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Field Study: Observation/reflection #3

Today was a breakthrough!  I asked which students from my program would like to work together to create an entry for the Best Buy contest.  I decided to work with the two students that expressed interest and we settled on a digital story as the format we would use for our entry.  The thing I noticed throughout the time we worked on brainstorming ideas for the submission is that the two students were highly engaged in the task.

One of the students had great difficulty with the idea that the content or story is what is important and not the technology.  He spent alot of his time getting caught up in what type of music to use and technological tools to insert in the presentation.  I had to remind him many times that those things didn’t matter until we had a concrete idea and script.

What was encouraging is the other student that was working with us really got the concept that it is all about the story and not the technology.  She was engaged and had great ideas.  At one point she even said “it’s not about the technology, it’s about having our voice heard!”  It was the first time I have really seen her passionate about a project.  Awesome!!!

The question that has to be asked is was the increased engagement only because I was working with the kids the whole time?  I think I definately was the catalyst in getting them started.  I think I was definatly needed to mediate between the two as we were all working on the same project and I don’t think they would have remained engaged if I let them work cooperatively by themselves due to them not being able to get along.  I do think if I structured it to have them both work on seperate projects and pick the best one for submission they would be very engaged.  However, the point was for this to be a group project.

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