Featured Project: Making a Difference in Africa

Level: 7th Grade

Teachers: Ben Posten and Maria Drinkard

|| ||
Create your own sms poll at Poll Everywhere

Project Overview

Students in the 7th grade at The Lovett School are evolving as collaborative learners. Geography teachers are "21st centurizing" their classrooms to incorporate geography skills within the context of studying global issues. In this particular unit, students were considering Africa: the primary issues facing the country, agencies and organizations outside the country trying to help, and asking themselves questions about whether foreign aid was the right thing to do. Also, the students took at look at individual countries in Africa in order to frame their inquiry within the context of a specific country.

The Voicethread above shares the final reflections of these 150 students, and the two sample polls show a more discrete collection of data on student's opinions. In general, students thought Poverty and War and Terror were the most pressing issues facing Africa, and though many agencies were doing important work, Doctors Without Borders had the most votes for worthy of their time and money.

The entire project is documented on wiki sites established (and used throughout the year) by the two teachers. And, the teachers have chosen to select the best of the student work below to share the research, storyboarding, and final voicethreads of the best projects. Enjoy!

Project Home Pages: Mr. Ben Posten and Mrs. Maria Drinkard
Wiki Classrooms: Mr. Ben Posten and Mrs. Maria Drinkard

(A note on classroom and project setups: In order to give the teachers the ability to use the wiki as a dynamic website for their own resources and set up collaborative space for student projects, we set up four wikis. Each teacher has a wiki, and each teacher's students have a joint "student workspace." This is necessary because you cannot modify editing privileges on individual wiki pages within one space; the settings are global for each wiki space. We have connected the wikis together, and made the templates look as if there is only one space, using links and common look and feel settings.)