Congrats Steven Trust! His student-created dystopian fiction project is the #WorkWonders winner

Judging the #WorkWonders contest was so challenging. There were so many stand outs! In this contest, educators made ebooks with Powerpoint (a common trend) and tracked data in Excel. Additionally, others are using Microsoft Word for learning and One Note to write their own textbooks and share with their students. As seen from the diverse entries, you can do so much with Microsoft Office.

Check out the Official Work Wonders website for even more ideas.

Steven Trust, the contest winner is a great example of giving students a choice while teaching writing and so much more. To show the best practices in his entry, I’ll share eleven reasons I picked Steven as the winner of this contest among a highly competitive set of entries.

You had to enter the contest with a tweet. Steven Trust @strust sent his contest entry tweet:

In this case, four things jumped out from Steven’s first tweet:

  • ANIMATION: Students are writing creatively and adding animations.
  • COMPUTATIONAL THINKING: Students are giving the viewers choices as the PowerPoint is shown on the board and students pick which thing they want to happen.
  • STUDENT CREATED: Students are creating their own choice-based dystopian fiction narratives.
  • Other students will play and try their peers’ work giving students an AUTHENTIC AUDIENCE.

He won with his first tweet, but let’s dig into further exchanges for more best practices.

In this tweet we see:

    • CELEBRATION: Students are showcasing and celebrating their best work. (See Chapter 12 of Reinventing Writing for more on the importance of celebration.)
    • LEGACY: Students are building a legacy. This isn’t wastebasket work that will disappear into the ether once finished. Real students will experience the best work in the future. Excellent!

We can see purpose and depth here:

  • STANDARDS: Students are studying dystopian narratives and writing.
  • PROJECT BASED LEARNING: We learn by doing. As students create, their activities move to the top of Bloom’s taxonomy. If a student can create dystopian fiction, they much more likely understand it than selecting a few characteristics of it on  multiple choice test. Memorable experiences are remembered.

And finally:

  • GRAPHIC DESIGN: Students are integrating graphics with their work. (Infographics and graphics are important to writing.)
  • DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP: Creative Commons and attribution is part of the work.
  • PROGRAMMING: Steven has a uniquely visual way to teach the classic “IF THEN statement” – central to teaching programming.

Although we had so many fantastic entries, I hope you can see how Steven’s entry was particularly a wonderful work. So many best practices are included in Steven’s PowerPoint project.

Congratulations! Steven Trust wins a Surface 2 from Microsoft as the winner of the contest.

Thank you to those who submitted your #WorkWonders project. I wish I could recognize  all of you — you are all winners because you took the time to put yourself out there.

4 Resources to Give You More Ideas to #WorkWonders

As you  #workwonders here are 3 resources to help you:

  1. The Official #WorkWonders website – This aggregates all of the #WorkWonders entries.
  2. 50+ Ways to use a Tablet Can Make You a Better Teacher – I did this webinar about how I use my Surface Pro but most of the tools are multi-platform. If you’re BYOD, you’ll learn something.
  3. 15 Ways to Work Wonders with Microsoft Office
  4. Flip your classroom instruction using the PowerPoint Office Mix Tool. (The best screencasting tool available.)

There are so many amazing features inside Microsoft Office and most of you have it on your desk at school.

Here’s to you teachers who #WorkWonders every day. Congratulations Steven Trust, I Hope you enjoy your Surface 2 as much as I adore my Surface 1.

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