Stephen Heppell discusses how teachers can engage their students by personalising learning.
Learning to change, changing to learn 25/01/2010
Thanks to the magic of Twitter, I received a link to this video originally posted on SchoolTube. The video features several educators with some great points. Worthwhile video for discussion with a group of teachers about the whole notion of change.
Our Students 24/01/2010
I am interested in the characteristics of the different generations. Defining generations can fence people in and I have experienced this myself. I happily for the greater part of my life believed myself to be Gen X only to be reassigned to Baby Boomers without any consultation or permission! It has affected the way that I think others view me and this worries me a bit.
So back to my real purpose of looking at some of the commonalities and expectations of the current students of our primary schools. What is the name of the primary school generation born after 2000? Are these students different to the Gen Ys? If our lives are shaped by the world we live in then the answer would have to be yes. Think of the changes in technology and the political climate of the world since 2000.
I started teaching in 1999 and the tools of trade have changed even in the conservative, budget-constrained environment of school. The gadgets and gizmos that I use in my home are at most a few years old. My home answering machine hasn’t been used in years and even my email inbox is becoming old-fashioned. I SMS, blog, Facebook and increasingly Twitter to communicate with just about everyone I know professionally and personally. The only phone calls I make are to older relatives- the real Baby Boomers to my mind!
So this has become my world but because I have adapted and accommodated the vast changes along the way. However I still have the skills and knowledge of how things used to be and these come in handy still. I couldn’t imagine anything else for me.
So back to my quest for finding out as much as I can about this current generation of students just starting their formal education. How do they experience the world? As a teacher I need to know this as expertly as I know curriculum. How will I find this out? Easy! Get to really know our students- the current students starting in our classes this year.
Twitter twitter tweet tweet 11/01/2010
Twitter has been around for a while now but it has been only over the last week or so that I have become part of Twitterland and a fan. Even though I have only a few followers at the moment I have already become part of a terrific community of educators. I look forward to tweeting, learning and collaborating with interesting people from all over the world in the coming weeks and months.
Just in case you haven’t looked into Twitter yet, here is some great information that can explain and answer your questions. I believe that Twitter will greatly enhance my own professional learning. Maybe it can do that for you too.
Module 10 03/12/2009
Wikis, Blooms has gone digital and Web 2
Web 2 has changed the way teachers need to work with students. It is a scary thought to some but our job as teachers is to facilitate learning for our students. This needs to be done according to the times and the world we live in. I think about the way I was taught in the 1970s and it involved changing teacher practice way back then too. Ball point pens, metric, television, relaxing censorship and feminism affected the way teachers operated in their classrooms. I remember walls coming down between classes and team teaching, student choice of school projects and going on week long camps for environmental education. But I also remember teachers who refused to do these things and insisted on cartridge pens, no student choice and corporal punishment for not remembering the dance steps.
I am excited about the possibilities and the knowledge that during my teaching career I will be using technology that hasn’t been sold in the shops yet and maybe hasn’t even been invented yet. I am also excited to be working alongside people who are firmly part of learning communities and share their work. Andrew Churches work with updating Blooms is a great example. He isn’t the only one and wikis such as Web 2 for CEO teachers extends, inspires and really helps me to be a better teacher.
What a great time to be a teacher!
RSS Feeds and Google Reader
This module was all about setting up a RSS feeds. By using this RSS feed I can now receive updates to websites that I want to keep tabs on. New information on these sites comes directly to me. I like RSS because I can subscribe to sites and know when new postings are made when they are made. This application could be particularly useful if you have a class blog or journal was each time it was updated the page could send an update to Google reader so that you are alerted when students have added a post or blog. What a great time saver!
Module 3- Google docs 23/11/2009
Yes I know that I’m on leave but what a perfect time to play with new applications. As part of Sydney CEO web 2 course, this learning module is about google docs in the classroom.
View the Youtube video- Teachers and Principals Talk about Google Docs
The benefits of collaboration and ease of saving documents makes Google Docs a worthwhile addition to the classroom.