Below is an excerpt from an interview I did about how I assign projects in my class. I am different than other teachers in my school. I use a lot of technology, especially when it comes to projects for students.
When I assign projects, I use my discussion board http://tinyurl.com/bowies-board and have students sign up for the person/subject area. This way, there is no favoritism, no arguing, and no discussion about who gets what. It’s a first come, first served basis, so you have to be “on the ball” to get the person in which you are interested.
When we do a research project, students turn nothing in to me. We do it paperless. All students in my classes learn to contribute to a wiki. Each student, after choosing a person or subject area, creates a page in our class wiki and begins to add to that page. They add information, pictures, and videos. Whatever they want to make it their own. I encourage information synthesis. This is the process in which students research and choose information they feel is important, run it through their “worldview filter”, and put it on their wiki page. The address for our classroom wiki is http://thescienceclassroom.wikispaces.com. I have gotten a really good response from students on this project. We work on it for about 6 weeks, one day a week, with the rest of the work time done as homework, on their own.
I always request that students use technology when doing presentations. I have told them “I don’t come in and present information to you with a piece of cardboard, so you shouldn’t either”. I want students to recognize that the use of technology is required in college, so they need to start using it now. They will also encounter many different forms of technology when they finally get into their career, so the earlier they learn to use it, the better!