Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Amazing Race - How Social Media Can Help Create Shared Projects

This is the post that started it all. A collaborative piece between William and Craig.
It all started with a tweet:
and now I am off on an amazing race of my own to create a project for my students to use to learn more about the different countries in the world. I teach junior high geography, which can be a bit of a boring subject. I have been trying to find ways to make the learning more interesting and more importantly more student driven when I saw Craig's tweet.

My first thought was wouldn't it be fun for my students to be able to run The Amazing Race! Quickly I ruled that out, I don't have a million dollars to give as a prize or the ability to take 70 students on an around the world journey. My second thought was a bit different.

If you know anything about The Amazing Race then you know it is a whirlwind adventure where teams go through countries very, very quickly. I am not sure how much they learn from each country (although it is obvious they learn a lot) but they don't get to spend a lot of time doing any real research or following their own interests. I know who do though, they are the producers!

I decided that my students would probably learn more running the games instead of actually playing them so I decided that I would have them 'produce' a leg of the race. One for each country. In each country they would have to research culture, customs and history which will then guide them to create clues, route information, detours and roadblocks.

Our next thought was this is too good of an idea not to share so immediately we created a GDoc and sent the link out to Twitter asking for feedback and input. We received a lot of views and some excellent feedback and also some interesting extensions. The Amazing Race google document.

Although we have yet to finalize exactly how we will use this with students, there is a lot of value in the process we went through. I connected with several educators and I passed on the great idea that Craig created. There are no directions for teachers to follow step by step. Each can take parts or even create an even bigger project using what was shared. There is an awful lot of value in sharing what we do.


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