Saturday, June 30, 2012

eLearning in the Junior Classroom - Get In!

One of the things that has become apparent over the past few years are the issues facing our early years and junior school teachers. They are the ground-breakers of teaching - their job is multi-faceted and rather tricky. Into our schools come the new children, ready for some new levels of play. Their lives up to this point, have been education based on play-learning, socialising and language experience. Then school hits them between the eyes like a good old 4-by-2.

Letters.
Words.
Numerals.
Addition.
Subtraction.
Written language.
Books.
Reading.

These children come into the world of the classroom and they are bombarded with new expectations, new knowledge and a whole new way of communicating. There is pressure. There is rigor. There is someone who is not happy unless the rules are obeyed and the work is done. They have entered the workforce of life and it is usually not what they expected. Well, most of them were hoping to come to school and just continue playing, but this is not what they had pictured, not at all!

Our early years and junior teachers are also faced with the task of introducing new things every day. New learning comes at them from every side and a few years ago, someone had the gaul to suggest that they might even need to integrate eLearning into the game. Throw in the key competencies and a whole new set of National Standards and we have melt-down.

Many, many junior school teachers are re-examining what is important. They know that they have to teach the foundation of pretty much everything and that the buck well-and-truly stops with them. They know that there are a broader set of skills to consider now, but many of them are already overwhelmed with the tasks of teaching in a high pressure cooker, that they are almost set to explode anyway?

What I would love to suggest is this: take a look at some of the teachers who are integrating the key competencies into their classrooms from day 1 of school. Go to conferences such as ULearn and Learning@Schools and get to the seminars led by junior teachers. You will quickly see that there are a million simple ways to integrate eLearning into the junior classroom. Many junior teachers seem to be blinded by the list of things to teach, swamped in the chores of everyday life in a junior room - so much so that they are missing out on how much EASIER eLearning can make things in ANY classroom, how much time can be freed up to work with students one-to-one, how individualised a programme can be through the eLearning model!

Here are some of the key people to follow on twitter to glean ideas from - and don't be afraid to connect with them or to ask them every dumb question you can think of - because there ARE no dumb questions!!!
NZ Education Twits! (click on the link!)

And here are some great Junior class blogs to follow! Start by writing comments to them and then go where the wind may carry you!

http://room32010.wikispaces.com/ 
http://educational-blogging.wikispaces.com/Web+2.0+Tools
http://nzedublogs.wikispaces.com/NZ+classroom+student+blogs
http://www.muritai.school.nz/pages/classes.php#junior
http://theinsandouts.co.nz/
http://mrsbizzys.blogspot.co.nz/
http://mrstinaschmidt.edublogs.org/
http://pointviewschoolroom3.blogspot.co.nz/
http://openthedoortob4.blogspot.co.nz/
http://room5waiuku2012.blogspot.co.nz/

They also contain some incredible resources to access - why reinvent the wheel? Just create a link and let the kids use what has already been found for you!

And teachers who are involved in Global Connections and Global Classrooms - check out what is going on around NZ and around the world. Get started - just adopt one idea and throw everything into making it a part of the classroom!

Junior teaching is fun and fast, real and really hard, tricky, challenging and so much more. But integration of eLearning is really enhancing what already happens and it is about using the tools of the time to equip the learners of the time. I can assure you that the children in your class are already ahead of you - they are in the water and swimming happily. You just have to do a bit more than dipping your toes into the eLearning water - dive in and you will never look back!







4 comments:

  1. Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance! I have a question about your blog. HeatherVonsj(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. Thank you for sharing these links. My class are enthusiastic bloggers and we will enjoy exploring other ideas.
    http://room14richmondprimary.blogspot.com
    Cherryl Eden.

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  3. Thanks for the exposure Kimberley!

    Kids with a View kids in Room 3 at Point View School love to e-learn... in fact if you ask them they would say they are totally experts! Nothing seems to phase them when it comes to e-learning.

    And we are Juniors!

    The children also absolutely thrive on their blog comments and relish the notion that their work is acknowledged and read by readers all over New Zealand and the wider scope from people in countries all around the world. So if you do stop by our blog please leave us a comment and let us know where you have visited from - don't be shy!

    Thanks again Kimberley - keep up with the great writing on your posts I really enjoy reading them.
    Lynne Laburn

    http://pointviewschoolroom3.blogspot.co.nz
    http://room32010.wikispaces.com

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