Category: Course 3

Course 3 Final Projects

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

For Course 3, our Online 13 participants collaborated on their final Course 3 project to deepen their experience of a globally collaborative project. Groups had a couple of options for their project. They could…

Create a unit planner based on the enduring understandings of this course that supports students in becoming Creative Communicators and Global Collaborators (ISTE Standards for Students 6 and 7). 


Create a 2-4 hour professional development program based on the enduring understandings from this course that support educators to grow as Collaborators and Facilitators (ISTE Standard for Educators 4 & 6). 

The Online 13 COETAILers organized into three collaborative groups with members across the globe and created three amazing units that could be adapted and implemented in a variety of contexts. They also include many useful and relevant resources and provide guidance for implementation and options for differentiation and choice. See below for more information about their units and links to unit planners and additional resources. 


Digital Wellness + How we express ourselves with media

Group members: Megan, Justin, David, and Danielle

The goal of this unit is to create a digital piece of media that explains an aspect of digital well-being for a specific audience adapting lessons from Common Sense Education’s curriculum (grade 12). Additionally, each member created digital media workshops for students focused on communicating messages effectively. 

Persuasive Posters (Justin)
How to Write Killer Blogs (David)
What’s the Story? Infographics (Danielle)
Creating Influential Short Films (Megan)

Learn more from their Digital Wellness + How we express ourselves with media unit plan and their individual blog posts which include their process, inspiration, context, and reflections. 

Sharing Knowledge with Infographics

Group members: Michael, Civen, Brandon, and Coleton

The goal of this project is for students to design an infographic to share and inform others on a self-selected topic for younger students. After exploring different infographics to understand the purpose and function of this particular text type, students apply their understanding by creating their own infographic on a particular area of interest. Students also use effective research strategies and peer feedback to create their infographics. 

Here is their Sharing Knowledge with Infographics unit planner and a slide deck to support and guide students and teachers through the process

For individual perspectives and reflections on their collaborative project, see their Course 3 Final Project blog posts. 

A Self-Led Inquiry Into Fostering Collaborative and Creative Community of Critical Thinkers and Effective Empathetic Communicators 

Group Members: Abigail, Lana, and Colin

This unit is focused on adult learning by facilitating a multi-session professional development course that helps colleagues learn how to use GSuite for Educaiton tools for greater communication and collaboration with colleagues and their students. The goal is to create community building using G-Suite tools for Educators by developing the knowledge and skills through learning challenges while improving their instruction in the areas of communication, collaboration, and creativity. 

Each session includes engaging and relevant activities, resources, and digital tools shared in the unit plan

For more background information on the collaborative projects, check out these individual blog posts….

All of these groups overcame the challenges of busy schedules and time zone differences to create outstanding unit planners on relevant and engaging topics for students and teachers which reflects all of their variety of experiences coupled with their Course 3 learning and their openness to collaboration. 


Course 3 Final Project (Week 6)

How delivering information and communicating ideas is an art

Week 4 challenged you to choose a visual aid and redesign it based on feedback and Week 4’s concepts and guidance. The transformation of a variety of visual aids was impressive and the reflections on the process and learning were inspiring. Here are a few of those that gave us a really look into their thinking, learning, and creativity…

Coleton talks through the redesign of a Google Slides presentation in “Creating More Powerful Presentations”. With guidance from David Phillips in “How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint and input from her students and fellow teachers, she shares, “I feel confident that I can use my new understandings and techniques to prepare more engaging presentations in the same amount of time as I used for my boring presentations before.”

In “What’s with All the Visuals”, Brandon focuses on using five of the “10 Tips for Improving Your Presentations Today” to transform a slide from a presentation on Character Traits into two minimalist yet engaging slides. His goal was “to use the design information I received to help me as I made it [the slide] more audience friendly.”

Danielle channels the TV show “What Not to Wear” in her post, “Make Over Mania”, and walks us through the redesign of her presentation for a workshop on collaborative discussion in the classroom. “I affirmed that the core of the presentation, the conversation protocol, was solid and an engaging instructional practice, I brainstormed with my colleagues about what elements I could revamp to hook my audience in.”

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Finishing up Course 3

As we finish up Course 3 with our collaborative projects, I am reminded of our focus on being Effective Collaborators and Communicators. And we’ve explored, applied, and shared the many ways communicating visually and collaborating with our students and colleagues is so central to the work we do. We look forward to seeing the results of your collaborative projects where we know your abilities to collaborate and communicate effectively and meaningfully will shine.


Breaking Down Barriers (Week 5)

Sharing out about creatively visualizing ideas and data

Week 3 involved creating infographics to communicate information or data. We saw lots of examples and reflections on the process and critical thinking it takes to create an effective visual aid. Here are a few of those engaging creations you all shared…

In Megan’s “My First Infographic: An attempt at digital design!” post, she shares some background on infographics (see A Brief History of Infographics video here) and documents her process, including feedback and revision, to create her first infographic featuring Self-Advocacy for students. 

Abigail shares how she’s having students use infographics to present their own language proficiency data in her post “Visual Communication”. Students will also collaborate as they co-create the rubric. 

