Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.
A cliche, yes, but a valuable one that illustrates just how important self knowledge can be. In my Dream IT project, I want my students, and just as importantly their parents, to become more aware of how important a balanced schedule and sleep are for adolescents. Self knowledge is the focal point of this project.
While time on task is a major contributor to mastery of knowledge (Willingham, 2009, p. 107), in my practice I have noticed that there are costs to working too hard. Middle schoolers who regularly work past their bedtime lack sleep and are unable to focus in class or navigate the confusing social situations they face on a daily basis. And overscheduled students lack experience selecting what they are interested in, so when they are given an open-ended assignment they find it extremely difficult and would just rather be told what to do.
At the end of my Dream IT Unit, I want each student to display their increased self knowledge through a blog that they keep updated throughout the unit. Since this is such an individualized type of knowledge, a blog is an appropriate tool as it can be personalized by each student. A blog also is never truly a finished piece of work, which matches the somewhat open-ended nature of this project. Lastly, since I also want my students to engage in a dialog with their teachers and parents about their sleep and their schedule, they need to document their learning journey in a format that will easily allow them to share with and hear back from different perspectives.