Online 13 Course 2 Fantastic Final Projects

Online 13 Course 2 final projects are a testament to our global collaboration as a cohort. Three groups came together across time and space to co-create diverse and unique units and professional learning experiences that integrate COETAIL course learnings. We are beyond impressed with all three projects and are pleased to share them below. 


by Justin Ouellette | David Berg | Megan Vosk  | Danielle Richert | Kimberly Shannon

A masterful product of global co-creation, this professional learning experience is phenomenal. This team of talented educators chose project option 2 and developed an engaging, well-resourced professional learning experience with embedded breakout sessions and a myriad of tools, resources, and participatory experiences. In addition, they planned for a closing Unconference session to foster reflection and action. You will enjoy learning from them and exploring their embedded tools and resources here

Digital Citizenship Mini-Unit

by Brandon Inman | Josmary Adams | Lana Yashchyna | Coleton Tillett

Four elementary educators create a unit essential for students to develop as Digital Citizens, which really connects to being good overall citizens. This unit takes us into the nature of empathy, kindness and participatory culture for young learners, while also helping them stay safe. A wonderful mini-unit to engage students in dialogue, tools and resources. Enjoy it here

How Does the Digital World See Us?

by Civen Ho | Michael Juntke | Abigail Lopez-Salazar

A wonderful unit that incorporates many aspects of digital citizenship while empowering young learners to become creators and kind participants. Students will learn about privacy and copyright as they create their own videos to share, and their learning will culminate in learning about feedback as they reflect upon each other’s videos. Please find the unit here along with a helpful SlideDeck for implementation.

Course 2 Final Projects are a testament to the talented educators in COETAIL Online 13, to the COETAIL experience in general, and to the power of global collaboration and co-creation.

“The smartest person in the room is the room.”  

~ David Weinberger


Celebrating Contributions

In Course 2, we focused on becoming global contributors. We reflected on collaboration and co-creation. The balance of privacy and participation. The importance of becoming discerning consumers and creators. We have read numerous points of view, shared personal and professional stories, and gained insights from one another. We have contributed immensely! 

Our Online Cohort 13 participants have shared fantastic insights in their weekly blog posts. Here are a few important ideas from Weeks 3 and 4. 

Brandon Inman asks us to consider “How much thought do teachers put into exposing their students to the latest educational technology before they actually know what it is about?” Check out his steps for showing up safely! 

Coleton Tillett reminds us that “One of the most beautiful aspects of childhood is curiosity. When we are young everything is new. We look at the world with fresh eyes and can’t help but wonder about it, to ask questions, to investigate.” 

Lana Yashchyna shares that “Balance is the answer: be yourself – care, create and share responsibly and freely with the intended audience, differentiate the purpose of your posts and the communities to where you contribute to.”

David Berg notes that “many of us are caught in the middle of the change. We were taught using methods that fit the time, when information was not digital. Now, we need to teach the next generation the skills needed for the digital world.”

Civen Ho reflects forward, stating that her “goal for the coming school year is to provide more opportunities for students to question, discuss and check the information they have found online.”

COETAILers we hope you are proud of your fantastic contributions. You have shared so many amazing stories, insights and reflections! As we continue our journey together, please help us improve. Look for a survey link in this week’s email. Thank you for all of your contributions. We cannot wait to see your collaborative final projects!

More about Curiosity & Truth

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What role will you play in promoting curiosity and truth? 

This week’s question resonates deeply for a number of reasons. Firstly, I believe strongly that curiosity is one of our greatest core skills and one that we should continue to cultivate throughout schooling and our lives. Through curiosity, we play, create, innovate and experience joy. Ultimately, it is through embracing curiosity that we continue to learn, grow and discover for the whole of our lives. 

Truth is not such an easy concept. My MFA thesis explored truth as perception, and currently, in my PhD program, we are exploring the idea of counter narratives. Each culture, language, even individual, carries a truth that is hers, and yet, that truth may not be the same truth as the person next door. Truth is perception and perception is how we experience the world. 

Having said that, I am still an advocate for truth-seeking. You see, as soon as we recognize the bias of our own truths, we become free to explore the truth of someone else, and this is how we begin to cultivate compassion and empathy. Therefore, the resources for this week help us navigate a world in which, not only do multiple truths exist, but multiple truths get posted in a single moment. 

In 2013, I attended a literacy session with Mary Ehrenworth, Senior Deputy Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. We were discussing the argument component of the Common Core State Standards and she noted that the term argument was deliberate. To argue is to reason, cite evidence and consider. It is not persuasion, as we used to call it, or propaganda. When we argue, we consider multiple perspectives, or as I have defined it above, multiple truths.

I believe the term ‘argue’ in the CCSS was intentional to ensure that we become more able to reason and consider the perspectives of others. However, it is fascinating how often we use the term persuasion and argument interchangeably, when they carry very different connotations and effects. 

What role do we play in promoting curiosity and truth? We must remain curious. We must consider narratives and counter narratives. We must embrace multiple and various perspectives. We must continue to argue and reason, and ensure we T.H.I.N.K.


Seeing the Balance


In many ways, we can see this week’s theme of finding balance in the previous two weeks. In Respect the Remix, we are grappling between consumption and creation, copying and innovating. In this balance, we find exciting new possibilities captured well by many of your Week 1 posts, captured beautifully by Danielle Richert who noted 

Both the creation process and the writing process are spurred on, are electric with possibility and (dare I say) a little bit of magic when we ask, “This is great, but what if I just…?”

She goes on to pose a provocative question: Is the key to teaching, learning, and honoring creations, and by extension copyright measures, of others as simple as becoming creators ourselves?

Justin Ouellette also posed an important question when he asked: “How do you un-demonize the word “copying”, all the while teaching your learners to respect and pay tribute to the work of others?”

