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Project-based learning is a great way for students to show what they know and can do with the material they’ve learned. It is a way for students to demonstrate this learning in a unique way that meets their own interests and skills. Through the numerous possibilities afforded by technology, there are many options available for students to create dynamic displays of their learning.
Students searching for a unique way to create a project, full of a variety of themes, styles, and more, have found Visme to be exactly what they were searching for. By choosing Visme, students can design using a variety of fonts, backgrounds, images, icons, and animations, plus insert audio or embed video, and much more in their creations.
While the content and themes can stay relatively unchanged over the course of one’s teaching career, the variety of options for having one’s students show their learning have changed dramatically. Project based learning is a very authentic way to assess their learning, and I have used project-based learning for more assessments over the past few years. The reason is because of the great potential I see for offering students a choice in their work and the availability of so many digital tools for their projects, which engage and motivate them in their learning.
In my experience, I have changed the types of assessments I have my students do and offer more opportunities for students to have choices. I have always loved looking at student work, in the traditional format of paper and poster, and seeing their creativity come through in their projects.
With the use of digital tools like Visme, I have found it makes it more interesting and meaningful for them, they are more engaged in their learning, and they have fun trying out these new tools and doing something different than they had done in the past. Another positive effect is that teachers benefit as well by seeing the innovative work the students produce. The uniqueness of their work is inspiring and while it shows us what they have learned, it also teaches us more about who they are.
Because technology changes and trying something new can be scary at times, it is not uncommon to hear pleas from students who would rather complete their project using paper or PowerPoint. Teaching foreign languages, I often want them to add their voice to some of their projects or embed a video, and so having choices available which enable students to use one tool for creating their project makes it much easier for them and for the teacher as well.
With Visme, students have so many choices in their hands that are adaptable to any content, in any course, and in any area of society. But for students creating presentations with tools like Visme, it also enables them to learn a lot about the language by adding in various elements from the resources, and also helps them to further develop technology skills and create a visually engaging and fun product by taking advantage of all of the tools and animations that are available.
In Spanish I, students created projects to describe their families and were able to upload their own photos, have the images appear on the screen by setting the timers with descriptions to make an entrance on the screen.
They could use some of the icons available by searching within the Images tab. They could also change the color, size, and appearance of each of these and create a very dynamic, visually engaging presentation that they are proud of. They also develop other skills such as learning about design, artistic layouts, and more when they create a presentation.
In Spanish II, students have created projects to talk about their childhood and schooling experiences, as well as their community. There are so many options available within the resources for building their presentations and for really creating a dynamic visualization of their childhood, school, community and more.
In addition to the Spanish courses, I have taken students to technology conferences where they participate in the student showcase and demonstrate how they use technology in our classroom. One particular student, who was really resistant to trying any type of new technology, had seen one of my presentations and decided to give it a try. For her individual project for the conference, she decided to create a presentation using Visme, and use it to inform those attending the conference about how we use Edmodo, our learning management system.
She created a vibrant presentation showing the uses of Edmodo and at the showcase she engaged all of those that came to the table and was able to tell them so much about the presentation, her experience and what she learned from it. I could see how proud she was of her work and how comfortable she was sharing it with everyone there.
Using Visme enabled her to take a risk with something new, develop her skills, and reflect on her growth in the process. It also developed her leadership and advocacy skills and led her to teach others.In each of these situations, the students were able to use Visme for each task and they now have another tool they can use in another class or recommend to a friend or family member that could be used for any other type of purpose.
So the result is that while students have used this in my foreign language classroom to create projects that describe their life, their family, their favorite food or any content that we are covering, they are learning about a presentation tool that they can take and use later on, that they can share with others, while also building their confidence skills in the process.
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