There has been a palpable excitement in classes this week. The Library had a ‘Full’ sign on the door at lunchtime. Student have taken on the role of patient teachers. Concentration, independence and resilience have been everywhere.
I always expected this to be a bit of a honeymoon week, but even I have been taken aback by the transformation. It has been a joy to see my Year 7 English students compiling digital anthologies of their own poetry to share and peer review. Using nothing more complicated than Keynote and the camera, they have brought together photographs of drafts and final versions, created illustrations and explanatory labels and added video clips of themselves reciting poems.
Edmodo has been fantastic! The classes have used it at home since September, but it has come alive as a place to share the work in progress on presentations and invite (and receive) helpful, specific and kind advice from their peers. This seems to be encouraging student to push themselves that bit further, be a bit more precise and to learn from each other. Final versions are going to be collected through the assignment Turn In function which will automatically set up a helpful mark sheet for me.
We’ve also run Edmodo as a sort of ‘back channel’ during the lesson: a place to record progress, pass on hot-tips or ask each other for help. Two students propped up their iPads on the corridor floor and made an excellent little tutorial on how to upload Keynote to Edmodo, uploaded it to YouTube and then linked it back to the class page ready for other student to learn from.
Meanwhile, the Realsmartcloud has been useful for several groups organising a trial in an RE project. Defence and Prosecutions teams are sharing comments and notes where all can see them. It’s comforting not to have to worry about bits of paper being lost or ,forgotten when we conduct the trial scene next week. And, as I said to the students, if any of us get eaten by lions in the next week we needn’t worry – because someone else can pick up their notes! They didn’t seem entirely comforted by that though for some reason.