Technology, Engineering, & Design Magazine Project

I’ve been thinking alot about the previous entry (activity playlist)  and how I can do a similar thing in my new TED course. I have to say….I’m REALLY excited about an idea I have. I want to offer students a menu or playlist or activities like what was suggested above. I also have at least two other goals that I feel are important: 1) I want students to collaborate – not merely work on their own chosen activities and 2) I need students to consider different areas of engineering that I had already outlined in my course description (Biotechnology, communications, energy, entertainment and recreation).

 

Here is the plan….students will create and publish 4 issues – one for each unit – of an e-magazine. The look and feel should be something of a mashup between Wired, Fast Company, and Popular Mechanics. Because the course is called Technology, Engineering, and Design, I need to be intentional about incorporating each of those disciplines. In a broad sense the magazine itself will contribute to the majority of the design element. My vision of the mag is to be highly designed using LucidPress and have the styling of glossy magazine like Wired. Within the magazine will be a variety of entries that will cover both the engineering and technology components. An unit specific infographic might be an additional demonstration of design learning.  Specific to engineering, I will expect students to submit DIY articles like you would find in Popular Mechanics or Instructables. I imagine students designing a communication devices using arduino in the communications unit. A step by step tutorial of how to build the device could appear in the magazine as a demonstration of the student’s engineering learning. In the realm of technology, I really want to focus on human issues with technology (ie. ethics, socio-political influences, product lifecycle commentary, technological privacy issues). Here I imagine student editorial pieces about GMO’s in the biotechnology unit for instance. All together students will be bounded by the magazine issue topic (goal #2) and will have to collaborate to put an cohesive magazine together (goal #1). In essence, the magazine project itself is PBL-esque that can take care of the design component of the class and will also serve as a sort of portfolio of student work.

 

I still need to wrap my head around how I facilitate the right amount of articles of each type in each issue while also maximizing student choice of assignments (like the playlist idea). If I assigned a group of students to the “written editorial” section on this unit and then the “diy tutorial” section in the next unit, would that preserve enough student choice and create the differentiated experience that got me excited in the first place?

 

Would love some feedback…is this an idea worth pursuing?  OR scrap it?

 

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