Sunday, December 19, 2010

Have You Upped Your Awesome?

My students certainly upped their awesome potential this week! 
Project for Awesome is coming to a soft close, the raffle goes through 12/20/10, but the commenting army is at rest. 
What a show last night on YouTube! Did you see it? If you'd like to see clips check out the P4A channel. My favorite clip? John Green talking from his heart about Esther Earl and the Make a Wish Foundation. 
Did you follow #p4a on twitter? Nerdfighters did it again trending tops several times over the past two days. 
Highlights for me? Commenting from school. Commenting with my 9 year-old son--he learned to reply--but I'll write more about that on Pink Stone Days later this week. 

Andrew's P4A Avatar for Twitter & YouTube
Nearly 75% of my students receive free  or reduced lunch benefits. Many do not have access to technology at home. But, they created YouTube accounts, some also create twitter identities for P4A. They learned how to use image editing software to create avatars , how to tweet, how to comment, how to capture their screens. Lots of purposeful learning around 21st century tools this week. 
The district unblocked YouTube Friday and though we had a slow start, it worked. Folks at the district don't arrive until 8ish. High school students get going around 7:15 a.m., so our first hour was a frustrating one as the filter hadn't fallen yet, but once we got going students swarmed each others pages commeting, rating and favoriting. How thankful am I that the district lowered the filters for us? I teach in the 11th largest district in the country. It was a big deal to get YouTube unblocked for the day. I am tremendously grateful. Thank you, thank you! 
What did I enjoy the most about P4A at school? Teaching students the process, a definite list topper. Seeing kids smile as I narrated my silly stop-motion animation P4A video. Sharing laughs--when I couldn't decide how to begin my video and nearly included the Manualist performing the 20th Century Fox Fanfare--we all had a good laugh over that one. But even better was the discussion it led to about audience, purpose and your digital identity. Actually seeing my students videos and their surprise at how many other P4A videos were posted to YouTube. 
The most fun? There were many most fun moments. One was when John Green wished Marquez happy birthday in comments. Lucky Marquez! We took a screen shot but it's at school. Marquez is a quiet, quiet student in my 6th period class. He totally surprised me by keeping count of comments and setting the pace during 6th period. Though I enjoyed the morning commenting on students' videos before P4A actually began, the afternoon was made of pure awesome. If I hadn't been finger-flying over the keyboard commenting with the Nerdfighter commenting army, I would have tweeted some of students' reactions. They said things like: 
"Miss! Miss Lee Ann! We are NOT the only ones in here!" Julian said this once we got into the swarm and kids realized that thousands of people were commenting on the same video at the same time.

"Oh my gosh--there are like 100 comments a minute. It's going so fast!" Said in response to seeing the comment stream fly automatically.

Those were just 2 of the ah-has, but there were many on Friday. Most of these student productions are a first for the kids who made them. First time creating a video; first time uploading to YouTube; first time commenting; first time replying to a comment. Lots of firsts, so be gentle with their learning. If you'd like to add your comments to my kids' videos follow the links below. 

And don't forget, there's still time to buy that $25 raffle ticket to win 49 signed books from NCTE and ALAN10! Sweet deal on hardcovers if I do say so myself. The money benefits Beat Bullying.

CCHS Poetry Club video

Ashley & Brandon's
Brick & Victor's
Foi's Trevor Project

Carl, John & Andrew

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