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spacer (1K) My Little World: Collaborative Problem Solving in Action
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[Note: Please review The Project page to get the most out of the information on this page]


Student work for My Little World included organizing collaborative work groups, assigning tasks, monitoring progress, conducting research, web site development, writing, composing music, creating artwork, presentation development and delivery, and dealing with scenarios on-the-fly.




Collaborative Work Groups


Each "country" was given a Yahoo Group as a starting point.  You can visit any of these sites using the ID: groupguest411 and the password: visitor.










Each site started out identical: A photo of the "alien" who had taken them to this world and a list of ideas on collaborative work that the students developed after previous exercises. 




To see how they collaborated, check out this copy of a threaded message board from one of the sites or an actual board (ID: groupguest411; password: visitor).  Each group approached the problem differently: Some chose a leader in each period, others focused on dividing the work, and some just couldn't seem to get going (hey...just like real life!).  Since each country had to produce common deliverables, there was a lot of to-and-fro on various ideas.  You can follow their progress by viewing threads assigning roles, monitoring progress, etc.


Most groups used the sites to share deliverables.  You can see these by checking out the files area on the group sites, or sometimes the photos area (ID: groupguest411; Password: visitor)






Once groups reached a consensus on their national interests, they researched various ideas on foreign policy, constitutions, flags, anthems, etc.  Many posted links to the group sites to share the best resources.  In the course of doing these projects, the students realized that it was important to organize information into folders and to summarize the content they were linking to, otherwise all they would have at the end is pile of relatively useless links.



Web Site Development


Two countries, the Grinkles and the Yabadabas developed  their own web sites independent of the group site.  Another, the Flerfpods, improved the Yahoo Group, adding content and art.





To produce a written Constitution, many chose to mimic the formal style of actual constitutions.  Some Constitutions mirrored the US's, others made up rules consistent with their identities.  One chose a monarchy and, being 9th graders, one allowed driving at any age.  But generally, they took the exercise seriously and developed principles for citizenship, the legislative process, making war, and even for a Bill of Rights. 


Foreign Policies were defined as the set of things the students felt their countries would do to accomplish their national interests.  Much of the questioning during the oral presentations focused on the type of decisions they would make to resolve international conflict.



Composing Music


As part of the assignment, students had to compose and perform their own national anthems.  Some wrote song parodies, using music from existing national anthems.  Others wrote their own songs--some had tunes, other just rhythms.  One had a full performance with a dance number.  Unfortunately, none were recorded but you can read the lyrics.  Note that the anthems needed to reflect the national interests and values of the country, thus some are fierce and warlike and others are lofty and inspirational.








Art and design skills came into play at several point in the project.  The Binglors produced a clay model of their world complete with buildings, a port, roads, and geologic features.  All countries designed a flag, most of which are on display on various pages on this site.  Most used digital art for their flags and some had a national flag and flags for each State (period).  One group made a flag out of colored construction paper.  Students had to explain the symbolism of their flag the choice of colors and other elements and why those were consistent with their interests, values and culture.




Presentation Development and Delivery


Almost all the groups used PowerPoint to create presentations encompassing the various elements described above.  These were shared collaboratively, but each group's presentation style was unique.  One acted out vignettes of famous historic incidents in their country's history, oingthers created currency, some discussed their country while displaying a web site, and most used PowerPoint in one way or another.



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