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Students Predicting the Future

Students Predicting the Future

Written by JoAnn Pellecchia
November 04, 2010

Essential Question: How can technology extend the writing process with the use of voice?

Overview: The original version of The War of the Worlds radio news bulletin was aired on October 30, 1938 by Orson Welles. I was intrigued by the idea that the machines were destroyed by the Earth’s viruses, which is now a widespread topic in our increasing technological world. This led me to have a discussion with my students on the topic of computer viruses and ways to change the problem before we began the project. The broadcast occurred at the end of Great Depression and pre-World War II. The economic structure of the US was weakened at that time. These conditions have resurfaced during the uncertain economic times in 2009. We learn from the past and strive to make our future better and this is the audacity of the project. Indeed, history returns!

This project enables teachers to connect creative writing, technology and history. In this way, it brings new opportunities for learners, especially when they are asked to write about something that has not happened yet. The cycles of predicting the future involves researching the past, connecting facts to the present in order to develop a futuristic story. In doing the project, students are writing and recording. They are also using computers for research and interacting with web-based programs.

The trust of the teacher is vital for students to be independent in their choice of envisioning a topic for their futuristic story. The application of creativity goes beyond some of the traditional ways of gathering and presenting information to be shared with others. The process is authentic and reaches a variety of learning styles for learners to express themselves independently and in groups. After all, it is the creative ideas and concepts that fuel new concepts in learning and our society.

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