Saturday, November 7, 2009
Collaboration in Context
Last week I had the pleasure to work with a class and a teacher, teaching about the research process and scaffolding their progress through the assignment.
I have created a number of Glogs to support the unit (you can see them here DCLibrary)
I have not had the opportunity to do this at such depth before, with such consistency or with such context. The students are Year 9 and are keen to learn.
What I am finding is that the students are keen to learn how to question, define, keyword, find, evaluate, notetake, select .... they are engaged because they can see how it relates to improving their abilities to achieve higher marks in the current unit. I am really enjoying the experience and is reinforcing to me what I have always known - that teaching and learning these skills must be in context to be truly effective learning.
Even better in all of this was that the teacher recognised the students had a very low level of skills before the unit, they then requested that I be a part of this unit so we could focus on information literacy. We have not put a time line on when I need to finish, so the scaffolding will continue until they are well and truly on their own feet. I am fortunate to be working with a flexible schedule that allows me to go into the class every day. Another interesting aside is that I am only working with half the year 9 classes on this unit, it will be interesting to see how their finished product compares with the other 2 classes to see if I really did make a difference.
Something else that has come out of this unit is I have been using some web 2.0 tools as tools for collaboration and storage of tools - wikis, netvibes, glogster, etherpad and wallwisher so far. Because we have been co teaching, I have not only been teaching the students how to use these tools in context, the teacher has been taking notice too, and it has resulted in other staff coming to ask me about the tools I am using and how to use them. This has now led to a workshop on our CPD day along with other tools of learning.
The students have really responded well to the use of these web 2.0 tools - Glogs are a favourite, and etherpad and wallwisher got the 'cool' approval. So, a busy but great week all round!