As the academic year comes to a close, it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on the journey we’ve embarked upon with our students. Over the course of the year, we’ve seen them grow, learn, overcome challenges, and make progress in ways that are as unique as they are. Now is the time to help them encapsulate these memories and learning experiences in meaningful and creative ways.
I’m thrilled to share with you a selection of digital activities to wrap up the school year. these end-of- school year activities not only foster reflection and consolidation of the knowledge gained but also add an element of creativity and fun.
These activities are designed to engage students in reminiscing about their school year, making sense of their experiences, and looking forward to their future learning journey.
But that’s not all. In this digital age, it’s crucial that we incorporate technology into our teaching methods. For each of these activities, I’ve meticulously handpicked some of the most user-friendly and impactful edtech tools. These tools will assist you and your students in creating vibrant digital artifacts that capture their unique learning experiences.
From creating educational posters, memory books, and virtual bulletin boards to gathering students’ feedback and producing short movies, each of these activities utilizes technology to enrich the learning process. They offer your students a platform to express their thoughts, feelings, and accomplishments in innovative and captivating ways.
1. Create Memory Books
One of the most meaningful ways for students to reflect on their learning experiences is by creating a Memory Book. It’s a timeless keepsake that not only encapsulates their academic growth but also captures the social and emotional strides they’ve made throughout the year.
Here’s a simple way to get started:
- Step 1: Drafting: Encourage students to use Google Docs or Canva Docs or any other word editor they are familiar with to draft their books. Here, they can incorporate text, images, and even embed videos to bring their stories to life. They can reflect on memorable moments, significant learnings, achievements, and challenges. Encourage them to make it personal and engaging, highlighting what matters most to them.
- Step 2: Designing: After drafting, students can then turn these documents into visually engaging memory books. Several online tools offer easy-to-use design features for this purpose. One of them is Book Creator, an online book-making tool with a simple and intuitive interface that lets students add text, images, audio, and video to create their own interactive books.
By creating a Memory Book, students get a chance to take a walk down the memory lane, reliving their experiences and revisiting their learning. This not only helps them acknowledge their accomplishments but also makes them more aware of their learning journey.
Additionally, it offers them a great opportunity to hone their creative and technical skills, making learning more fun and engaging. Finally, these Memory Books can be shared with parents and peers or saved for years to come as a memento of their growth during the school year.
2. Create Educational Posters
Encourage your students to encapsulate the memorable events of the school year through the creation of digital posters. This activity is not only enjoyable but also reinforces their comprehension of the concepts learned and the experiences they had throughout the year. It can also serve as a unique platform for them to express their creativity.
Here are three excellent tools for this purpose:
- Google Drawing: This is a free, web-based diagramming software developed by Google. It allows users to collaborate and work together in real time to create flowcharts, organizational charts, website wireframes, mind maps, and other types of diagrams. Students can use this tool to create simple yet informative posters.
- Canva: A versatile design tool that’s user-friendly for all age groups, Canva allows students to experiment with various templates, fonts, images, and design elements. The drag-and-drop interface makes it simple to use, yet the options are expansive enough that students can create highly customized, professional-looking posters. Canva also offers a dedicated set of educational resources and templates designed for classroom use.
- Piktochart: This tool provides a more data-focused approach, making it perfect for creating infographics. Piktochart can be a powerful tool for students to visually represent what they’ve learned over the year, using charts, graphs, and images. The straightforward interface makes it accessible for beginners, yet it’s powerful enough to create intricate, detailed infographics.
By guiding students in using these tools, you’re not only helping them create a visual representation of their learning journey, but you’re also equipping them with valuable digital skills. Plus, these posters can be shared virtually or printed out for an end-of-the-year display, serving as a testament to the learning and growth that occurred throughout the year.
3. Virtual Bulletin Boards
Virtual bulletin boards offer an innovative and interactive way to collectively share and reflect upon the school year’s experiences. It brings the class together, fostering a sense of community and collaboration, even in a digital learning environment.
