Friday, May 25, 2012

Teaching the Teacher

As part of my role as one of the eLearning facilitators in our school, I get the privilege of going into colleagues' classrooms and working with them to support their learning. This is not a given as I have to be invited to come into other rooms, yet we never have a shortage of takers! It still amazes me how awesome our staff are at embracing the new and just giving everything a try!

So last week I worked in a Year 3 classroom on blogging and then a Year 4 classroom looking at how to create with iMovie. Two very different skill sets but fantastic learning. This week I spent the day divided across 3 rooms working to create a blogging user agreement in a Year 3 class, learning to write comments and how we do that responsibly, and then in a Year 4 class, where we looked at the basics of iMovie.

We had a wee hiccup when Blogger was down (the server was being worked on clearly!) and we couldn't comment on the blogs live, so with a little improvising we managed to record the comments on a doc instead to save for later use. To make it even more interesting, we managed to have a fire alarm and evacuation in the middle of it all but we came back and finished off our work! It was a shorter session and one that we need to repeat with Blogger online next time I hope!

In the next session, we had the same problem so we changed from blogging skills to using QR codes. The children created a message using up to 250 characters - we used the experience of having the Westpac helicopter come and land in the middle of the field as the basis for the message. Then they embedded the code onto their own student page on the class wiki. It was excellent and they really enjoyed testing their codes using our phones to read each others' messages!

In the afternoon it was iMovie and there were simple instructions and clear steps which the students followed really well. I took one of my own students with with as my texpert (like tech-expert) as she has been a bit sensitive lately and it was a great way to support her while I am away from the class. She was a fabulous helper and gave me another pair of hands and another thinker/problem-solver to share her expertise. It was also great for her self-esteem! The class managed to complete their movies almost to the publishing stage (we kept them very simple) and have saved them for the class to work on again next week. I will give them the challenge of sharing them with my class when they finish them!

What I have discovered about working with other teachers at our school is this: they are so receptive! They love stretching their thinking, challenging their knowledge, building their skills and trying new things. But what I have also discovered is that this is what healthy learning looks like! Lifelong learners SEEK challenges, they DESIRE change and they YEARN for new skills, new thinking, new knowledge. Our staff are a rather fantastic bunch, but I have a feeling that I would find this same kind of attitude in most schools with most teachers. And I think that I would find it in most classrooms with most children.

Learning is a gift. It is one that just keeps on giving and giving if we are prepared to keep unwrapping it!

No comments:

Post a Comment