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Independent Technology Project

Cayla Sandlin
Ivy Tech Community College
EDUC 201Janis Strohl
December 8, 2014

Have you ever wondered what life is like outside of the American coasts? Do people eat the
same foods that Americans eat? Do we all wear the same clothes? What about education
does every kid around the world go to school? Do kids play video games like kids in
America play, or what do kids in other countries do for fun?
Fifth grade students, you are now about to start my favorite research project of the school
year! This project will teach all of us many things about countries from around the world.
The outcome: to have a better understanding of the world, to understand that we are all not
the same, and to gain some respect for different cultures.
The final project will be due and presented in class on Friday, February 6, 2015. You have
two weeks from now to research your country of choice and to implement a creative way to
present your country to your class. I will give you plenty of time in class to research for
your project. You will be allowed to use your student Chrome Book, home computer, and
library resources to research your topic. Students, you will also be using Diigo to help you
research. By using Diigo, you will be introduced to the possibilities of searching the
Internet and saving articles and websites that you like. You may also use your Chrome
Book to print things for your presentation, but it must be approved by me.
Parents, this is a student project. You are more than welcome to help your child, but I
would love to see your childs efforts in the end project. Students will have some class time
each day for two weeks to gather information. At school, they have access to Chrome
Books and the library to research for the country they choose. Students have been
introduced to Diigo is a safe, bookmarking website. If possible, have your child
introduce Diigo to you at home. I urge students do work on their presentation at home as

STEP ONE: Chose a country. Remember! Countries are inside of the seven continentswe
talked about this in class. Once you have decided on a country that sounds appealing to
you, please let me know what country you have picked so other students will not pick the
same country as you.
STEP TWO: Create a Diigo account. In class, I will help each of you create an account. But,
here are the steps to creating your own Diigo account:
A. Go to
B. The the Sign up link at the top right of the home screen.
C. Click on the first circle, that says Free. It is a bright green circle.
D. Now, create a unique username. Students, I would recommend using the username
you use for your Chrome Book at school so you can easily remember it.
E. For email, use your school email.
F. As far as the password goes, I would also use your Chrome Book password.
G. Click the Create Account link.
H. Congrats! Your account has been created!
I. Now, click the My Groups link at the top of the page.
J. In the Explore Diigo Groups box at the top right, type Mrs. Sandlins 5th Grade
Research Project. This is our class Diigo group!
K. Ask to join!
L. See Page 9 to learn about Diigo.
STEP THREE: Research! Use Diigo to help you in your research efforts. Remember that
Google and Yahoo! are helpful search engines, too. Be careful where you get your
information from. Some websites are not educational and might not offer the best
information. URLs that end in .org or .edu are safe to use and have valuable information.
When Googling your country, click on URLs that you recognize, like (Time
Magazine). I have found some starters sites for you on Diigo. Be sure to find our class
group, Mrs. Sandlins 5th Grade Research Project.
STEP FOUR: In your final presentation, you most teach us six main ideas about your
country of interest. Feel free to come up with your own topic ideas. Here are a few topics
you can use:
What kind of currency (money) does the country use?
What language do the people of the country speak?
What type of leadership does the country have? For example, do they have a king or
What is the education like in the country?
How big is the country?
When was the country founded?

What kind of food is eaten in this country?

What is the climate in this country?
Does your country of study have any enemies?
What geographical features are in your country? Think of rivers, major vallies,
rainforests, mountains, or anything thing else.
Does the country have a flag? If so, what does it symbolize? What was the meaning
behind its creation?

STEP FIVE: Staying organized while you are researching for a big project like this is
important. Use the Research Paper Organizer on page 5 to help you. This Organizer needs
to be turned in to me on presentation day, February 6.
STEP SIX: There are two questions that are required to be answered. These questions are
on page 7. You must turn page 6 in to me as well on presentation day.
STEP SEVEN: Post topics everyday on Diigo. (See Learn About Diigo on page 9.)
STEP EIGHT: Finally, you must present your country and the research you have done.
There are several ways that you can present your information: poster board, PowerPoint, a
video, create a website on Weebly, etc.
STEP NINE: Have fun!!

Research Paper
Student name: __________________________________

Due Date: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2015

Method of Presentation: ______________________________________________________.

