Students from Pakuranga College, along with their deputy principal, Billy Merchant, share how using their digital devices to access online resources supports their learning. In particular, they talk about spaces created by their teachers such as Weebly and Moodle sites, easy access to their teacher via email, and their digital competencies course.
In the classroom, if you didn’t have any access to digital devices then you would be stuck with the normal text book and the teacher and if the textbook or the teacher doesn’t fit your learning style then you’re not going to learn much that year, but if you have access to the digital devices, then you’ll be able to go out on the internet and onto YouTube, find videos and find worksheets which match your learning style which means that you’ll be able to learn more throughout the year.
In our maths class, our teacher has a Weebly and on the Weebly it has different worksheets that we can work on, it has different study websites that we can go to and it also has links to YouTube clips which we can use to get more information about what we’re learning.
A great way to use our devices at school is through email. So, we can email our teachers and ask them any questions, any time, and they respond so it helps us with our learning to make it faster and easier.
Sometimes you get students who are scared to ask the teacher in class so sometimes you can email the teacher and that way you can confidently ask what you’ve been curious about.
Working as a group out of school is also a lot easier because we can all access the document so we all are putting in our effort into the one document so it’s not just one person doing it. So, we all get to put in our separate ideas and make a more polished result.
Billy: We’ve devised a digital competencies course because it isn’t just about taking a device to the lesson and doing learning. Part of our digital competencies course is actually teaching students the basics of file management and organisation, it’s about how do they use their device more effectively within the classroom. We do a lot around digital citizenship and we talk about e-bullying the same way we talk about e-learning. I’ve seen a kind of maturity grow within our students.
Within our e-learning platform the students have spaces. Moodle is very much a kind of teacher, student space, so teachers will place resources on Moodle and students tend to consume from there or we tend to have links on Moodle. We then have our Google classrooms which are far more interactive and tend to be more student dominated as a space where they can actually share ideas and co-construct ideas together.
One way that digital learning is positively impacting our learning is that in Google Docs, we have folders available and since we have five subjects and we use devices in most of them and we get a lot of notes, it’s easier to organise them so whenever we’re revising for a test or we need to look back, it’s all there and it’s easier for us to access them.
You know that you’re learning through your own independence and being able to use your own self-directed by basing it on yourself and not having to do what everyone else is doing and by through using the internet or Moodle or Weebly, it helps you to base everything on yourself and not comparing yourself to anyone else so you can grow by being your own learner instead of someone else’s.