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Connecting teachers, students, and family/whānau

Video Help

Duration: 3:28

Students and teachers talk about how they share their work, the ease with which they can do it, and the different tools they use. The different tools being used to connect including, Moodle, Mahara, Dropbox, Gmail, and iChat, have enabled feedback to be given and received quickly and easily.

One thing that’s changed is that you have everything there, whether you’re at home or at school. So, that’s a really good thing. You have all your files and your work that you’ve done and in the daytime there; you have it at home as well. So if you need to improve things, homework, it’s always there. We can email experts and people that are outside of school like our friends’ parents.

In Social Studies recently we’ve been doing a topic on work and job opportunities so I’ve emailed friends parents and people that I know. Of course you’re going to be doing projects with other students so you need to share your work a lot of the time. So, we have a lot of things we can share our work by. So, its either the Internet which is Gmail, which is the email we use, or we have iChat which you can send files and it takes a couple of minutes, you know, but that doesn’t matter, its hardly a lot of time, or we can use a thing called Dropbox.

We do work collaboratively quite a lot. Its come as a very natural thing for them and I don’t find that I have the same focus on teaching girls to work together as I possibly did in the past. They learn to work with the technology a lot quicker than we do. They’re quite often doing, you know, snazzy little things that I didn’t know we were able to do. Through the e-portfolios they can work collaboratively. They can have a document that they’re both accessing from different parts of the city at night for example.

On Moodle we can upload work we’ve done as well and the teachers can see that. And so, it will come up with your name and the work you’ve done and they can just click on files like that and then they’ll, they can comment. You can check it whenever you want to and go back over it and see what messages they’ve sent you and so you can see your grades easily and what marks you’ve got for different things and its pretty useful for them to be able to comment on something, you know, the same day. Because often, they’ll have, you know, a pile of paper or things that you’ve done, handed in, and they’ll have to go through them all. But I think on the laptops it seems and on a, like, an online system it seems much faster and I always get my marks back faster when I’ve handed something [in] online.

And also on Mahara, which is like, our e-portfolio students can upload their work and their parents can look at it. They just have to give their address to anyone who they want to view it and anyone can go in there and comment.

We make a lot of websites and upload things like that so our parents often will look at a website that I’ve made on a project and I can give my mum the link so at work she can just have a look at it and email me and say, “Look I think you could change this before you give your teacher the link,” and you know, like umm, they can look at it really easily as well and from anywhere.

Parents sometimes feel a bit removed from what their daughters are learning, particularly in foreign languages. Parents haven’t had a lot of experience with that and the girls really enjoy being able to showcase with them the types of language that they’ve been learning, some videos that they’ve made, those types of things. So the girls use their Mahara page which they update every couple of lessons and they send a link to that to their parents and they can view that and parents can also make comments on it as well and the parents have mentioned when they have come along to parent evenings that they feel like they can see the progress that they’re making, particularly if they’ve never had an experience of that language before.           

Tags: Upper secondary, Secondary, Community engagement, Collaborative tools