In this session, we will look at what project work is and the role IT plays in the different stages of a project. In groups, we'll first look at a sample English Language Learning project at http://resources.emb.gov.hk/project_work/, which contains a lot of good lesson plans and ideas on project learning using I.T. Then we'll look into tools, skills & resources available online that we can pick up to guide and facilitate our students to benefit from project-based learning.
3.1 Adopting project-based approach, supported by IT, to develop communication skills, critical thinking skills and creativity of learners and enhance learner motivation and independence in learning
Project work & IT
Visit some Sample Projects:
Referring to the Curriculum Guide, instructors explained the meaning, advantages and application of project learning as applied in English Language Learning.
Locating theme based resources:
Web-based Resources and Tools:
Student Internet Projects:
3.2 Browsing useful websites for project learning and discussing ways of integrating the projects in the school English curriculum.
Revisit the "components of curriculum framework" in the Curriculum Guide in page 20. We shall be guided by this framework when we start to think about a topic for project learning.
However, we must not be too aggressive and try to accomplish everything in the framework. We want students to practice generic skills, gain knowledge and experience and involve in interpersonal exchange through project learning. However, it should be better if there are some focuses for them.
With the facilitation of the instructors, participants may exchange experience and get more ideas of what are being done in other schools. Now, suggest some topics: What about the following? Food, Nature, Animals, Jobs, Transportation, School, Myself and My Family, Chinese & Western Festivals, etc.
3.2.2 Hands On:
Evaluate the suggested topics using the curriculum framework.
1. Identify Learning Objectives:
2. Design a Lesson Plan:
Tips: Familiarise with the use of search engines on the website.
3.2.3 Introduce an Education Resources Net where digital Photos, Comics, Statistical Figures, Short Stories, News rewrites and Lesson Plans can be found within the "Moral and Civic Edcation" http://resources.emb.gov.hk/mce/ (English)
Possible English learning activities from this site:
3.3 Using various IT/software tools to facilitate project learning (e.g. searching information, organizing project materials and presenting the final product)
Using IT in Project Work - Initial Plan
Depending on the students' age and level.
KS1 - can focus on Listening, Speaking and graded Reading. Spoken form of presentation integrates with real photos cut & paste, hand-drawn pictures and hand-written captions. IT tools would be mastered mainly by teachers to enhance the process.
KS2 - can bring in more IT tools in the research, info gathering, concept formation, data analysis, info presentation etc.
Software skills on using the following tools can be helpful and can enhance the process as well.
The web is not only useful in providing information. It is also valuable in cataloging information. The typical application is an on-line library catalog where you will be guided to look for useful books, journals and media products. This was introduced under item 2.2. Do your school have an electronic library catalog system?
Instructors can introduce participants to the use of a search function in Window: Edit >> Find. This is particular useful when they face very long text.
Organising project materials
Store and classify information downloaded from websites in folders and files: learn and practice creating different level of folders and files.
Drawing mind-map on Word files for development of the theme / topic, generating sub-topics by logical association : learn and practice using "draw" tools to create charts. For example:
Producing flow chart for process management: learn and practice using Office function.
Chalk and board can be equally good for younger children. The key is to base on something that they know and to find out more on things that they want to know within the topic.
Presenting final project
Depending on students' levels.
Presenting text: learn and practice editing text on Window Word efficiently, including basic functions such as spell and grammar check, word count, track changes, merge documents, etc.
Presenting picture and photos: learn and practice how to draw on Word files, how to do colouring on Word file, how to download pictures and copy them on files (with permission), how to download photos from digital camera
Presenting table: learn and practice how to insert tables on Word files and the basic use of excel files
Presenting statistics: use excel file to create bar chart, pie chart, etc.
Using PowerPoint for presentation: learn and practice basic functions
3.4 Using a web community to facilitate collaborative learning, exchanging ideas / giving feedback on projects
Communication / Exchange of ideas through e-mail and web-based message board (intranet)
Can introduce the concept of Intranet as a means of exchanging ideas among population of a community (e.g. a school community).
Introducing the concept, operation and pros and cons of administering an on-line opinion survey for evaluation purpose. Visit one of these web-based survey system and try.
What are the real problems in classroom setting in working on projects with regard to
Briefing for the next lesson:3 in a group to prepare for an English learning lesson plan. Teachers can bring in material they have from their schools or from previous lessons or look for resources from this site. The EMB Moral and Civic Resource Net: http://resources.emb.gov.hk/mce/ (English version)
Teacher to adopt / modify one of the lesson plans in the resource net.