I have been using twitter professionally as a teacher for a year or so now. Sometimes it gets pushed to the background, but it always comes back. Recently I've started following companies and people involved in the outdoors and are starting to see the benefit of twitter to help with the life work balance.
If the truth were told I'm a bit of gear geek. I love going into Outdoor stores, looking at the latest cloths and gadgets. I started following a couple of companies and love their posts on their latest gear and what people are doing with their gear. I've even shown some of the more inspirational posts to my students. It helps to remind me that you work to live not live to work and as technology blends work into homelife why shouldn't a little bit of homelife flow the other way?
In a previous post I mentioned how I had changed my learning sales pitch in the artroom. In doing this I've come up with a different way of delivering assessment information and student task sheets which allows for more personalised learning approach. This is my second full year working on this structure and I thought it was a good time to share. A colleague and I are continually critiquing my work, balancing learning outcomes and quality assurance commitments and we are still yet to have it fully tested in our moderation system.
My sales pitch is simple at the beginning of the year I say " We are going to learn how to make really cool Artworks!" We are going to use the Artwork Creation Cycle to do this and if we focus on that goal, the assessment part of things, will take care of itself.
Ask really successful people how they got to where they are and you never hear about the school assessments they did. They find something they love doing and they strive to be the best at it. It's about intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic motivation. In my opinion an education system that continually focuses on assessment results and neglects it's students intrinsic motivation will never achieve the bottom line it is looking for.
Lets start with the Artwork Creation Cycle. It's nothing new, it's the design process with slightly different wording. In fact it's a life process, it's how we grow, live and develop as human beings. In introducing it to students I always talk about it in this way.
In the beginning I deliberately teach each part of the cycle giving and showing examples of what they look like. The template below is what I hand out to the students minus a couple of pages that sit in my folder. The document is A3 in size with the students using an A3 clearfile for the template and their work throughout the year. I drip feed the paperwork, so as not to hit them with too much. When I feel they have enough artwork, which is normally towards the end of term one, I hand out the assessment matrix with assessment definitions and conditions. I then start to have class and individual conversations about how the assessment relates to the artworks they have made. It's about empowering my students to have conversations about their work and how it relates to assessment. This empowers them to take a more active part in the feedback and feedforward process with greater understanding.
The Task Sheets
I've struggled with task sheets. My students are really good at telling me "That's not what I need to do!" and when I ask them what they think they need to do, they look at me and say "Your the teacher, your suppose to tell us". It all comes down to "Why?" for them. Focusing more on the process, allows me, when it comes to task sheets give some students get more scripting and some will in essence write their own.
I've moved to using Evernote through a senior art account as the vehicle for communicating the task sheets with the students. This allows me to add text, pictures and links easily and is a multiple device platform that the students can access anytime anywhere. It also allows me to add too and alter at anytime in the learning process for the best learning outcome for the students. Assessment numbers are used in the task sheets but the focus of the task sheets is on the process of learning how to make really cool artworks. Microsofts Onenote or Google Apps could be used
It's early days and the consistent proof is yet to be seen in the pudding, however, the academic bottom line results have been positive to date. Like anything it needs to be continually worked on to meet the needs of my students.
"What are you going to do?" A resonant statement made by Ewan McIntosh at ICOT 2013 in Wellington. Our PLG is at this point. What are we going to do?
We have had some great conversations about ICT in education. At times we have gotten side tracked talking about the latest hardware and software, however, these distractions can often be opportunities in disguise and where some of the best ideas come from.
Literacy is the set of the rules that structure human communication. This communication is both projected(orally or written) and received(listened or comprehended) by individuals when experiences and knowledge is shared. Technology allows us to communicate quicker and to a wider audience, broadening our scope, producing faster and greater understanding. Technology has sped up literacies continual evolution into a new form; Digital Literacy. Check out the following clip on Digital Literacy by Sonja Delafosse .
Digital literacy is intertwined with being a digital citizen and this is where we intend to start. The plan for our PLG, is to create some teaching resources around what it means to be a digital citizen at Catholic Cathedral College. These resources could be used by any teacher and would be intended for use at the beginning of the year with new junior classes as an induction into the digital component of education at Catholic Cathedral College. Here is an interesting clip on being a Digital Citizen by Xin Zhang.
Sometimes, us adults assume all school children(digital natives) know how to use all aspects of technology. We all know about sentences that have the word "ass|u|me" in them. With this in mind we intend to create teaching resources to follow on from those on digital citizenship which teach students how to use our google environment more effectively in their daily digital life at Catholic Cathedral College.
Professional and personal email usage, professional and personal social media usage, appropriate online behaviour, google calendar use, google document creation and the use of comments for feedback and feedforward and multiple device workflow are but some of the resources we will be working on.
We'll need to work with senior management to best fit this deliberate teaching into the academic year at Catholic Cathedral College. We'll also need to work with staff to help us create and use these resources.
Almost a month ago my PLG was fortunate enough to have a Skype call with Sam McNeill the Director of ICT at St Andrews College here in Christchurch. Sam talked about their story so far implementing 1:1 devices with this years Year 9 intake and the ways teachers at StAC are using technology in the classroom to enhance learning outcomes.
Sam recorded the Skype call using Screenflow and posted an edited version on his StAC e-Learning in action blog about the session. It's fantastic that Sam is so willing to share and I hope that those who take the time to check it out from this post also share with those who might be interested.
Some of the best PD discussions are had in the staffroom over a coffee. My posts are intended to be like one of those conversations. Feel free to join the conversation, we just might help each other out. My opinions are my own.