Students at Hinuera School in Matamata used Blogger and Scribd to support inquiry focused learning.
“in our school, decisions about appropriate use of digital technologies are made collaboratively with students.”
The class inquiry was undertaken as part of a senior syndicate unit underpinned by the theme "Me and my environment".
The school wanted to develop a plan for an alternative lunch eating area using the Enviroschools Action Learning Cycle . Students were involved in the design process for the new eating area.
The teacher wanted her class to use a blog page as an open forum for discussion about the lunch eating area. She used Blogger to set up a page on the existing class blog for students to share findings and thoughts.
She chose Blogger because it would:
The students used the digital camera to photograph aspects of their eating area they believed were important, and those they deemed to be significant hazards. These photographs were uploaded into PowerPoint presentations, and then transferred to the class blog via Scribd.
Scribd is a publishing service that allows you to quickly and easily share files on the web. Scribd was selected for this activity because:
The easy access to photos, via the class blog, supported students while they were drafting their own ideas and developing plans for a new and improved lunch eating area. The photos held a visual reminder of what the area looked like before. The teacher also planned for students and others to use the comment feature at the bottom of the blog page to create an online discussion about the photos.
After their investigations and discussions the students created A4-sized plans of what they wanted the eating area to look like. The plans provided a colour scheme and showcased specific features. Students wrote reasons for their design choices.
Students shared their designs with the whole class and popular ideas were incorporated into a final design using MovieMaker. The work was shared with the BOT, principal, and students across the school. The school’s Enviro Group supported the next stages of the design process.
The teacher anticipated that the blog page would be used as a open forum for discussion. However the students were not receptive to this concept, moving quickly into drawing their designs. In future, the teacher would include the students in designing the blog page to ensure that they have ownership of it, and structure activities to achieve the desired outcome.
The teacher noted:
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