David has created an infographic about visual learning and literacy for his colleagues to promote learning and discussion. See his creation in his blog post “Let’s Get Visual” and his interest in addressing visual literacy with students. 

“Technology allows us to connect with diverse ideas and people.”

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Since I was first involved in COETAIL many years ago, I’ve been amazed at how technology can help us make connections with others no matter where we are in the world. I know personally and professionally I’ve been able to connect with a variety of people which has expanded my worldview immensely. And although I’ve been fortunate enough to live in four different countries and travel to thirty-plus countries, technology has allowed my family and friends in the United States to learn more about people and cultures around the world. I had one family member tell me that seeing the world through my eyes (and camera) has shown them things they never knew or understood before. 

There are so many opportunities for our students to experience learning about and with others that gets them outside their classroom walls to make authentic, meaningful connections. I’m very interested in the Global Nomads Group that Joel Bevens shared with Online Cohort 14. GNG gives students the opportunity to tell their stories and hear from others. Here’s a video about how they utilize the concept of “digital campfires”. 


Check out their website to see how their program has evolved and the resources and opportunities they offer since this video was shared and their YouTube channel for videos that could be used even without participating in the program. Perhaps this endeavor might encourage you to do something more locally or regionally. Or maybe you already have experience with making connections through technology with other groups or organizations or individuals. 

How do you (or would you like to) break down barriers through technology?


Becoming Communication Artists (Week 4)

Sharing out about Collaboration and Facilitation

We’ve had some great examples of collaboration and facilitation in the classroom and with colleagues through the Week 2 blog posts. A few to highlight…

Justin shares several examples of how he and his Studio 4 team collaborate in planning and delivery  on their PYP “Who We Are” unit in his post “Creativity in Collaboration”. Justin summarizes, “Workshops and cross-collaboration are key ingredients to what makes our community a Studio.”

In “Building Community through Collaboration!”, Megan shares how and why she used specific protocols and processes in an advisory lesson on child safeguarding and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) keeping accessibility and participation for EAL students in mind.

Michael shows us how the ideas of collaboration can be introduced to our young learners through activities and learning experiences around interacting with others and expectations in school as a basis for collaboration. Check out a kindergarten perspective in his blog post “Facilitating Collaboration”


 “Delivering information and communicating ideas is an art.”

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

When I started COETAIL years ago, my use of digital presentations in class was increasing but I found that I was basically transferring worksheets to the screen. Once I learned more about “Presentation Zen” the shift in my use of digital presentations was transformed. To this day, I’m very conscious about what I’m projecting keeping in mind the audience and purpose. I’m more critical of how I present depending on the context. A great piece of advice I was given was that if I could just print out the presentation and give it to my audience (adults or students), what was the point of presenting it. I now often cringe at workshops or staff meetings where the presentation is basically read to us. 

There are lots of great resources for this week on creating engaging and effective presentations and visual aids that I think you’ll find useful for some self-assessment and reflection. And as many of you have shared, you might already be doing these things already but it’s nice to have a checklist to find areas of improvement or exploration. I’m a big fan of Jennifer Gonzalez and her Cult of Pedagogy blog (with podcasts, articles, and resources) and she shares how learning from Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen guidelines helped her transform a presentation. 



We look forward to you sharing what you’ve learned and how you’ve applied it to your own visual aids to communicate ideas and information.


See What I Mean (Week 3)

Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay

As we move into Week 3, our focus is on how “Creatively visualizing ideas and data can enhance understanding and communication.” Looking back to Week 1 you considered visual hierarchy and design principles in how you enhance our communication though our COETAIL blogs (and beyond). 

Colin focused on purpose and audience and then detailed his review and revamp of his COETAIL blog Colin’s COETAIL Adventures in his post “New Wine, Same Bottles”. He summarizes, “Visual hierarchy is meant to help the content creator getting as many people as possible to observe, consume, or interact with what they’ve created.”

In her blog post “Dipping My Toe Into Digital Design”, Danielle shares her experience with digital design from a consumer to a creator and some changes she made to her COETAIL blog A Learning Journey. She includes next steps in her design journey and concludes, “As I pay more attention to the elements that draw my own attention and engagement on the web, I hope to implement what works for me as a consumer into what I am creating.”

Visualizing Information and Data

We’ve always encountered data and information in visual forms but with today’s access to digital design resources, we (and our students) can also create our own visual representations. 

(On a side note: If you want to get more into how data and information visualizations are designed poorly, intentionally and unintentionally, check out Daniel J. Levitin’s A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age)

How do we turn data into something accessible and usable to all of us? How do we share the data that we want to share? How do we tell the story behind the data?

The Value of Data Visualization from Column Five on Vimeo.

There are many great resources out there to support our learning about and designing of visual representations and many critical thinking skills that go into having our students create their own visualizations to share their learning. 

In addition to the resources we share for Week 3, I’d like to give a shout-out to Jordan Benedict, Data and Learning Coach at Shanghai American School, who is an expert at data and shares his expertise in a very accessible way. Check out his website Visualize Your Learning where he and his team provide guidance and resources for schools, teachers, and students. 


We look forward to seeing your creations for visualizing data and information, your experience and reflections, and additional resources you recommend.