Learn all about how Mr. Binz incorporated cultural art into a digital media research project!
A recent interview with Thomas Binz (3-5 Computer Science Teacher) & a 5th grade student:
Tell me more about the research projects students have been working on?
Mr. Binz: “It is a unit based on quality digital presentations and digital research. They started looking at what aspects made digital presentations easy to understand and appealing for people to want to explore more. Then they synthesized what they wanted to include. Everything from fonts and how easy they are to read to the color of the text, etc. We learned that we don’t want to overwhelm our audience with every word that spins on the screen. Then we started talking about when they would need to use digital research and they came up with things like applying to colleges, where they want to go on vacation or a science experiment. The students realized they would be doing this forever. The topics are different for each grade level. This year I wanted to focus on cultural art. 3rd grade is focusing on Buddhist Sand Mandalas, 4th grade is doing Islamic Mosaics and 5th did African Adinkra’s. These are all cultural realia that students are accessing and understanding through digital research. They learned what sources they can trust and identify as factual. Another part of the unit was digital responsibility!”
Why is this important for students to learn?
Mr. Binz: “It's Important because they will need to engage in digital research for the rest of their lives- this will help them to and through college. This is a skill that will help them be competitive in the future. I also think that it’s important to incorporate cultural art into their education."
Has anything surprised you?
Mr. Binz: “How much they love it! Their enthusiasm, joy, eagerness, they have embraced this unit with open arms. Their presentations have blown me away. I couldn’t produce a digital presentation on this level until I was in 10th grade and they are doing it now."
What did you learn about doing research?
Erik Rodriguez: “I learned that we had to be serious about our articles. Some articles are too advanced or go off topic and we learned to choose the best ones for our presentations. We also learned skills that made sure our presentations were easy to understand by viewers. Things like font size and colors matter!
How do you feel about making a digital presentation?
Erik Rodriguez: “I think it's fun work because I have really liked putting it together and I'm even more excited showing people what it will look like when I'm done.”
How do you feel about making the art work related to you research?
Erik Rodriguez:” I’m not super artsy and I’m excited to see how it turns out- It will be cool to look at something I made instead of only seeing these in a book.
How do you know if a source is reliable for research?
Erik Rodriguez: “That it stays on topic, and that it’s not too easy to take things from. We have to shorten what we see online to use for our presentations. Sources that have .com,.org, or edu are reliable sources. Information sources like youtube aren’t reliable!”