What did you learn?
Adobe Spark is a great tool that I can see myself using in my classroom - I loved creating the group poem memes! Adobe has thousands of photos, all tagged, that you can search through for inspiration; and the design templates are very user friendly. Many of the classrooms I've visited have music-related and inspirational posters hanging on the walls, but Adobe Spark gives me and my students the opportunity to create our own that are specific to our community. Using ideas, language, and images that are created by the students feels much more authentic and will hopefully guide our community more truthfully.
How could what you learned enrich your class?
The group poem activity is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about collaboration and sharing responsibility, and for me to teach them about being creative, responsible consumers of media. I especially like that it gives students the space to exercise soft skills while engaging with different types of content.
How would you integrate the group poem activity into a lesson?
It's a flexible lesson that could be incorporated into just about any unit. The overarching structure of the lesson enables students to work together to write, compose, collage, debate, revise...a wonderful array of skills! One opportunity that comes to mind is when we are studying specific composers or cultures of world music. I could provide students with different materials that enable them to reflect how the composer might have felt (empathy skill) or what imagery the music is creating in my students' minds, particularly if the musical culture is unfamiliar to them.
What opportunities do you see?
I appreciate that the source material for the poem can be varied as needed. Depending on the unit we are studying, I could provide my students with a wide range of source material that best fits the theme. I could expand the activity to include music and tactile materials in addition to visual elements to appeal to a broader range of learners. I would want to differentiate the lesson so that all learners could be successful.
What challenges do you see?
A significant challenge of my classroom management is my students' responsible use of technology. Many schools have banned cellphone use because students are constantly plugged in and struggle to focus their attention on learning. I appreciate what technology can do for our learning environment, but managing the students' use of it feels like yet another aspect of classroom management that I have to take on in addition to everything else. If we were to do the Adobe Spark extension, I'd need to have strategies at the ready to keep them on task.
How would you plan for the challenges?
I imagine a good way to use technology responsibly is to provide students with devices that are already setup to minimize distractions. I think digital learning is a powerful tool for my young digital natives; however, they are also social beings and easily tempted to start texting, Snapchatting, etc. each other during class. If I could ensure that any devices we'd use wouldn't be compromised by social media, I would feel much better about managing the class.