Boys, mental health, footy and getting the conversations started.
Recently I have been working to curate resources for local high school staff to help them access and use up to date, engaging, real life content and digital tools to enhance their learning and teaching practice. Working with teachers to look at what next in terms of content and topics a young male teacher spoke of wanting to use his Year 7 English and Humanities classes to explore mental health - though he was not sure where to start or even if this was suitable. This teacher wanted to take all the boys whilst another teacher took all the girls for a series of workshops. Part 1 of the journey involved curating some resources suitable for 12 year old males to get the thinking rolling. So we started with the recent Mitch Clark, AFL player for Geelong Cat's. Clark quit football in 2014 struggling with depression but has returned. It was reported that in April 2015, Clark received on field sledging in relation to his mental health. We used the connect - extend - challenge scaffold for our planning.
Using the Learni.st board (now deleted) we set out a series of videos, Instagram posts, news articles and other relevant resources that the students can explore. They can target a media and lens to look at the issue from based on personal interest. The students could pick 3 resonating images, words or statements and add them to the class padlet anonymously.
Using the anonymous, resonating ideas from the connect phase teachers can build the next phase of the learning - in this case it pointed us in the direction of what mental health actually was - and why is was viewed as it was in media and sport. Following a class circle time discussion with the class split into 2 smaller sub groups (with norms decided by the group, see left), the students could develop an exploration based on a connect idea that resonated with them. They then create an infographic using Piktochart that summarised their findings and post these online for an e walk and gawk feedback loop. Piktochart is free (limited projects) and helps students organise visual information. A time frame of 70 minutes to do this works well if they are only required to use one source. See an example to the right.
The final phase to share with the learners is the challenge stage - in this case they will be working in teams to explore an initiative or part of one that targets mental health in schools and they will be responsible for working to making it visible and alive in the school. This section is still in development but stay tuned!
Some groups are already exploring the resources at;
Empower all voices in the class - #onebeautifulthought
Sharing and discussing a topic, an idea, a piece of inspiration can be tricky with 24+ students - all with unique opinions and personal learning styles. Some students throve in class discussions, others hesitate, some disengage and there are those so disinterested they can not add to the conversation at this point in time. Furthermore some of the most engaging and provoking resources can make the teacher or students uncomfortable, may challenge us in unexpected ways or may require time and space to reflect on. Why not use some savvy tech to help!
Dove has long been known for its hard hitting, provocative advertising campaigns. "The aim of the campaign is to celebrate the natural physical variation embodied by all women and inspire them to have the confidence to be comfortable with themselves." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dove_Campaign_for_Real_Beauty, 4 April 2015) To use these to create discussion and prompt thinking can be challenging. So to help I want to show you how to create a space for conversation using free, online technology Padlet based on the Dove #onebeautifulthought campaign
Read and understand - together
Providing engaging, real world and challenging texts for readers can be a monumental task - how do you provide something for everyone - the strugglers, the creative thinkers, the bored, the high achievers, the under the radars and the list goes on?! What about every so often tackling a challenging, provoking, imaginative or optimistic or funny reading together using technology to empower learners of all sorts using Diigo.
Suitable for: VCE, males & females
Brief Study Design links:
English & EAL - AOS 2 in Units 1, 2 & 3
Global Politics - AOS 1 in Unit 1
What makes it empowering:
Rad skills also fostered: empowers readers with metacognition strategies to problem solving understanding roadblocks, lends itself nicely to reflection, provides challenge in terms of vocabulary and content and is grounded in real life.
I have long been fascinated with the art that is involved in story telling. As an eLearning nerd I use countless Apps myself to tell stories - Steller, @tramblings twitter handle, Snapguide - but have been moved recently by a new one - Story Corps.
Story Corps is a free App as is the genius of David Isay. It empowers users to record stories and share them globally. His story of how this evolved is intriguing and inspiring.
