Tag Archives: Teaching

Stories and musing about teaching

An analogue meal with kindred digital educators

connectA couple of days ago I attended a dinner with a world-renowned educator and presenter Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, her family, and a few fellow Perth bloggers and ed-tech enthusiasts. The company included a famous chocoholic and THE Edublogger Sue Waters, whom I met personally for the first time, Jean Anning, Jane Lowe and Paul Reid. The evening was very enjoyable and sprinkled with a wonderful dose of fun-spirited Aussie/American bashing and ‘war stories’ – all in all, we hit it off well (I am just not sure how much Sheryl’s family members enjoyed our passionate and often noisy rants, complaints and (mutual) inspirations).

I was particularly pleased and in many ways reassured to hear Sheryl’s passion to push for greater use of ICT and particularly the Web 2.0 (for lack of better word) tools with ‘tough’ schools and kids like ours (see my previous, cathartic post for details – thank you good people for your comments). And as we started getting into the thick of discussion, we recognised that not only the group of people present, but a wider community of bloggers, ed-tech educators etc. (you know the labels…) is vulnerable to the ‘echo chamber’ effect. We all pretty much agree on many things, we fuel each other’s passion, we share and exchange ideas, in short – we ‘get it’. That’s all good but we act mostly in our own individual spaces, despite creation of large (inter)national networks, so easily afforded by the tools whose usefulness and transformative power we try to unveil to others. We are doing great things but without generating the amount of synergy that would make powers-that-be stand up and go beyond, in the words of Seymour Papert (thank you for correction Bryn) ‘strapping a jet engine [of technology] on a horse and cart [of 18th century model of education]’.

Why is that? Continue reading An analogue meal with kindred digital educators

Giving all students a voice – Moodle forum

flyAfter an amazingly insight-rich, highly enjoyable and very well-received online forum across four senior classes at our school on the theme ‘What would you improve at our school?” this week, I simply had to put in a big plug for forums in Moodle. I write this as a combination of teaching and tech tips and strategies for using forums in Moodle. Most of all, I write this with my students, their voice and their learning in mind.

Like many teachers, I often run class discussion. A problem or a question is presented with individuals invited to call out with answers. Sometimes students are in groups for all or part of the discussion with more than one topic to discuss.

What I have ideally wanted is for each student to contribute in some way to either the group or class discussion. In reality, I often get a few regular contributors to call out with some quality answers, a few attention seekers with not such high quality answers and the rest of the class likely to switch off.

Continue reading Giving all students a voice – Moodle forum