An authentic learning experience… Take 2

Guest post by @lindawollan, ICT facilitator and member of my wonderfully supportive in-school PLN. Her contributions here are as close as I can get her to blogging…

authentic learning

Last year we attempted an afternoon of inquiry into Web 2.0 presentation tools. You can read about it here. At the time we were to some extent defeated by technology – our new wireless network crumbled under the load of a hundred or so students trying to log on simultaneously. We felt the learning experience was valuable though – and now with improvements to the network, we had another go. This time it worked brilliantly, as part of our Year 5 students’ inquiry into media literacy.

The wonderful resource 50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story shows how the same story can be told creatively in different ways, using a variety of tools. I showed the students how the story of Dominoe the dog could be told using Glogster, Voicethread, Toondoo, Photopeach, Blabberize, Prezi, Slideboom and Capzles. They made notes during my demonstration – how familiar they are with each tool, and briefly how each could help in their learning.

I didn’t show the students how each tool worked – that was for them to explore. We have four Year 5 classes. They broke into groups of two to three, spreading themselves around our Learning Resource Centre, corridor and classroom spaces, with laptop computers. They were supported by a number of our Year 6 students who wandered around the groups, helping where needed and responding wonderfully to the challenge of supporting the younger students.

What contributed to the success of the learning experience?

  • The tools chosen allowed for differentiation among students. I could hear my ICT star Noah saying ‘Yep, seen it,’ when I showed eg Blabberize and Photopeach, but he found Prezi and Capzles to be new challenges. Less confident students had choices as well.
  • The participation of the older kids. How wonderful to see and hear, for example, one child showing others how to create an account in an online tool, with the warning ‘Don’t put your surname in, you don’t want to identify yourself online’. Great to have it come out of his mouth instead of mine!
  • The class teachers were happy to participate. Particularly as part of an inquiry into media literacy, they saw a need to encourage their students to try new ways of expressing their learning.
  •  This time the technology worked!

3 thoughts on “An authentic learning experience… Take 2

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