Saturday, December 10, 2011

Top Ten

Looking at all of the changes that my class and I have made this year around eLearning, I have decided to make a commitment to myself to give some new things a try as well as to do some things completely differently next year.

10. Geo-caching - with all of us becoming more proficient at using iPads and iPods, and the fact that I am retaining 9 children from this year, I think it's time to stretch ourselves and have some fun with using geo-caching to learn about using directions and giving instructions.

9. Evernote - although I have used this myself almost everyday since discovering it, I have not yet utilised it effectively in my classroom. It is time! The children will be able to save photos and add text as well as voiceover all using one easy form, so we will be able to explore this more as a way to blog.

8. Keynote presentations through the iPods - this year, we did have a go at using the iPods as our 'telly-prompters' but never quite got a handle on this. My challenge is to build this skill as part of the presentation skills.

7. Scoop-It - there have been some great articles and blogs that I have found through Scoop-It but I have yet to move into automatically using it myself as a place to store great ideas and share sites. A great personal challenge for me!

6. ePortfolios - this is something that has been on the go and developing all year. I have yet to find the right way to easily manage them and the students needs to develop their understanding more of how this works to enhance their focus and partner their learning. There are lots of different places to store the info and lots of ways to explore how to do this well so that's definitely a class and personal challenge for me! Googlesites is going to be part of our management system for my class so we will keep you posted!

5. Blogs and wikis - these are working so well as an extension of the classroom and an authentic learning space, but my next challenge is to have the children self-managing through them. The wikis have started to become a much loved choice for presenting learning outcomes such as through inquiry learning, or for posting instructional videos of how to perform maths tasks or strategise.

4. Photography - we had a great time this year experimenting with using the iPods to take photos and posting them on our flickr account as a 365days with our class. We have also looked at different types of photos and messed around using different photo programmes online. But my class challenge for next year is to let them control the flickr account and manage it themselves. I also want to be really intentional about teaching the skills involved with making photos into art - Rachel Boyd's site is awesome for being able to 'unpack' the skills and then teach them specifically.

3. iPads - we have had a lot of training as a staff on many different eLearning concepts and skills but we have really only explored how to use them effectively as a teaching and learning tool. Our syndicate have loaded apps and decided on the best ones to use for now. We have some plans in place for Techie Brekkies next year to get everyone involved in developing the use of these tools so that we are integrating the skills and embedding them into our classroom programmes.

2. Communicating with parents - let's be honest, most parents are very busy nowadays and although their children are having amazing learning experiences and recording them in an exciting variety of ways, many parents are still missing this. It would be great to explore a range of ways to do this effectively - Facebook has been great for my parents to communicate through but it would be awesome to get the parents on board and fully committed to commenting on the blog and wikis. It is the act of intentional feedback from parents that many of the students look forward to, so next year this has to be a real focus.

1. Global learning - we began the concept of 'the class without walls' (Dave Beehre's idea!) this year and really opened the doors and pushed the walls over when we went global! The challenge next year is to really integrate this into all of our daily life at school so that the class become more globally aware and develop their understanding of neti-quette. Edmodo, the Flat Stanley Project, the Global-Classroom and much more. What fun we have in store! (oh and lots of learning along the way as a bonus!!!)


  1. Ha ha, I get a mention in your blog ... cool:) I really like your top 10 new things to try, half of those are exactly what I need to move on with as well!

  2. Your To 10 New Things to Try list is fantastic - and many are things that are on my list, too! I'm particularly excited about exploring the use of Evernote to collate my students' work (from a 'teacher's' perspective) and encouraging families and students to use our blog next year.

    We were supposed to have Tekkie Brekkies this year - to support staff in using their IWBs and a range of online tools, but it fell through, so I'm hoping to push that again next year, for exactly the same reasons that you've mentioned!