- User friendly. This is easy to use.Visually guided when students want to make a website or blog. Easy to edit, create, drag whatever you want from the top bar without any instructions to be read before you create. You can follow your instinct to create a website/blog.
- Students and teachers know this site very well.
- Security reason: The web/blog can be protected by a password /an account to log in. If a student has his/her website or blog, it can be supervised under teacher’s account. Each page/site, which is under student’s account is protected. (Applied the concept of mixi)
- The school has got the pro-account, which can be used if this platform is officially approved.
Introducing my project
Vigorous students, who are fed up with playing outside during the lunch recess time were coincidently invited by our library teacher when she had a duty outside. She said I would need students’ help to do a project. Four of students came up to the library, and I said to them that I needed their help to set up a communication or an information space to support our mystery readers(parents/teachers/staff), who always came to our library to look for best books to be read to their audiences such as daughters and students in each class room.
One day one of parents introduced her recommendation to me very enthusiastically, and I thought her reflection on the book needs to be shared with other users.
I said to them
‘IF you could help this project, you would have to come to the library every lunch recess time to set it up. Do you think you could do that? This means that you would lose your golden time. The target audience will be in/outside of this community extending to the reliable people living in overseas including teachers, parents, peers, experts.’
The reaction from students
They were so excited with the idea, and they said they had no problems not to be outside to play since they start getting bored with the time outside, and anyway there were nothing to interest themselves at that time outside during the playtime. They also said that they were LOOKING FOR something to enjoy themselves.
Outcome? Did you meet your goals?
- 1.1.9 Although it has not reached the stage that it has already been collaborated with a lot of people outside, the infrastructure is ready and it has got its potential to be developed/improved further.
- 3.1.4 They have achieved that goal in terms of the blog to be read to not only our school community but also outside of this community even accessible from other countries. They paid attention to the audience when the site was created.
- 3.3.4 They certainly created the platform to be applied to authentic, real-world context, and they learnt why the password exists, and what for it is used.
To make things happen releasing from our school needs a lot of help, supports, agreements, understanding from students, teachers, parents, admins, school organization philosophy, peers, friends, experts. If our project could refer to challenged-based learning, students challenged the current necessity of our library to overcome.
The hardest part was that even I was doing this for a trial stage as if this were real, I had to get approvals from all sorts of people such as parents/homeroom teachers/our library teacher/principal, with whom I sat and had feedback from since what we have been doing was involved in our library management and school community, which could be a school resource. However at this moment I realized that this should be completely independent of our school system or management since all the questions regarding this project would have to go to/through our library teacher, who would have to take a responsibility for this. This would be too much for her since this is my project.
In addition, Weebly for education had a lot of conditions to be read, and I did not get myself well prepared for it. I did not know students under the age of 13 cannot make the blog/website within the weebly education vendor unless the consent forms were submitted by those parents, whose support and understanding is also essential!
Sharing this platform with your colleagues?
Already this platform has been e-mailed to our school staff/teachers who work for Kinder/Junior school to spread this platform, which we hope they would find useful.
Meeting the definition of Redefinition?
This project needs the computer to ‘allow for the creation of new tasks, inconceivable without the computer.’ In this sense, it reaches the definition of redefinition closely.
This project has not been transformed into the level of ‘something inconceivable’ ,which is unprecedented. I notice the similar activity(, which any recommendation on books among students of a homeroom is seen on a page of the homeroom website.) already going on although this platform took the different approach from the point that it should be driven by the reliable community network, whose idea results from applying the strategy of ‘mashup, remix, reused and recombined’ implementation to existing popular resources multiplied by our own idea.
Be well prepared for reading through the conditional use of the media&communication tool or source, which would have to meet the criteria of your school. Even if it looks perfect media to be used for your project, it might lack something you miss, which would not follow your school conditions/regulations.
Student feedback about the project & their experience
When I asked them what the most difficult part they had experienced going through the project, they seemed very reluctant to answer although only positive performances they had had came up spontaneously.
I also received a lot of feedback from their parents, to whom students must have talked about their taking initiatives of the project. Most of parents said or e-mailed to me that they were so proud of what they had contributed to as initiators/creators and enjoyed so much.
They said their creative idea reflected on the platform had come to their minds as they talked to each other, and did something completely different things.
Weebly for education
School has got this pro-account, and everyone is familiar with its user friendly feature. In the case that this project might be demanded by users without any conditions and be approved by school officially, this could be integrated with its pro-account directly.
Successful points and things to be concerned….
- In order not to be content-experts, I served for students or was only the secretary or the assistant of students. I raised the issue of a lack of our library service, and they were enthusiastic to help the deficiency. They are the 4th graders, each of whom has been taught to take an action autonomously by teachers through the years of this school days.
- To remix/reuse/recombine the effective concept of the already existing social communication site. (It should be linked to recognized users, who could introduce this platform to their trusting people. Supposedly this should be spreading by mouth to mouth.)
- During the lunch-time recess break time, which was the golden time for them to relax themselves they worked very well.
- I had a lot of consultation with parents’ volunteers, one of whom gave me the inspiration.
- Regular communications to their homeroom teachers/our principal /any relevant faculties are crucial.
- Invitation to the site by students was supposed to encourage parents/teachers/staff in our community…..
- ‘I need their help, and please tell me how to do!’ I was taught by one of students who made an QRcode, which had been introduced by Jo as her classroom teacher!
- I was like a secretary or an assistant to serve for their project.
- I promoted this by means of sending it out to the other side of this world. Yet I have not seen so much interaction yet….. I want to promote this further. Do you have any good ideas?(I did not pretend being helpless, yet I was really desperate!) They gave me a hand. All of a sudden they started giving their strategies. It has been in the process. To be continued.
- I should have connected to/communicated with one of Islamic schools in UK, with which my friend introduced to me to collaborate before the project got started.
According to Garr Reynolds, the following points are crucial.
- The context and the content
- What is appropriate and not appropriate
To make my speech understandable really depends on how you prepare. The content and context has to be matched each other, and I followed the above points when I prepared my presentation. First I had to write the scripts, which I would not use for the presentation day, yet this is necessary process to go with the context and content of the pictures in slides and texts to support my speech and interaction with my audience. Secondly the time is limited, and the content and the context of my presentation should be selective enough to be completed within 10 minutes. Thirdly my eye-contact with the audience should help to deliver the message directly to the audience.
My greatest learning in this course and big 4Cs
We have been connected to each other. Technology aids us to collaborate, corporate and challenge unprecedented projects/tasks all together. We won’t learn ourselves to boost up technology, rather technology could bring up our potentials. Thinking/learning exists before the tools. Technology and its reflection on the education seems to be something, of which each of us needs to work together to make the best use. None of us could not be left behind its development and possibility, which otherwise might take control us.
Presentation Zen Blog by Garr Reynolds, What is good PowerPoint design?, September 05,2005.
The learning network in Education by AMANDA CHRISTY BROWN and HOLLY EPSTEIN OJALVO, Remix, Reuse, Recombine: Holding a Seminar on Mash-Up Culture, March 25, 2010. The New York Times posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012.