Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Celebrating the Small Stuff

Sometimes it is nice to celebrate the small stuff that happens in the class.
I have a student in my class who is not the most engaged student you will ever meet!! He has been working steadily in DVC this year, and keeping a pretty steady tally of credits going.
We have been using our Google Plus Community all year to share our work together so we can help each other out with comments and suggest improvements etc.
This week, the work has been modelling shapes that will be comfortable to hold in the hand, as we are designing mobile phones in this project. The students had to put the photos of these models on a Google drawing and analyse what it was about the shape that made it comfortable so they can use these design points in their phone designs.
My student in question did one of these yesterday then couldn't remember which other shape he had made in the photo collection. At the end of the day today, I was checking my emails and there was an update from the Google Plus community. My student had been working on his second analysis this afternoon and posted it up to the community. I don't see his class on a Wednesday so this was the first time he has done this independently and self managed like this. I did a little quiet "whoop" to myself. And yes, he was doing my work in some one else's lesson :D

I know in the big scheme of things, this is a really small thing!!.. but it was a big step for one student today.....

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

To Nag or Not to Nag... That is the Question...

The thing with an online course is this.....
You create it, send out the link to students to get them to sign up then you get to wait...
Will they sign up?
Will they do the work?
Will they be able to follow all the work you have put together?
Will they get stuck part way through?
Is there enough support built in?

I decided today to contact all the students who had originally signed up for the course, whether they have started something or not.
I did this by email so they didn't feel pressured of me being in their face about it.

"Hello Lovely  People who signed up for the online course...
This is just a little email to ask if you need any help or support with anything.
Don't be shy if you are stuck or have any questions

Miss Ferguson"

How much contact is Ok?
When does it turn into nagging?

This online course idea is going to be good for students, with more opportunities, but i'm not sure it is good for my worrying!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Organising Work in the Holidays...

It is the two weeks holiday at the moment and I received an email from one of my Year 10 students who have signed up to do the online course this year. This email was inviting me to view a folder of work on Google Drive.
He has started collecting his information about his chosen architect, and it is interesting to see how a student's mind works away from the "influence" of a teacher.
He has copied the instructions from the Google Site for this particular task onto his doc and made them into a checklist for himself that he is working through and ticking off as he goes. This doc was originally made and shared by me as place to put the information found about the architect so the students can read through it and assess what parts they need to use. It has a place to put links to their sources and the main area to paste their found information. I like the way this student has up cycled this doc to make more use out of it.
Maybe I need to add more "lists" into the planning of a task for students to use?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Using Google Plus Communities with Year 10's

I have been using Google Plus Communities with my Year 10 class for the first time on this Technology rotation.
We have used them so that :-

  • Everyone can see everyone else's work so we can all benefit from the support and direction of the whole group
  • The work can be organised into categories down the left hand side and easily found
  • I can share examples with the students as they need them, so they are immediate to their needs and not having to be found on a static site.
  • I can record skills sessions and share them so the students have access to rewindable learning whenever they want / need it

I decided for this group, to change the whole Year 10 course and give them access to a Level 1 DVC project. I hope that this gives them a better understanding of what they would be expected to do if they choose DVC as one of their Level 1 options. As this is a Level 1 standard project, I felt that the added support that a Google Plus Community can give to a class would be a good step.
Here is a link to the community - it is set so that it can be viewed by anyone.
If you want some Google Plus help, check out the How To's here...

Here is a screen cast showing how we use it.