A Technology/Mobile-Enhanced I AM Poem
I blogged about this activity before. I am using it for an online course for the first time this summer and am so excited about the results, I wanted to report on it again. The I Am Poem is a popular exercise for language arts. I thought it would also be a good ice breaker for students to get to know one another. It goes beyond the, “Hi, my name is ________, and I live/work at __________” type of introduction, and reinforces the importance of beginning an online course through developing a sense of community. Some general strategies to do so include:
- Connecting people’s names and faces is a first big step to forming bonds.
- Students need non-threatening, interesting ways to begin creating online community.
- Social interactions between and among learners enrich the learning community and should be supported in the instructional design of the course. (http://frank.mtsu.edu/~itconf/proceed01/19.html)
I have used the I Am Poem in a face-to-face undergraduate course (see http://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/mobile-driven-identity-activities/). For this summer semester teaching online courses on Integrating Technology Into the Curriculum for the Boise State Educational Technology graduate program, I asked students to do the I Am poem as one of their first course tasks.
Students were provided with the following directions:
- Write an “I Am” poem using the template, either electronically – http://ettcweb.lr.k12.nj.us/forms/iampoem.htm or through the template below to write your own poems.
- Once your poem is written, locate or take a photo via one of your computer devices that symbolizes who you are, the essence of your poem.
- Send your photo to Flickr along with your first name in the subject line and your I Am Poem in the email body to (email to my Flickr account – randomly generated by Flcikr).
- Since all the group’s images will be sent to this single Flickr account, you can view each other’s poems via the Flickr account http://www.flickr.com/photos/78773858@N03.
- You do NOT have to have a Flickr account to submit your I Am Poems nor to view other students’ pictures/poems, but if you want to comment on a photo/poem (not required), you will need to have an account.
- A full description of this activity can be found at http://community-building.weebly.com/i-am-poems.html. Here you can find more directions how to set up the activity for your own class.
Here is a screenshot of the Flickr page of student submissions. I love the diversity and creativity they demonstrated both through the images selected and poems written.
. . . and some specific examples: