My reflections this week are all about sharing and Will Richardson’s blog post caused me to think.
I am not sure that I am truly embedding technology into my students’ learning, but I am taking small steps in the right direction and I’m using it to share. We take i-Pads with us everywhere, whether it’s maths ouside or inside, whatever we are exploring . The i-Pad has become a valuable, practical and natural tool in my students’ learning.
Sharing their understanding about counting strategies.
Technology tools enable my students to learn anywhere about anything within a safe online community. They can help my students to understand themselves and their thinking. They can help them to learn about the world faster and more accurately. They can help to justify or extend their wonderings. They can help my kineasthetic learners, or my EAL students understand and access their learning more easily. Technology can be a great tool for differentiated or flipped learning. Technology allows me to see more about my students. It can open up the world to my students to help them become those people who will change it. The list could go on but my reflection brings me back to how am I going to enable my students to explore their thinking and develop their understanding and why would I use technology? In my ponderings this week, I found this article There’s No App for Good Teaching really useful in helping with my why and how.
My students learn by talking and circle time discussions, maths games, role play, writing, enjoying books etc. but the powerful part of using technology for me is in the SHARING . Sharing is the absoloute power of technology in the classroom. Above all, it is a fast and easy way to make their thinking visible which helps me to help them on their learning journey. One of the first things I show the students when using a new app is the share icon.
I have a Talking Corner in my room. This is a space where the students at any time can go and share their thoughts, their learning, frustrations, upsets, joys and funny moments. Their videos tell me a lot. They give me another view into their world, they are often very honest and it helps me to help them.
The sophisticated technology tools that are available to many of us educators have made this sharing easier, quicker , and global. This can only be win-win for all of us. Use of technology can enable and facilitate learners to show and share their learning globally in a relevant, practical and speedy way. Most of the time my students use technology as a tool to show and collaborate in their learning whether it is by using ShowMe, Kidblog, Book Creator or Popplet. Sharing is also about enabling students to shine. It is a great way for students to show their knowledge about technology and teach others. Blogging helps me to create a community for my students’ learning. The dialogue that then begins through posts and feedback helps my students to think some more. On Friday we had a Professional Development Day at our school and this video by Professor Dylan Wiliam’s was one of the provocations for our discussions. He stated that,
” good feedback causes thinking.”
Last year my class blog became a powerful channel for feedback between home and school, and I took small steps to venture out a little to the wider online community.
The true value of the class blog will be when the learning is enhanced, driven, deepened or changed by developing and extending their blogging community. This year, my goal is to make my class blog a truly global learning tool thanks to the help of some fellow coetailers and the ICT facilitator at school. We are at the beginning of our blogging year and in order for the students to authentically use blogging in their learning there are protocols to learn and share with the parents . Small steps, but students must also have awareness and guidance about digital citizenship.
I am not yet at the redefinition stage in the SAMR model, but I am getting a little closer.
Acknowledgement to Kathy Schrock
My role then becomes one to find the best possible pedagogical ways to drive student led inquiries so that they may become creators and redefine. I need to encourage them to create their own paths of inquiry and connect their knowledge and wonderings with others and to be challenged by their own risk taking. This is an example of one of my students last year who wanted to share the class thinking on friendship. She challenged herself to learn to use iMovie to create this collaborative work. Enjoy.
In an article by Katrina Schwartz, The Key to Empowering Educators? True Collaboration, she quotes Marc Prensky.
“It’s not learning a set of stuff that’s the curriculum,” said Marc Prensky, speaker, writer and education consultant. “We are going very quickly away from that. It’s learning a set of skills. And therefore the teacher becomes not the person who gives you information or helps you learn, rather they are more like a sports coach that helps you become.”
Professor David Perkins, founding member of Harvard Project Zero, in his latest book, “Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World” writes, ” What’s worth learning for contemporary times?”
Right now, my learning has to be about messing around with my blog so that I become more visible and connecting those pings.