Engage students with technology

Kelly Walsh shares ’10 highly engaging uses of technology in the classroom, along with dozens of tools and resources for implementation’ in 10 of the Most Engaging Uses of Instructional Technology (with Dozens of Resources and Tools). This is a great place to explore for new ideas as the new school year begins.
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Maker Spaces in Schools Explained

How the Maker Movement Connects Students to Engineering and Technology” shows how students can learn at a very creative, personal level. This could be applied across many areas of student interest and inquiry and with different means of construction.
Back in the 1970s teachers were trained in various ‘crafts’ to teach students how to make use of the expected increase in leisure time! Now it seems there is a resurgence but for a different reason – to instil creative processes in deeper learning.

Making projects real

The MindShift post by Christina Farr No Courses, No Classrooms, No Grades — Just Learning, describes how some students in the USA are taking time out of school to enrol in project-based learning that pairs them with real projects of problems that need solving.
Real Projects

The NuVu Studio describes their program:

“NuVu is a full-time magnet innovation center for middle and high school students. NuVu’s pedagogy is based on the architectural Studio model and geared around multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects. We basically teach students how to navigate the messiness of the creative process, from inception to completion.
No Courses: Instead, we have studios. Around 12 kids work closely with their 2 coaches on solving big (and small) open-ended problems.
No Subjects: Instead, everything is fused together. Students find themselves moving between a studio that requires them to design a telepresence robot to another that requires them to re-imagine Boston with a cable car system.
No Classrooms: Instead, we have an open space that changes all the time to adapt to the needs of every studio.
No One-Hour Schedule: Instead, students spend two weeks from 9-3 solving one problem.
No Grades: Instead, we have portfolios that document students’ design decisions and show their final products.”

On a smaller scale – many schools are now making pedagogical changes to using Guided Inquiry or Project Based Learning where students select a learning topic that is of relevance to them and where they can develop creative new solutions to issues and problems.

Sir Ken Robinson – TED talks education

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

Digital and Media Literacy – using technology to strengthen skills

School is back for a new year and IRC seminars are in full swing as students are reminded of all the resources, tools and facilities available to them.

The skill of accessing tools, sites and new ideas needs to be combined with opportunities to actually use and transform these into expressions of creativity. As teachers and the Teacher Librarian plan units of work across all faculties, this needs to be kept in mind.

The blog post by Tanya Roscorla entitled 10 steps to strengthen digital and media literacy expands on this and argues for allowing increased access to social media in schools.

“...technology is a tool for communicative practice and for giving kids the opportunity to use their voices to strengthen their literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving skills”

Voki presentations – Year 4 students lead the way!

Year 4 have been working together in the IRC for three periods a week for seven weeks – two classes, two teachers, a Special Needs teacher and the Teacher Librarian. They have been learning about The Human Body. Each student selected a special area of interest and created a research question or questions. A wiki was used to share work and information.
As a culmination for their Guided Inquiry research projects the Year 4 students were introduced to Voki as a tool for delivering ‘fun’ presentations to the rest of the class.
They had to select just one of their research questions and fine tune their answer to the word limitations of Voki.
The excitement in the IRC today was unbelievable as they created characters, backgrounds, costumes and voices best suited to the presentation of their research.
Here is one that was produced today:

The 4 Cs: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity

Encouraging students to share thoughts and ideas leads to improved creativity. The potential of shared learning is immense. This video story illustrates the possibilities when two minds work together.

“Created through collaboration by members of Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the talented folks at FableVision, Above & Beyond is a story about what is possible when communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity take center stage in schools and transform learning opportunities for all kids.Visit www.p21.org, www.p21.org/4Cs and www.fablevisionstudios.com for more info.”

Paper folder leaves mysterious gifts in libraries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With this gift was the tag “For @scotstorycenter – A gift in support of libraries, books, works, ideas….. Once upon a time there was a book and in the book was a nest and in the nest was an egg and in the egg was a dragon and in the dragon was a story…..”

See a collection of all the paper foldings left at libraries in Edinburugh on the Central Stn blog

I wish one was left at our Information Resource Centre!

Book Week! “One world, many stories”

Displays, online activities, and an author visit set the scene for a week long focus on books and reading.

Children’s author and humanitarian refugee worker Andrew McDonough visited Broughton for two days. On the first day he spoke to Year 11 about his work with refugees as they come into Australia. He then spoke to Years 7 & 8 about writing and illustrating books for children.

Andrew McDonough returned for another day and spoke group by group to the whole Junior School (K-6) about his writing and illustrating. His story telling was amazing and he demonstrated some of his digital illustrating techniques.