Nic Mason, teacher at Russell Street School , says, "teaching the kids something and letting them experiment in their own way" has enabled his students technological capability to develop. He and his students describe the process, some of the tools, and the learning they gain and reflect on, through creating blog posts.
At Russell Street school we have e-portfolios and portfolios. e-Portfolios, we choose six core things to share, and what I do is say, it’s, you know, maths, reading, writing, something like that, inquiry, PE. I’ll look at ok, what’s the best tool to use to share our learning for this particular part? So, if you’re reading maybe the best thing, you’re learning to make inferences, maybe creating a video or a series of photos with your speech, you know, what you’re thinking as you’re reading might be the best way to share that.
With our blogs we normally experiment and try different online tools. So like, there’s this paint program called Slimber that’s online. What we had to do was re-design the New Zealand flag.
Yeah I take this, “What am I going to share and how am I going to share it?” At the beginning of the year it was a bit of a struggle. They were still learning to do things and learn how to do the upload photos and upload videos and stuff like that. Throughout the year they’ve become really independent. I suppose teaching the kids something and let them experiment in their own way. So for example, we do weekly reflections every Friday. At the beginning of the year that was simply a post of writing. But as we’ve learnt to use iMovie, as we’ve learnt to use these different things like Glogster, web 2.0 tools, the kids have experimented using these tools to create their weekly reflections. So, quite often now there’ll be a video up there. You know, they get an hour pretty much to do their weekly reflection. They can make the movie, edit it, add titles, transitions, photos and then have it uploaded by the time it’s time to finish.
We have a little program called Street Talk that we make. It’s like a little class news show that we present news from all around the school. In this news show we’ve learnt speech skills like oral presentation, and just acting, learning how to be an enthusiast. We’ve learnt how to use a camera, how to zoom in, functions of a camera. We’ve learnt what makes a good photo. We’ve learnt what makes a good video picture, so you can post that on your blog.
A tip there would be for - to teach them one thing and let them experiment. Let them take ownership of their e-portfolio.