Friday, 20 May 2011

Sharing e-learning with my team

Reflection on a day of working with syndicate teachers to and model e-learning and empower their students.

In Technology I was assisting and modeling and the plan was to use a worksheet to answer questions about Physical & Functional Attributes of potato peelers. I put the questions on her wiki, and added a Wallwisher for the students to collaboratively brainstorm. Slow wireless connection in that area really hindered the process, I wonder if we can use the Ethernet plugs in the Tech room, or better an extra modem like in room 13? I had prepared a Google Drawing Venn diagram as an alternative the writing out questions, but it would not load. So we used Mind42 a mind-mapping tool to do the same thing.

In the middle block I took Room 16 class in the ICT suite. The aim was to start developing their wiki e-portfolios, while empowering and equipping his students to use their wiki themselves, and become peer tutors. This will allow the teacher to focus on ways to use these tools in his teaching, he mentioned in his reflection that he was thrilled with the engagement.
  • They learnt about signing into wiki’s and websites safely and protecting their identity.
  • While adding Bling name tags, the students learnt to copy html code and use a widget to embed it into their wiki page.
  • They learnt to add a new wiki page for themselves, using their first names and to manage their own pages.
  • They learnt to create text hyperlinks.
  • They learnt how to make a Weeworld Avatar, and why. I suggested they could do some character description writing on their wiki pages based on their avatars.
  • They also learnt to screencapture on a mac and insert an image from file.
Two more girls from his class asked to join the wiki wizards on Friday’s Electives.
I ran a similar session with Room 12 in the ICT suite in the afternoon. As a past class of mine they are more experience so we worked on developing their wikis as future e-portfolios. Then we explored using Mind42 first as a class Word Wall on their wiki, then students created individual mind maps to help them structure and brainstorm their next narrative.

I believe the students are more empowered and likely to take ownership of their class wikis. A big focus was on protecting our online identity; this message needs to be part of an ongoing digital citizenship programme. I hope the teachers have seen new ways they can use the tools, and student expertise they already have to engage their students in e-learning and integrate it across the curriculum areas. It is also fantastic to see teachers becoming more reflective on our e-learning professional development wiki.