Posts Tagged ‘Wiki’

Here’s the rest of my inventory for 2011 – not really exhaustive (although quite exhausting to read back over) but I’ll keep updating as I can…

Year 10 – mixed to high ability

  • Magazine production – students put into groups of five, editor assigned, content expectations outlined.  Editors assigned tasks based on what students had already completed in class and individual strengths.  Pre teaching of feature writing, content pages, visual and verbal features, cover design, language of advertising, target audience all formed part of this unit of work.  I also secured a class set of North and South Magazine’s November 2011 issue which enabled us to study a great feature article on Shirley Boys’ High Principal John Laurenson together. Final product created on publisher – they enjoyed this.
  • Apirana Taylor – before Apirana visited school we studied several of his poems together and spent a fair bit of time on the poem Parihaka. This included viewing the kinetic typography version as well as clips about the event
  • Poetry – test knowledge of poetic techniques and devices here.
  • Speeches – as an intro we watched Mel Gibson rallying the troops in Brave Heart, Robert De Niro’s moving If You Prick Us… speech from The Merchant of Venice (they studied the play too), Obama’s Yes We Can, MLK’s I have a Dream and this one: The Girl Who Silenced the UN
  • SlideShare – love this site for finding powerpoints to accompany lessons, found a good one on static images and another on some of the issues featured in the film Slumdog Millionaire – students picked an issue, researched the topic and wrote a report.  Lots of pre-teaching about authenticity of websites, citing information first.
  • Letter to Editor – yes they still do this (not sure how many read newspapers though). The video helped – I embedded it on my wiki so they could watch at home too.

Year 11 – literacy class

  • Powerpoint – as a task for 1.11, we watched the movie Boy. Students then created a powerpoint explaining 4 film techniques and linking them to a theme. I went here first with them as not all were sure about ppt. Some found the American accent a bit…hilarious/distracting.
  • Intro to Film Techniques – a colleague put me onto three NZ short films on YouTube.  Used these as a resources for film techniques.  Deconstructed one together, one in groups and one on their own.  Created a cloze version for some to complete.
  • Poetry – they loved Hone Tuwhare’s poems put to Kinetic typography – especially Drunk
  • Careers Quest in collaboration with the Careers Department, students completed the online survey, recorded answers in a booklet, researched their top options, went to discuss them with the Careers Advisor and then wrote and presented a small group seminar for 1.6.  This worked well because the lesser able students used the task to gain writing and speaking credits while the more able went on to complete 1.6.  Without expection all responded to the real life connections associated with this task – the WIIFM was obvious. Having said that, I ended up doing a lot of pre-teaching about minimum pay rates, tax rates, cost of living etc as they had no idea about such matters. A bit of an eye opener for us all!

Year 12 – mixed ability

  • Lord of the Flies – watched this clip about the holocaust as a rather sobering starter – tricky with German students in the class but led to some really good discussion about context and the author’s intention.
  • Poetry – watched background documentaries on Sam Hunt and Hone Tuwhare at www.nzonscreen.com to get a handle on who and what influenced these NZ poets.  Also prior to exams, we studied Denise Levertov’s What Were They Like? with the help of two very good online tutorials.
  • Macbeth – posted a range of sites on my wiki including close viewing key scenes, testing themselves at BBC Skillwise, and looking at modern translations of hard to “get” scenes.  Having English Period 5 on Friday is no excuse not to work – it is 25% of the year’s course after all. But I did choose a Friday class to let them have a go at presenting a scene from Macbeth using modern English or Shakespeare’s English using Pixton, an online comic strip creator. This is no longer free so I just set up a 30 day trial classroom. It took ages for everyone to log in and get sorted and we really needed more than one session but a couple of students created some really good strips.

Everyone and Anyone

As mentioned I used a class wiki throughout the year with varying degrees of success depending on the class the individual students . I also used survey monkey to ask each class 20 questions about their learning experience. You can create 10 questions free so I did mine in two lots and sent each student via their school account (although my Year 12s prefered to use their personal accounts) the hyperlinks. The results were really interesting – the wiki got some great comments while one student lamented the lack of greenery in my classroom, suggesting a Peace Lily could have aided his learning experience 🙂 Gotta love them.

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Use Your Moodle!

After returning from a placement in a local secondary school recently, it was heartening to see e-learning slowly infiltrating the classroom in the form of a school moodle.  Fellow students also observed and used moodles in action at various school around the country so clearly this is one app that is finding favour with teachers. One reason for this is that Moodle (Modular Object Orientated Dynamic Learning Environment) is a software package that was designed using pedagogical principles so clearly it has sound educational application.

Moodle is an online learning platform that enables teachers to create learning environments for their students.  Moodles are generally introduced on a school-wide basis and teachers  than add pages for their departments/classes.  You can copy and paste directly into your page or upload documents, share links, embed video/podcasts so plenty of options for creating an online community that works for you and your class.

Rather than reinvent the wheel I recommend a visit here for a 5 minute introductory video that encapsulates the main principles and uses of moodle in a user-friendly fashion.  The analogy used compares moodle to lego (hence the modularity) so think of it as adding “blocks” or functions to suit your needs as you go.

I’ve seen moodles used by teachers to set extension work for more able students, to share notes (allowing absent students to catch up on missed work in their own time), to share assignments (unnamed creative essays) , to set homework tasks and to reinforce reminders about looming deadlines (the dreaded reading logs!)

Moodle enables teachers to cater for different learning styles, and for mixed ability classes. It supports self management, encourages self-directed learning and is based around four basic components: sharing, communication, collaboration and evaluation. Note the strong linkages to the newly revised NZC.

You can embed a wiki into a moodle or add links to one for students to share work/comments but generally, a school wide moodle is set up to be less interactive for students (they can’t edit pages) and relies on students suing their school email (this can cause issues for students who don’t often check their school account but is not an insurmountable challenge). From a teacher’s point of view, the benefits of this LMS (learning managing system) includes:

  • the ability to organise content
  • assign levels of interactivity
  • ease of use 
  • reliability  (can handle many users)

You can see how different school and tertiary providers are using moodle here – although their material is protected you can login as a guest to get a sense of what they are doing with moodle.  They way I think of it, a school’s website  is  its shop window for the community and parents. Its moodle is the coal face – the online space where the nitty-gritty of everyday school life and learning is shared from daily notices to assignments for specific classes.

Watch the video which outlines plenty of other benefits and uses but with 1.9million teachers worldwide using moodle, I’d say this is one LMS we’ll all be seeing a lot more of as we move forward in our careers.

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