Megan Vosk captures the theme of balance in her statement, “There is a fine line to be walked between copying and giving credit, and the skilled creator is able to navigate those waters successfully.”

Kimberly Shannon describes the brilliant possibilities when we find the balance in the remix, stating

Inspiration is transformed into your own creative work because we become open to the way our eyes see and interpret the beauty in someone else’s work.

She then poses the ultimate question, reflecting on an assignment that required her to simply copy: “My artistic struggle has me wondering, is this the environment our learners are working in as we implement traditional content and assign specific guidelines to follow?”

Image by Einfach-Eve from Pixabay

In the Evolution of Connections, you reflected on the balance between positive and negative Social Media, sharing delightful excerpts of your conversations with students. Your posts and insightful comments from Week 1 and 2, showcase a balance between reflection and action (reflexivity), wondering and inspiring, consuming and creating. 

In Week 3, you will be intentional in your focus on Balance, this time exploring the duality between participation and privacy. How do we find balance in the digital domain, harness the power of global connection and creation, while still allowing space for privacy and offline flourishing? 


Course 1 Final Projects

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Thanks to all our COETAIL Online 13 cohort who submitted their Course 1 Final Project and blog posts sharing a variety of revised or developed learning plans that showcased their expertise as an educator and the application of their learning from Course 1 (Ourselves as Learners).

Unit Plan: Flavors: A Cultural Connection
“The knowledge gained through creating this new unit plan for our World Language department gives me a sense of refreshment. I will be able to share my new technological understanding of Google tools I was not aware of before this course: Google Scholar for cultural facts, Google chats for student curiosity questions and inquiries, Google MyMaps and Google Maps for virtual visits and creation on student personalized visits to a city or country as a whole, Google Docs, Slides, and/or YouTube for documentation of gained knowledge.”

Unit Plan: Who Runs the World? Girls! (Sharing the Planet unit of inquiry)
“Social justice and gender equality is something that is very important to me and my teaching. When I first started thinking about this end of course project, I reached out to my next year’s school to ask a bit about what their curriculum looked like. It will be my first year teaching at a PYP school and I was curious about the units of inquiry and how I could incorporate my passion for social justice into that. I found that I would be able to work it into “Sharing the Planet” as my class would be learning about women from all over the world and their contributions to society.”

Unit Plan: Endangered Animals
“I revamped the previously created learning experience to focus more on the research students conducted to inform their presentation. The ISTE Standards for Students helped me think about the learning experience I wanted to provide students when using technology. I was reminded of the half-life of knowledge and also the overwhelming amount of information available. After seeing the standards for “Knowledge Constructor”, I knew that I wanted to develop students’ research and thinking skills so that they would be able to make use of the information and make reasonable evaluations.”

Unit Plan: The Silk Road
“As I redesigned this unit I wanted to provide my students with a variety of opportunities to explore the content. A friend of mine who is a previous COETAILER, always says the best way to help students access the curriculum is to offer the content to them in a lot of different ways. So as I laid out the unit, I included shared readings, videos, games, art, and stations. My goal is to have my students become historians of the Silk Road.”

Professional Development Plan: Exploring The Impact Of Implicit Bias
“A huge difference for this professional development engagement from others I have designed and presented is that it has been designed to meet the needs of a remote environment.  I am used to developing PD that is face to face, often with a strong community building element woven throughout.  Remote learning makes the element of relationship building and maintaining more difficult, yet an environment of safety and trust is vital for this topic.”

Unit Plan: Habitats and Humanity: Finding Out What a Sustainable Settlement Is
“I want the students to better understand that future improvements to cities need to be focused on the environment. I want the students to be able to take ideas from one context, appreciate the benefits of the idea, and be able to apply them to a new context. If students are able to see how one city is becoming more sustainable, hopefully they can understand how their home cities can be more sustainable.”

Unit Plan: Sharing the Planet Inquiry
“I feel like our units always keep getting better – the learning provocations in course one were certainly that extra fuel to think a little bit deeper as to how to make it that much better. Sometimes we are all creatures of habit that look for the path of least resistance. Teachers have to “step out of their comfort zone”, too!”

Unit Plan: Our Beliefs and Social-Emotional Wellbeing
“Creating this unit has allowed me to push my thinking around making content relevant and purposefully integrating technology. I am proud that through this unit I moved from augmentation in the learning stages of Exploration and Finding Pathways to modification in stage three, Experiencing. I provided learners with the opinion of how they would publish their summative piece, asking them to create an authentic product that combined audio, video, and text.”

Unit Plan: Where We Are in Place and Time
“Throughout the planning process, I have realized how my thinking and planning are gradually changing to include various newly discovered ideas and methodologies. I have mixed and matched various formats and ideas in the process of discovering the perfect fit for me and my current school. With ideas from the Course 1 materials and ideas and sources shared by COETAILers, I was able to start creating a unit planner from the scratch, integrating IT and an interdisciplinary approach.”

Unit Plan: Social Justice Heroes
“The integration of #edtech tools is stronger in the new unit than in the old one. The final product for the Humanities unit was an analog book, whereas the revamped unit asks students to create a digital book using Book Creator. Book Creator allows for the students to easily see each other’s work. The publish link on Book Creator also makes the work readily shared with a wider audience – the completed narratives will be sent to the school librarian to publish on the library website.  In the revised unit, the students will record their stories and upload the recordings to a youtube playlist.”

Lesson Plan: Make A Face (photography)
What results do you hope to see when students complete this learning experience / unit?
“Joy, interest, questions, creativity, ambition, great photos & presentations, openness. When in the end every child takes something away for themselves and continues to work, I am happy… The children reacted great. We were very interested and had a lot of fun. Each child had different skills and, accordingly, questions. They exchanged and helped one another.”