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'If students can't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn' (Ignacio Estrada, via Tomlinson)

Posts Tagged ‘Knowledge Bank Online Conference’

Knowledge Bank Online Conference Session 1

Posted by Lisa Hill on July 23, 2008

Last night when I got home from work I viewed today’s sessions from the Knowledge Bank Online Conference through Elluminate.  The first sessions was a really inspiring presentation from two wonderful teachers, Anne Mirtschin and Jess McCulloch from Hawkesdale P-12 College.  They have 10 minutes tech spot sessions at staff meetings, but I really liked their idea of WIWOW Walk in walk out Wednesdays…a little bit like what we have been doing at MPPS but more ongoing, and open to everyone.   Anne and Jess make themselves available after school on Wednesdays for buddying and trouble-shooting for learning Web 2.0 with other teachers, and now 70% of their teachers blog, and comment on student blogs, which is an amazing achievement.   Their maths and science faculties have their own wikis, and the LOTE department even has pages with pronunciation guides for students to practise at home with.  They started off with and with some social networking – which was immediately appealing as it has been with us at MPPS.

One of the presenters said that Web 2 isn’t a thing, it’s a state of mind, and I think that’s true – which is both exciting and problematic, because some people are not very willing to embrace it.  Jess and Anne used Teacher Professional Leave to get the project started at their school, and that enabled them to provide a lot of support.

These are some of the links I noted from their presentation:

They also talked about growing your own personal learning networks eg through Twitter and Classroom 2.0 – but I’m still not sure about this because a network that’s too large becomes too time-consuming.  I’d rather have quality networks that really relate to my practice.

Some of the applications they use are unfamiliar to me so I’m going to have to find out more about them: 

  • MS Photostory for storytelling
  • Skype used for internal communication just for fun
  • Irfanview and digital photo manipulation

Students drive the blogs most of the time, and this is partly because teachers do respond to the blogs.  Assessment was raised as a topic, and Jess and Anne find it helpful that these  blogs are accessible at home.  They feel they’re getting to know the students better, and there are better learning outcomes because it shows students the teachers are interested in them, and the improvements in their writing.  In LOTE using 2.0 also allows for different learning styles, and allows the quieter student to participate. They like the visibility of thinking of the other kids – and think it’s challenging without pressure.  However,  they haven’t developed a rubric for marking blogs – and are not sure that they are necessary.  (I’m not so sure about that.)  The best thing is that it frees up class time for teaching – it’s non synchronous. There’s been a massive increase in asking questions because students aren’t embarrassed to do that online.  

I wonder a bit about the time commitment too… I’m enjoying playing around with 2.0 at home, but what if the enthusiasm of keen innovators becomes the expected norm?  How much of our evenings is going to be spent this way, or is there  going to be a time allowance to deal with it as the use of 2.0 grows?

I didn’t find the presentation about Meeting the Motherfish so interesting.  It was very much about the excitement of discovering new developments in paleontology, and not very much about 2.0. 



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