The importance of working with your peers to grow understanding in a way that suits them
Into every pigeon hole went a Snag a Shelly advertisement and sessions ran in the main staffroom, a visual reminder and access point frequented by staff. The result was a busy 2 weeks of meeting staff, getting to know them and helping them grow their LMS capacity. Often staff left with a short screen recording also so they could recreate what we had done on their own at a later point and they were the greatest advertised I could have asked for - the more people started speaking about the LMS the busier I became and the more people thought about planning and using the LMS.
In this case taking a light-hearted yet meaningful approach worked in supporting staff to seek help in a personalised, timely manner which then paved the way for more targeted, wide scale growth and change one I understood more about the staff and their needs.
Starting the Chinese language faculty on a journey to gamify their lessons
CSER F - 6 Australian curriculum Digital technologies mooc
After developing courses that embedded the Australian Curriculum Digital Technologies across faculties in the Middle Years I decided to complete the CSER MOOC exploring the F - 6 course to help me understand the context of the Middle Years course.
The process of completing a MOOC was interesting in itself - this one connected you to a Google Group and part of the requirement of the course was to share ideas and tasks and reflect on your peers submissions. The final task is included below and outlines and it was great to bring together the things learned in the course. I must be honest, when completing a MOOC I had to set my own due dates and timeline to ensure I made it through - it's easy to put it on the back burner as things get busy!
valuing engineering and Mathematics through arts in vce
STEM, or STEAM as I know it, has a firm place in the VCE.
It is not the sole responsibility of Science, Maths, IT and Arts teachers to explore, innovate and embed practices that reflect the changing and valuable nature of STEAM education. Nor is it the responsibility of Middle Years Teachers to excite, engage and hopefully entice students to see the value in STEAM areas only to have learning and content compartmentalised and in many cases the passion lost for it in the final years of schooling.
So as a Visual Communication Design Teacher I tasked myself with challenging my learners to embrace the engineering and mathematical concepts associated with industrial design - all whilst satisfying the Study Design requirements.
Enter Russell Gallagher - Chief Engineer on the locally conceived, designed and built FR1 concept car.
See task outline below
What happened next is important
The students wanted to know more. So they arranged themselves to go to the Ian Potter Gallery to see the concept car. They then contacted Russell and we (12 out of the 20 students) travelled to the Fox Car Collection Garage to see the car, the clay models, the carbon fibre process and the machine that printed the key parts. We got to see the car in action and push it back when it broke down on the test track... And then reflect on the importance of mathematical accuracy in engineering and design. We got to see the designs that did not work, discuss why and pose ideas and solutions.
Students realised engineering and VCD do relate and they can explore these things they liked. The maths requirements of VCD that usually brought groans and eye rolling became essential aspects of art and design. The surge in VCD enrolments, particularly of students engaging in Science based programs increased. The diversity of what students explored for their folio increased to include more engineering styled design. VCE students were engaged in their learning, connected to the real world STEM concepts and still satisfying the course requirements.
Want your staff to start building on each others capacity? What about dedicating a 10 minutes section of a regular staff meeting to a new digital champ. Staff can sign up to share a digital triumph, an idea, using the format above. Suddenly your staff are empowered to share their learning, staff get to see technology tools being applied by a range of users and new conversations may start for the ideas proposed.
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