The end. Fin. Finito. I didn’t think Course 5 would have come and gone so quickly, but here we are, friends. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was sitting in my hotel lobby while on holiday in Taiwan, working on my very first COETAIL blog post when in actuality, that was almost 1.5 years ago! While this might be my final post for COETAIL, it’s definitely the beginning of who I am as an educator attempting to authentically integrate technology into my classroom.

My final project is using Google Tour Builder to create tours built around books students read in small groups with digitally recreated scenes or new scenes based on their reading. I touched on this briefly in my video, but we’ve undertaken a new initiative with trying to create a space where students can become makers, tinkerers, mistake makers, and I felt like Language Arts became a forgotten idea lurking in the shadows trying to make its way back to the cool kids table- and that’s what this project is exactly about– making Language Arts meaningful and engaging amidst all of the hands on learning going on in the previously mentioned space.

I was fortunate enough to work with my colleague, and fellow COTAILER, Colleen McCabe on this final project. It was nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and brainstorm together with. Below is the UbD planner that we created:

Here is my video:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZJ6PUfwXL8[/youtube]

I don’t know if it comes across in the video, but the students loved this project. And you know what? I did too! It was great to see students pushing their thinking and understanding of text, without even realizing that that’s what they were doing. I did very little facilitating because students took this project and ran with it. They mentioned in their blog posts that they’d like to do an assignment similar to this again.

Perhaps this is what COETAIL has done for me- pushed my thinking and understanding of tech integration, but not in an “in your face” kind of way. We were given tasks and challenges not beyond [my] reach. Every assignment in Courses 1-5 pushed me to reach a little further, to stretch myself a little more, to become just a bit more uncomfortable. I honest to goodness didn’t think I would enjoy “redefining” a unit, and creating a video to show said redefinition, as much as I did, but here we are. I actually had fun! I don’t know why I’m so surprised, because this is what COETAIL is- gentle surprises that I can do more than I think I can, like The Little Engine that could!

While this isn’t so long, nor farewell, I can’t help but leave you with this video:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy9_lfjQopU[/youtube]