We have gone to a 1-1 program and to make a statement of the obvious THINGS HAVE TO CHANGE. Through this Coetail course I have been exposed to what can only be described as way too much information, BUT I LOVE IT. In the last 2 weeks I have probably attempted to use every piece of software that I have come across in the classroom somehow. Some might call this the shotgun approach but I am seeing which aspects I think can work in class/school and which I need to work on more. Having used so many pieces of new technology I do tend to get a bit distracted and have things all over the place. The more I think about it, I am exactly like most of my year 7 students. I read the blog post from “Free Technology for Teachers” in terms of keeping my RSS reader and articles organised and tactics or programs that can help with that however my question is how can we help students to stay organised when they are receiving as much information as I think they are going to get.
The following are my thoughts and opinions only, I am NOT in a position of responsibility that would allow me to implement these strategies nor have I thought about the change management that would need to occur. My thoughts and ideas are based on Grade 7 (transition from elementary school) and would be implemented at the start of the year.
POINT 1: ALL students will have their OWN blog/e-portfolio. This of course would be able to be viewed by all staff/parents/students and would be suitably organised to contain tabs for each subject. Each subject teacher would be able to upload to their students blog (ONCE for each class) thought provoking and topic related extra thinking questions/ video’s/ podcasts/ blogs that would purely be to increase a student’s interest in that subject area. For example the Math problem of the week or the random scientific fact/discovery/ this week in history etc etc. Of course if teachers were so inclined they could easily have their regular classwork uploaded to this.
Point 2. This blog is used as an e-portfolio. Students will upload (using all the wonderful tools that are available youtube, scribd, slideshare,) samples of work for each subject under the relevant tab and of course reflect on this work, have others comment on this work, all the things that blogs are supposed to do.
In MY head and I think this is the purpose of these blogs, we can get a little out of control with the blogging aspect in school. In Elementary it works FANTASTICALLY in Year 5 and 6. The class teacher manages a class blog and keeps track of the 23 ish blogs/e-portfolios in their class. Check out a great example from a Year 6 class here. Come Secondary school students will have close up to 8 different teachers and for them to visit each teacher’s blog I think is a bit much for an 11-12 year old student. Much easier for them to have their own.
Point 3. ORGANISED NOTES. I am a firm believer in all students having the same setup for their organisation of notes. I am only just discovering the beauty of One Note (as well as the frustrations) in terms of students keeping their class work organised. It seems that the process of organising student notes and summaries and ideas and reflections is lost in many of the edutech discussions, but I think for the moment the one book per subject is still important. Whichever tool is used for organisation it must be the same across all subjects and staff must be given time and professional development to ensure that access is universal.
This is just a brief outline that I think should be incorporated into any school’s laptop program. Here is a helpful link to a teacher who has set up 1 to 1 classes successfully in the past STRATEGIES FOR 1 TO 1 CLASSROOM. Five great, clear tips to manage this implementation.
With this post I am attempting to harness the power of blogging and social networking. I am looking for constructive feedback that offers alternatives or additions or ideas for improvement.