View the TED resource hub here
It is important to note the ideas and planning resources contained in the App are suitable for use by primary aged students, and the idea of collecting and sharing a story is highly appropriate. The content contained in the App is not always suitable for younger explorers. It is still a hugely valuable tool, however perhaps thinking needs to be done prior to using the App around who can post stories and how the resources can be adapted for use by primary and middle years students.
I want to capture my excitement for this project with learners - young and less young - sparking curiosity with their stories, the stories of those they know and to help build Isay's idea. I want to help others discover, create and share stories - because we are important, because we are powerful and because we exist. Anyone up for an e nerdy session?
DIscussions with peers about pre and post numeracy tests, socrative and why some things need to be hand written
Peer reflection - audio coming soon
What do you like about using Socrative?
What challenges do you for see?
Will it improve student learning? How or why not?
Why does the Money topic not work as a Socrative quiz?
How does Socrative fit in with the assessment as – for -of thinking?
Quick things to do with an iPAd to get your students creating
A few ideas for organisation beyond a list
A colleague told me a few weeks ago that it’s not OK to run out of both milk and bread. You can run out of one or the other but not both. Which got me thinking. This is a problem. How does one remember not only to keep the weetbix juice flowing but also to have a backup plan in the form of vegemite holder and remember everything else we are meant to remember in our lives? How can I help my colleagues and my students organise not just what they have to do, but what they need to do first, how to look at big tasks and how to organise efficiently to get things done? Here are some ideas to help you keep track of those important things to do. both of these can be set up by one person and used collaboratively or used by individuals.
Creating a Flipped and differentiated lesson for students at a senior school level.
Having taught in various subjects at VCE (final year high school) level for 10 years, I can understand just how packed the curriculum is. So I started to explore the idea of giving students the content to learn at home. This in itself is not a new concept - flipped learning is become common place in many classrooms as teachers use things like iTunes U, Edmodo blogs and other solutions to get this happening. But often I found teachers working harder and not smarter, creating resources that already exist and reinventing the wheel. So in comes ted.ed. A site that allows you to use an existing video to build a lesson around.
How did I select the topic?
To be honest I picked what the students needed to know (essential concepts) that were boring or difficult. Why? By providing students with access to tricky content and a way they can engage with it prior to coming to class made sense when it came to maximising face to face contact time. In Ted.ed I could also set up a question/inquiry space so I knew what students were curious about prior to them coming to class. They could watch it numerous times, check their understanding using the quiz and know where we were going with the content.
To be honest I use a range of content delivery options. I have wikis, Schoology/Edmodo groups, Google sites and iBooks and iTunes U course to name a few for a variety of purposes. Ted.ed is another option for teachers to get their curriculum to the learners. In this case I picked it because;
Telling a story using images and words
Last Friday a colleague gave me a giant zucchini. What a thoughtful and practical gift. So I set about working out what to do with a giant zucchini. So I started with a pointers board of giant zucchini recipes to help out those who often find themselves the recipient of overgrown, slightly humorous vegetable gifts. Pinterest is free and a great way to compile resources and references for visual learners. The best thing is students can create their own boards - if they are over 13 - or access yours and the images are referenced automatically. By clicking on the image and you are sent to the original source - a great way to provide differentiated levels of exploration and for those who want to know more about what they are interested in the choice to. So here is my zucchini recipe board link; https://www.pinterest.com/shellywhs/what-to-do-with-a-giant-zucchini/
So what now? I had my giant zucchini and my Pinterest board full of inspiration. It was time to get cooking and to share that with my kind green thumbed colleague. So I set the parameters of showing her my masterpiece of cooking skill through the medium of imagery. I opted to take 6 images and convert them into a story with no more than 3 sentences so she could bask in my greatness but also get on with her hectic day. Using the free App Steller I logged in and created my story - all the while looking like a design pro thanks to the App! I find when asking students to tell stories clear parameters around length, image requirements, word usage and time to create are all essential in setting up challenge based story telling that allows them a sense of freedom and creativity to tell a story in a digital literacy format. Stay tuned for the result soon...