Photo by Andrea Leopardi on Unsplash

At the beginning of this semester I was on track to create a final project for COETAIL relating to my teaching of a redefined empowered use agreement for YIS. However, COVID-19 had different plans. As I scrambled to adjust my COETAIL final project to better adapt for distance learning, I sat down to think about how my teaching has changed as a result of learning from home. Coaching was looking different and I felt one step away from the students – more so than my ‘normal’ coaching. Thankfully, one aspect of my role was staying the same – I was still set to work with a group of students in the PYPx that aimed to express their inquiries using computational thinking or digital design. 

I ran with it and was happy I did. 

I didn’t completely reconstruct the PYPx unit of inquiry – I’ll leave that up to the grade 5 teachers (who are awesome, I might add), but I did completely reconstruct how I worked with my expression group. This learning engagement spanned 4 weeks and consisted of bi-weekly Zoom synchronous sessions along with a-synchronous learning facilitated through a Padlet we created. 


I developed a few different goals for the students and for myself for this project. 

  1. Support students’ specific goals. This is the PYPx where agency plays a big role, so I needed to be flexible and work within the goals that they set. 
  2. Build a solid communication platform that worked well in the distance learning environment. 
  3. Support students to culminate their PYP learning
  4. Focus on purpose and audience

Moving towards redefinition 

Image by DasMonster on Pixabay

I was very specific in this unit to get away from the idea of just using the technology because we are passionate about it. Primarily, I’m talking about Minecraft. I love Minecraft and our students love Minecraft, but I didn’t want to see a Minecraft project just because it was something that the students thought was fun. I wanted to see Minecraft because it’s creative and it gives a grade five student the ability to create and present something that might have otherwise been challenging without an architecture degree. 

A also worked with a student who created an entire app prototype (check out Her goal was to create a Buzzfeed-like survey that gauged how eco-friendly you were and provided recommendations at the end. What impressed me the most was how she worked with variables within her prototype so that her audience was given a specific paragraph and image based on their input in the survey – I wanted to share it with all my friends on Facebook. 

The tech

Copyright Adobe Premiere Pro

I’m far from an expert in film making and I really enjoyed stretching my abilities to create this video. I’m very familiar with iMovie, but I really wanted to work with Premiere Pro on this project. I wanted to have the flexibility that Premiere Pro offered (at the cost of a much steeper learning curve). Thankfully, YouTube tutorials can get you through almost any challenge these days. 

For music, titles, the opener and a small piece of stock footage I used AudioJungle and Videohive. These two sites, part of the larger Envato Market, sell various royalty free files for uses in a variety of media projects. I appreciate the professional look while ensuring everything is licensed correctly. 

Hopefully this is just the start of my productions in Premiere Pro. 

My video