Here’s how you can proceed:
- Step 1: Setting Up: Choose a user-friendly platform that suits your needs. Padlet, for example, is an interactive tool that allows you to create an online bulletin board that you can fill with notes, images, links, videos, and more. Other platforms such as Wakelet and Flipboard also provide an excellent space for sharing and organizing content.
- Step 2: Inviting Contributions: Once you’ve set up your board, invite students to contribute. They can share their key learnings, favorite moments, inspiring ideas, or any creative content related to the school year. It’s a space where students can express their thoughts and reflections freely, fostering their communication skills.
- Step 3: Interaction: Encourage students to engage with their peers’ contributions. They can comment on posts, ask questions, or simply appreciate their classmates’ efforts. This interactive feature helps create a lively discussion and exchange of ideas, promoting critical thinking and respect for diverse perspectives.
- Step 4: Showcase & Reflect: Once all the contributions are in, showcase the virtual bulletin board to the class. Allow students to reflect upon the collective memories, achievements, and learnings.
Creating a virtual bulletin board is not just a fun activity but also an effective learning experience. It helps students recognize their learning progress, appreciate their classmates’ perspectives, and create a sense of community in the digital classroom. Check out 20 bulletin board ideas post for more.
4. Gather Students Feedback
Student feedback is an indispensable tool for educators. It provides valuable insights into students’ understanding, their views on the teaching methods, and suggestions for improvements.
Collecting feedback at the end of the year is especially beneficial as it allows you to reflect on the past year and plan for the next. Here’s how you can efficiently gather student feedback digitally:
- Step 1: Choosing a Platform: There are several online tools that you can use to collect feedback. Google Forms is a popular choice due to its simplicity and easy integration with other Google services. Alternatively, you could use other platforms like Poll Everywhere or Jotform that offer more customization options and allow you to create a more interactive feedback experience.
- Step 2: Designing the Feedback Form: The key to effective feedback is asking the right questions. Frame open-ended questions to allow students to express their views freely. Include questions about the teaching methods, the difficulty of the curriculum, what they liked most about the class, and what areas they think could be improved.
- Step 3: Circulating the Form: Once your feedback form is ready, share it with your students. Make sure to inform them about the purpose of the feedback and assure them that their responses will be confidential. This will help you get honest and constructive feedback.
- Step 4: Analyzing the Feedback: After you have collected the feedback, take the time to go through each response. Analyzing the feedback can help you understand your students better, identify areas of strength, and reveal opportunities for growth.
The goal of collecting feedback is not only to evaluate the past year, but also to use the insights gained to improve your teaching practice and create a more effective and engaging learning environment for your students in the future. Check out this list of feedback gathering tools for more options.
5. Create Short Movies
Creating short movies is a great way for students to consolidate their learning and express their creativity. By encapsulating their school year learnings, transitions, and advice to future students in video format, they can reflect upon their experiences in a fun and engaging way.
Here’s how to get started:
- Step 1: Choose a Platform: There are several easy-to-use digital tools available that students can utilize to create their videos. Wevideo, Animoto, Stupeflix, and Magisto are all good options. Each platform offers different features such as a variety of templates, editing tools, and the ability to add music or voiceovers.
- Step 2: Plan the Content: Before creating the video, students should plan what they want to include. This could be a summary of what they’ve learned, their favorite memories from the school year, their personal growth, or advice for students who will be in their grade level next year. Students can create a storyboard or script to help organize their ideas.
- Step 3: Create the Video: Using their plan, students can then create their video. This could involve recording themselves speaking, creating a slide show of photos or illustrations, or a combination of both. Most video creation tools allow users to add text, music, and effects to enhance their video.
- Step 4: Review and Edit: Once the initial video is created, students should review their work, make edits as necessary, and add any finishing touches.
- Step 5: Share the Video: After the video is finalized, it can be shared. This could be done within the classroom as a way to reflect on the year as a group, or it could be shared with a wider audience via the school’s communication channels or on education-appropriate social media platforms.