Country I will be adventuring to: _______________________________________________.
The country is located: ________________________________________________________.
The approximate population of my country is: ________________________ people.

Six Topics I Will Discuss in My Presentation

(Choose six topics to discuss. They may be the examples I used or your own ideas.
Write them out in sentence form and answer them after you have done research.)
1. Topic:
Research: ______________________________________________________________

2. Topic:
Research: ______________________________________________________________

3. Topic:
Research: ______________________________________________________________

4. Topic:
Research: ______________________________________________________________

5. Topic:
Research: ______________________________________________________________

6. Topic:
Research: ______________________________________________________________


Name: ____________________
Due Date: Friday, February 6, 2015
Country: ____________________
Please answer the required questions. Turn them in on presentation
1. What is different about your country and the United States of
America? What is the same? _______________________________________

How do the kids in your country live? How is it different than you live?


Now that you have created a Diigo account, you can explore the site! Diigo is a helpful way for you to
research the Internet for information for your project. You can save, or bookmark, webpages that
you would like to use for later. Diigo is also a wonderful way to work with, or collaborate with your
peers. By using Diigo, being organized it simple. Organization is key when completing a proect like
this. Since you are required to be in the class Diigo group, you will get the opportunity to use each
other and myself for support. Perhaps someone found a really helpful website, you can also go to
that website to research. I have already bookmarked some helpful websites.

Researching and Bookmarking: Lets say that I want to research the country, Aruba. I would go to
the Community link at the top of the screen and type Aruba in the Search Community box on the
right of the screen. Lots of websites that will come up that are tagged Aruba. Or, you can do a
Google search on Aruba. Anything that you find educational, you can tag to your Diigo account. For
instance, in the broswer bar, I will type In the Google search engine, I will type
Education in Aruba. Google will find many resourceful sites about Arubas education. I click on the
first website that Google finds. If I like this website, I simply copy the link, or URL, that is in the
browser bar, go back to my account on, go to My Library and click the blue Add bar at the
top left of the screen. Click Bookmark on the drop down box. Paste the URL that you copied. Be
sure the add a title, description, and tags to your New Bookmark. Also, add your bookmark to the
class group, Mrs. Sandlins 5th Grade Research Project. Done!
Tags are helpful in finding information regarding one particular word. Be sure that you tag your
bookmark with several key words so your classmates can simply click on your tags to find
information they need too. Here is an example of a tag I used for our class Diigo group: research,
countries, class, 5th grade, project, culture, world.
Creating Topics in our class Diigo group are very important to me so I know that you are learning.
Plus, it helps to you interact with your classmates. In the two weeks that you are studying,
researching, and creating your country presentation, I want you to post one topic a day. The topic
that you post must be a fun fact that you learned about the country you are researching. How to
create a topic. Under Mrs. Sandlins 5th Grade Research Project, click the Topic bubble that is next to
the Bookmark bubble. Think of a title for your topic and then dicuss your topic. Be sure to add tags
and then click post. Dont worryI will give you time during class to find a fun fact, create a topic,
and comment
I would like you to comment on two of your classmates topic posts each day. Your comments
need to be encouraging and kind. Please, no put downs! To comment, click on the blue, underlined
link, which is the title of the topic post. Begin typing in the next empty box, then click post.
Please do not fret! We will go over everything together in class!

Scoring Rubric
Country Research Project
Student: _______________
Student included facts
and quotes from a
reputable source.
Information was
obtained from experts
and valid resources.
All required questions
by the teacher were
answered and turned in.

Included facts and
information from a
reliable source.
Answered required
questions from the

Facts and
information were not
from reliable sources.
Some research
information was
missing. Answered
few or no questions
that were required by
the teacher.

Created Topics on
Diigo. Participated in
commenting and
discussing in peers
conversations, at least
to two times per day.
Comments in Topics
were educated and
Student collaborated
with peers through
Diigo and used Diigo to
research for reliable

Created and
responded to most
daily required
Topics during
project research.
Comments to peers
were kind and

Created and
responded to some
daily required
Topics during
project research.
Responses to peers
were not wellthought.

Some peer
collaboration was
used by student.
Student used Diigo

Student seldom
responded to students
via Diigo. Diigo was
not a citation.

