras in one class period, embodied and relayed a feeling of potential.
Below are images from one students final project (an Arduino ultrasonic cane for the visually impaired).