I’ll start with a confession – I actually found the ‘Inspire’ topic difficult. It took me quite a while to identify some places in our very crowded Emglish curriculum to try some genuine inquiry based learning. One thing I would like to follow up with from this course is how other secondary teachers manage this.
Now, while I found ‘Inquiry’ a bit challenging, I have tried a number of new things. Taking the approach of inquiry into my own professional practice I have created my own professional blog – exploringtechinteaching.wordpress.com – if anyone is interested. I have also created blogs (although at this point I am using them to simply share information) for all of my classes. I will be using these much more extensively next year. I’ve also become a convert to Diego (from delicious) and have now run PD for some teachers in my school on this resource. I am using twitter regularly as my PLN and am setting up our school twitter account to be used next year to communicate with parents and our wider school community. I have tried a few new tools in the classroom as well – although I would like to have done more with this.
So since I started this site, I will attempt to begin to blog!
I have continued to use Microsoft 365 in the classroom, although as we are winding down the Inquiry unit from last term I’m not using it as much for Inquiry. It has been good to use as I quickly shared notes from our Inquiry interviews – this outlined steps the kids needed to take next in their Quest. Groups also planned sessions on a shared document – what tasks were to be completed and by whom. Some of the groups used One Note to brainstorm when they first began their Inquiries. Any documents which needed approval eg. letters, proposals to the principal were simply prepared on 365 and then shared with me. I edited them using mark up and comments. No e-mailing as attachments – a much smoother transition.
I’ve been using 365 more for writing and that has been fantastic. Last year I used e-mailing – kids would e-mail me their drafts, I would edit and revise with mark up and comments and then return them by e-mail or if I was at school I would save them straight back into their school drives. We had lots of problems with kids not saving the document once I sent it back. They would open it, make changes and then close. The document was then lost as the student couldn’t remember which netbook they used etc. etc. This year – except for one student who has difficulty following instructions – everyone saved their work immediately in 365 and we didn’t lose any documents, editing, or revising. It was much more seamless. Now as I am writing reports I can easily refer to that piece of writing.
Although all the kids have e-mail accounts we have begun to use the e-mail function within 365 as I usually have it open on my computer during the day. The calendar is also much more user friendly than Edmodo.
I hope you are all well. I thought I’d let you know how I have been going on my technology journey. Last term, my team and I set up a group using Edmodo and each class logged on regularly, contributing questions and comments on our Sustainability inquiry. Some students chose to post the actions they took in the inquiry for others to view and comment on. It went pretty well and was embraced by the rest of my team as an authentic way to share and collaborate.
This term I have set up blogs for my year 1 class using Global 2. This has been a bit challenging as I find its not super user friendly for younger students but we are persisting and they seem to be really enjoying sharing online.
I hope you are all going well too as you trial new technology. Especially in this busy time of the school year.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.