In this post, Aviva Landie – a teacher at CIM-ORT Mexico – talks about a Facebook page, a viral video and a subsequent innovative project she carried out with her 2nd and 3rd grade technology students.
“I wanted to do something different and exciting to end the school year. After I came across a Facebook page on “Caine’s Arcade”, I knew exactly what I would propose to my 2nd and 3rd grade technology students. After I showed them a short 10-minute video clip on “Caine’s Arcade”, they didn’t even let me propose the idea before all of my students with huge excitement asked, “Can we build our own arcade?” I was so happy to see so much enthusiasm. I told them that we would answer a few questions about the video, and then as a class decide exactly what we wanted to do with this project.
They accessed the classroom blog where I had posted a few questions about the video and we answered the questions together as a class. The one question they had difficulty answering was the question about the flash mob. They had difficulties understanding how so many people showed up to surprise Caine in the video, so we discussed what a flash mob is and how anyone with an account can create an event on a social media site like Facebook and invite people from all over the world (similar to how the flash mob was created in “Caine’s Arcade”). I also showed them a few videos of different flash mobs that have been uploaded to YouTube in order for them to see the different kinds of flash mobs that have taken place around the world.
Already knowing the answer to my question, I asked if they would be interested in building their own arcade, and without much surprise the – entire – class actually agreed on the same thing for the first this school year. I asked them to break up into small groups and draw a “design” with a list of materials that they would need to build their arcade. They worked on their design during two different class periods as they began bringing in all the materials. Once they had a well thought-out design, they were allowed to start building their arcade. Groups started creating, taping, painting, and enjoying every minute they put into building their arcade. Students actually asked if they could take their arcade home in order to be able to get together with their groups and work over the weekend! It was truly incredible to see my students so engaged, enthusiastic, and committed to their work.
There are so many pedagogical benefits from this project. My students watched the video on YouTube, accessed the classroom blog, learned about glash mobs, worked collaboratively in groups, and most importantly they were learning by doing. They used critical thinking in determining how they were going to take what they had sketched out in their designs and apply it to the building process of their arcade. Lots of critical thinking and problem solving skills were used in determining how they could make their arcade less challenging or in some cases more challenging in order to attract more people to play. There was a lot of collaboration throughout the entire process. One specific example of this was when they had to decide and assign as a team who would bring what in terms of materials.
I was so happy with such positive results that I joined the group “Caine’s Arcade” on Facebook and posted a few pictures that I took of my students while they were working on their arcade. One day after posting the pictures, one of the pictures I had posted had 260 likes. A few days later, a news reporter from NBC Los Angeles contacted me and asked for permission to use the pictures I had posted in her news report about Caine’s Arcade.
It’s truly incredible how social media and technology connects the world in so many different ways. Caine’s Arcade provided my students the opportunity to create, collaborate, think critically, use technology, and with the opportunity to learn a few things about entrepreneurship. And everything was made possible as a result of the passion and dedication of Caine Monroy, a nine-year old boy from Los Angeles, CA.”