Outcome 5

Design supportive learning environments that facilitate the development and integration of diverse skills.

The use of technology has growing implications for how we teach.  One such example is in communication.  Schools in general are still attached to pencil-and-paper writing, while our kids live in a TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read) society.  If we're *just* teaching writing, we're not teaching enough.  Even the adults I work with prefer watching a video with the information over reading it in text-form.  This is not to say that writing isn't still important, but that its role in how we communicate has changed.  One could argue that successful videos and podcasts rely on writing to help direct their messaging.  Through scripts, storyboards, and other tools that we use to organize our thoughts and ideas, written text and spoken word are at the basis of the multimedia barrage we experience on a daily basis.  That is the world that we need our students to learn how to communicate in.

In part 3 of my IBL Project Plan, I outline a couple of communication tools that could be used in the process of learning about and making video games.  While a few of them utilize more traditional writing (Google Docs, BoomWriter), Scratch is an example of a tool where students learn to express themselves and communicate through code.  The text we read, the videos we watch online, the entire Internet that we have access to, exists because a lot of really smart people around the world learned how to communicate like a computer, and have used that knowledge to express themselves.  Code is certainly not an area to be overlooked when we look at communication tools in the 21st century.

Other tools that I outlined in Outcome 1 that I would like to use in an IBL environment require students to communicate in even more ways.  With Shadow Puppet EDU and iMovie, students are making videos.  With Popplet and LucidChart, they are using concept-mapping to organize and communicate central themes and ideas.   Today's Meet even allows for students to be communicating in a backchannel online even when they're communicating with each other in class.  As someone who worked and volunteered in community-access television for almost seven years, communication is very important to me, and I hope that my work in this class has shown that I am prepared to help students develop communication skills in a variety of settings and media.