Thursday, November 24, 2005

VITTA Conference

my mind is swimming after spending three days at a conference in Melbourne talking and listening with teachers of ICT. The thing that struck me most was hearing about how rapidly the world that our students live in is changing and therefore what that means for us as educators.
what do the kids that we teach know about technology? more so what don't they know...
I stopped in Bendigo on the way home to catch up with my sister and her four year old son Ned. He was playing with a leap frog The Wiggles game thingy and the way he interacted with it made me think all the more about what his world is going to look like.
It's mind him it is so natural and clearly part of his world. He loves nothing more than when his Aunty Anne gets out her laptop so that he can visit The Wiggles website.
can't wait to talk with my kids tomorrow at school about what I learnt.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Been working with myclasses and mydesktop at our school. Using the desktop for information for teachers and students seems to be working well although you still have the comments "I didn't know about it"...."well it was posted in mydesktop" But I have noticed that more teachers are posting notices to the notice board-always a good sign.
Last week we had Year 7 & 8 students go on a week long field trip to Canberra and there were a small group of students who weren't able to go.
In order to try to give the students who stayed behind a sense of what the others were experienced I created a couple of online learning projects that had the students visit sites that I had found. They had to respond in a variety of ways to images and text on the sites. Mostly is was asking them to respond emotively to what they saw and read. I was hoping that in this way they would get a 'sense' of what the others had seen.
The other task was more a maths one where they were asked to imagine that they were going on a trip to Canberra with three other people. They were asked to research various ways of travelling, bus, plane, hire car and decide which is the most cost effective and/or most desirable. Not very imaginative I know, but the kids seemed to have fun.
We had the usual connection issues and challenges with getting kids on computers that worked but over all I think it did achieve it's purpose in getting kids to get a little bit of a sense of Canberra.
To pull it all together I created a class page where the kids could access all of the files and links that they needed. They then emailed their work to me. We had a private journal for the kids as well which seemed to work well although not too many profound relflections were seen.
One tricky thing though is that when you want to respond to the student's comments, if there is more than one maintainer then only one person can respond at a time.
Just a little hitch but would be good if it were fixed.
working with Year 8's has it's challenges as we all know but I think providing them with online experiences has helped a little with the engagement thing....more about this later

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Classroom 21

There's a lot of talk in education about creating spaces where teaching and learning will transform through state of the art technology, peer coaching, felxible learning spaces and team work.
But what does that actually look like and how does it manifest itself in a school?
This is the challenge that we are facing here at Wedderburn College and it's only early days yet.
I'm working with teachers in our school, trialing some ideas, developing some new units of work and experimenting with new technologies.
It's only very early days yet.
I'm wondering how other schools are going?