Learning is....
Planting a seed in our brain... learning to water, nurture and grow it.... so we can live on the fruit of our learning and plant more seeds.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Making it work in your classroom - the two Helens

This is another installment of my reflections from ULearn12.  Welcome to my reflections on breakout #4:

This breakout was hosted by the two Helens:  Helen King and Helen Squires.  They teach at Point England School which is a member of the Manaiakalani Trust Project.

Point England School is in east Auckland, Tamaki.  The school is in a coastal area, well resourced with good technology and vibrant environments and teachers, where kids have a dream.  The school does a survey every 6 months about how the children are enjoying learning, using their netbooks, and how they learn.

The kids like using the netbooks as they are in control; they like having their blogs to share their work and have an audience that will comment.

How do they learn at Point England School?
Learn, create, share -  is the model used at Point England School.

'Four Pou' to hold up the 'whare':
  • values based culture  -  teach behaviour explicitly in term 1 each year
  • content knowledge  -  teachers have to be clever and be able to find out for themselves
  • pedagogical knowlendge  -  know how to teach
  • evaluative capacity  -  using a variety of assessments and analysing
Underneath the 'Four Pou' is:
Learn:  Google dogs, netbooks, hands on things/doing stuff
Create:  Make stuff, write stories, tell stories, claymation...
Share:  Podcast channel, school news channel produced by Y7&8 and presented by Y5&6, share normally, blogs, Google-docs/sites

How do teachers deliver: 
Google sites are used by the teachers to enable children to do their learning at their own pace.  The Google sites provide information for the kids, sites to use, activities you want them to complete.  Teachers no longer have planning folders and folders of resources - everything is instead online, public on the sites.  Consequently they really have to have the ideas behind the planning, teaching and learning solid.  Kids are always aware of what they are learning.  Google sites have become essential to Helen #1.

The children find the activities they are required to do on the site.  The children make movies to show their learning.  The movies help their learning, particularly when they got stuck one time, a movie enabled discussion to happen and move the learning on.  Get kids to make movies about how they learn, the process of making - do as an interview.

Point England School developed a CyberSmart curriculum -  they looked at the positive side, what the children should be doing rather than what they shouldn't.  Kids made movies about this.  If the kids find something online that they are not happy about about them, they screen shot it and sent it to the teacher to enable a discussion to happen.

Using multimedia in Helen's class changed the way the children interacted with the media and each other.  In Helen's class the tables move frequently, no set place to sit, no set place to learn or teach.  The movie making has improved the kids key competencies.  They choose to work collaboratively because they know they get a better result.

Helen's big tip for getting started using Google Docs:
Don't use a template.

I'm looking forward to trying this out!!!

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