Had a fantastic day today, led by Tom March, looking at incorporating web 2.0 into the classroom effectively.
As a result of the workshop I have set up another blog designed to host materials for each of my classes and the training material that I provide to the staff at school. It can be found at mrjbates.wordpress.com if you are interested.
The primary focus of the workshop was to build an online learning space that can be used to disseminate information to kids outside of class, so that class time can be used more effectively for learning (not just ‘teaching’).
Tom emphasised that there are 4 things that are needed for Web 2.0 to be used effectively in the classroom:
- We need an online space which is smart and user friendly…that’s where we meet.
- It needs to have a pedagogical validity – relying on what has previously worked as a framework using other tools.
- It needs to provide rich resources – things that we didn’t have 5 years ago. Schools used to be the place you would first access the internet…now it’s the least technologically advanced area in a child’s life!
- It needs a student self managed framework – 1:30 is not as effective as 1:1, but we can’t afford 1 student:1 teacher, 1 student:1 device is feasible…the role of the teacher is going to change.
So in response to this we set up the blogs as the smart online space that allows for the dissemination of rich media resources. The Look to Learn activities are based on thinking routines that have existed for a while and have proven pedagogical validity, and in a 1:1 environment or at home, students can navigate and respond to the tasks autonomously. My school is not at that stage yet, but it good to see that so much can be achieved with a tool as simple as WordPress.
I’m looking forward to the next 4 sessions.