Mixbook: Making Learning Personal and Creative
As part of a larger project for my Learning Technologies class, I chose to use the Web 2.0 tool, Mixbook. I chose to create what can either be used as an anticipation set or an extension activity for a sixth grade history unit on world culture. I decided to incorporate elements of Maryland Teacher Technology Standard 2.B, “Use technology to communicate information in a variety of formats.” The indicators of MTTS 2.B that Mixbook can definitely play to state that teachers can “use productivity tools to publish information,” and “create, manipulate, and display text and graphics effectively.” The Common Core standard that aligns with MTTS 2.B and its indicators is CCR Anchor Standard #6: “Use technology including the internet to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.” The indicators most salient for creating a project using Mixbook are, “integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest,” as well as “use technology responsibly to enhance learning, collaboration, and communication.”
I chose to demonstrate the features and uses of Mixbook by creating a cultural autobiography, a project that I did in SOC 508 during the spring 2013 semester. As an educator, I would use this as an example for my students to follow when creating their own cultural autobiographies. The reason why I chose to create this project is two-fold; firstly, students in the sixth grade are expected to examine the implications of culture on how peoples and nations interact with each other. Secondly, students have to demonstrate and understanding as to how American culture and other cultural influences (school, home, religion) have shaped them. Therefore, a cultural autobiography, in which students look inward at how generations of seen and unseen cultural systems have shaped them, can enhance their learning and make it personal. Secondly, using Mixbook to share each student’s cultural story will emphasize multiculturalism in the classroom. We can use this project to point out our differences, understand how historical events have shaped each persons individual culture, and then reflect on what that means for us as a single classroom unit. An alternative to this would be for students to create a story about a person from another time and/or country and explain how culture has influenced that person’s way of thinking and living.