Spelling and

Good use of
vocabulary, sentence
structure, and spelling.

Attempted to
incorporated new
vocabulary. Few
grammatical errors.

No attempt to use
new vocabulary.
Sentences need
restructuring. Many
grammatical errors.

and Time

Presentation was
completed and turned in
on time. Data was
organized and wellwritten.

Most of the work

was completed by
due date. Some facts
were misunderstood.

Some work was

turned in late. Works
habits were minimal.
Information was not

Project was
demonstrated with
students own work
using facts based on
research. Used visual
aids, audio, etc. to
display information.

Used student-created
materials. Projected a
creative way to
deliver presentation.

Information was
relevant but student
showed little
enthusiasm in visual

Quality of

on Diigo

Use of Diigo

Created a

Student did not
include facts,
however included
his/her opinion.
Information was not
cited from reliable
source. No questions
required by the
teacher were
Did not created a
Diigo account. Did
not create a Topic
daily. Did not
comment on peers

Did not create a

Diigo account.
Student didnt
participate in peer
collaboration nor did
student reference
Diigo in presentation.
Spelling and
grammar were
poorno attempt to
proofread and correct
errors. No use of
Time was not used
efficiently. Work was
not turned in on time.
Student pulled
together facts at the
last minute.
Project was minimal
and mainly based on
sample work.


Independent Technology Project

ISTE National Education Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Students
NETS-S 1Creativity and Innovation
NETS-S 2Communication and Collaboration
NETS-S 3Research and Information Fluency
NETS-S 4Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
NETS-S 5Digital Citizenship
NETS-S 6Techonolgy Operations and Concepts
ISTE National Education Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers
NETS-T 1Facilitate and Inspire Students Learning and Creativity
NETS-T 2Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and
NETS-T 3Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
NETS-T 4Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibilty
NETS-T 5Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
INTASC Model Core Teaching Standards
INTASC 2Learning Differences
INTASC 3Learning Environments
INTASC 4Content Knowledge
INTASC 5Application of Content
INTASC 6Assessment
INTASC 7Planning for Instruction
INTASC 8Instructional Strategies
INTASC 10Leadership and Collaboration


Evaluation and Extension

What have you learned from this project? From creating this project, I learned
how in-depth a teacher must go to create a project. All along, I thought the
teacher had the easy job while the students had to research and create a
presentation. It took several hours and lots of thought to create a project for my
What were your most useful resources in completing the project? Believe it
or not, but Google was my best friend while creating this project. I Googled
formats that other teachers have used to make research project instructions fun
and not too overwhelming. Also, I used Microsoft Words templates to help me
out, too.
How will/could you share or use this project? I could definitely use this
project in my future teaching career with 5th or 6th grade students. I have
submitted this project to my Weebly website for college instructors and future
schools to look at.
What are some other possible applications of the technology you have
learned and used to complete this project? I learned not to be afraid to let
students create accounts on online websites like Diigo. Diigo is very resourceful
for students research. I have observed some teachers and I have not seen them
use any type of technology, except the basic computer, in class. Entrusting
students to explore, engage, learn, and grow with Internet and technology
resources only build our students up and educate them.
How could this project be further improved? Requiring students to submit a
video presentation to show to the class all of their research could enhance this
project. I allowed students to chose how they would like to present their final
research project in front of their peers.
If this is a student project, how will it be evaluated? In my Independent
Technology Project, I required students to create a chat on the class Diigo site
and to respond within the chatthis will be one item on the rubric that will be
graded. Also, the students participation on Diigo will affect his or her grade. I
have attached required questions that students answer in their presentation
these will be graded. Finally, students must discuss six topics about the country
they chose and present it with a PowerPoint, video, or a poster on presentation
Has this project led you to think about other technologies you would like to
explore and master? If so, what are they? Yes. I would like to learn more
about how to go about technology in the classroom in general. Throughout
class, we touched on technology in the classroom, but I want to know how to find
a class in India to chat with from time to time. I also want to learn more about

video editing and creating educational videos. I think videos are great for
children to learn to create.


Diigo bookmarking: Diigo. 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014, from
Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J 2011. NETS Standards. Teaching and learning with technology.
Boston, MA: Pearson
Google search: Google. 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014, from