If you are a teacher of any grade level and any subject, I have two questions for you:
- Are you looking for ways to incorporate technology into your classroom?
- Do you want to ask meaningful real-life questions that involve students from around the world?
If you answered ‘yes’ to both those questions, then the BigDayta Project is for you. BigDayta is our attempt to connect classrooms around the world by asking a simple question to every student: what do you do, every hour, on a normal school day?
Turns out you can learn some really interesting things with that one simple question. If you know the country students are in, you can compare sleep times in different nations. You can see when students begin to do homework, or what is the most common thing they do outside school. If you know the town students live in, you can compare big city students to those that live in small towns. How different is their day?
Our project is simple. Students record what they do on one day, and then they fill out a simple Google form. The results are accessible to everyone and are constantly updated. As a teacher, if you want to download the results and do the rest on your own, you can! But the website allows you to do much more:
- Collaborate—Did your students find the data about kids in Taiwan interesting? Do you want your classes to interact, share stories or go deeper with the information? There is a forum section on the website where you can reach out to others.
- Find lesson plans—There are already lesson plans created by the BigDayta crew, but teachers can add theirs as well.
- Post Blogs—Do your students want to write more about their day? Maybe they want to share their experience with this project. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post your students’ blog on our blog page.
How can you use this in your classroom?
The questions you can ask with this data are diverse. Here are some sample ideas for different subjects:
- What fraction of students are asleep at 9pm?
- What is the average start time of homework?
- Create a graph that shows the average wake up time for students in three countries.
- Social Studies:
- Why are after school activities so different between American and Asian students?
- How does living in a city larger than 1 million people change the way a student’s day looks compared to a student in a city smaller than 1 million?
- Do you think ‘nap time’ in Taiwan increases student achievement?
- Computer Science—Practice manipulating spreadsheet data
- Mean, median and mode
- Create frequency tables
- Find pen pals for your students
- Write persuasive essays on why your day’s schedule is better than another
- Use the timeline from students in another state/country to create a short story
…And many, many more!
As classrooms around the world add their data, this project will become more and more powerful. We already have data from students in Taiwan, so you can start exploring immediately. Let’s make this thing go global. Tell your students to write down what they do. Take five minutes to fill out the the form. Be part of something big.
And lastly, share it with your fellow teachers! Even the data within a single school can reveal some surprising results.
#BigDayta is here!