Melbourne University send a box of cardboard VR viewers to our careers teacher and she did not need that many. This was the start of something wonderful.
I grabbed that box and put the call out for anyone who wanted to do go on an in-cursion - a deliberately vague invite that got zero responses. So then I tried again, however this time I looked at the curriculum in Years 7 & 8 and invited specific people to come along.
Thus the Year 7 HUMS team an Head of Faculty were the first to jump into VR. They were studying natural disasters so wha better way to get students to understand the impact of these then to immerse them into some! These were the videos we selected;
Students were spoken to a few lessons prior and invited to bring along their smart phone with the fee App Youtube installed and headphones. We also looked at what VR is and how it works in this front loading session - see below for slides.
Up next we partnered the students up whilst one was immersed the other acted as a spotter to keep them safe and then we swapped over. This also aided those students who did not have a smart phone to access the VR world. Afterwards the teacher led a discussion and reflective piece to camera task drawing together the geographical and emotional impact of the events. The immersion helped the students see, hear and feel the events developing empathy and they gained previously unavailable insight into the widespread geographical impact. Not bad for a free box of cardboard headsets!
Design thinking through making where the process is more important then the outcome
Teacher Inquiry and future planning for meaningful Professional Learning
MaKEY MAkey and limitless imagination
Exploring student summative assessment data to set new learning directions
We all know it happens – that moment when you give back a piece of assessment, your student looks at the %, the letter grade, the sliding feedback ranges and then their eyes glaze over knowing that is done and dusted and in most cases they have passed. The learners are not basking in the feedback I have crafted for them, they have not glanced at the rubric that indicates what they could do to improve, they are in fact laughing at the fact that they scored better than their mate “and I did, like, no work! LEL”.
And I want more from my learners. I want them to think about what they have done and to use that to scaffold where they go next with their learning. But how do I do that when they are clearly just happy to have passed and this whole concept of having a say over the direction of their learning and goal setting is so very new to them?
In short I gave them a choice – they had to pick one of 5 options. The options became more complex, feel free to stay with the first ones as you start exploring. The task was not negotiable, how they did it was. The prompts remained the same;
· List 2 things you learned about the topic the assessment focussed on
· List 2 things you learned about your self management when completing this task
· What would you change next time you did a task like this?
· What thinking (or personal management) skill would you like to work on during the next topic?
· What might “working on” this look/sound/feel like?
30 minutes. Some thinking students. A whole lot of resources about mindfulness.
Want to find modern, up to date resources about things students are interested in? Give them a seed, an idea, a question, an inquiry, a provocation - and let them explore! I set aside 30 minutes with 16 year old students (Year 10) with the instructions as outlined to the right.
Visual storytelling to get the conversations started
Stuck for a way to get students thinking and sharing their stories? Looking for a way to get students to start conversations about their lives and passions? Start a 7pm project!
This project works using student's smart phones. It starts by downloading the free App Steller
Then students set an alarm for 7pm every night for one week. The task is to take a photo of what they see. In class we bring together these images using Steller and publish them using the hashtag #7pm project. Not only can the students see their story come together as a digital storybook, but they can view their peers stories and start rich conversations about what they see.
A spin off from this and a more collaborative idea is to ask the students to take 1 single photo at a certain point in time and to send it to one person. Then that one person can collate the images into a storybook that visually represents a moment in time, shared by the group of people. See an example of this with adults to the bottom right. It worked nicely as a bonding exercise and formed a great memory for the staff involved.
I do advise you set some parameters together around what is suitable to capture and what your images can communicate when published in a public forum - in fact it's a great task for starting the conversations around what we post online!
melbourne writers festival August 2015 - why not get talking sooner?
I was in a Year 5 classroom recently exploring their class library. In fact I was more interested not what was on the shelves , but what was in the hands of the readers. Paul Jennings was. There was an argument about who got to read Unreal which ended with a student screaming "But I'm not Unbelievable - I'm Unreal" which made me giggle... These are books I remember loving and reading as a young reader years ago which got me thinking why can't we use circle time discussion to focus on an author? It happens all the time in the world beyond the classroom - look at the Melbourne Writers Festival program! So here are some circle time (discussion) prompts for teachers to use with their co- learners based on the conversation with Paul Jennings that appeared in Dumbo Feather, late 2011.
A QUICK, FUN, EASY CONVERSATION STARTER TASK USING 360 DEGREE IMAGERY TO SHARE WHAT YOU SEE
Using coding and gaming in the App hopscotch to engage learners with numeracy, coding, thinking and reflection skills.
Ever wondered what to do with those students who really are quite good at numeracy? What about a bit of an extension project centered around coding for numeracy understanding and growth! I had the pleasure of working with an exceptional colleague, Megan Skinner, who had such a passion for and skill in making numeracy make sense for learners that I could not help but catch her enthusiasm!
Using inbuilt videos the App Hopscotch guides learners through creating simple through to complex coded games that target number time and angle numeracy skills in a highly engaging platform. Linked to this are opportunities for students to set SMART goals based on success criteria and to blog and share their progress.