One of my jobs at my current school is to help teachers learn about embedding technology into the curriculum.
In my first year, 2011, I held a number of sessions on tech tools such as:
- Animoto (make your own videos)
- Capzles (timelines)
- Glogster (interactive posters)
- Go Animate (make your own animated cartoons)
- Google Earth
- Infographics (graphically attractive datasets)
- Photopeach (make your own videos)
- Prezi (interactive presentations)
- SurveyMonkey (surveys and polls)
- Tagxedo (word clouds in shapes)
- ToonDoo (create your own comic)
- Wallwisher (online post it notes)
- Wordle (word clouds)
At the same time, four or five other teachers would offer other sessions on things like Excel, Google Docs, Photoshop, etc. Teachers could attend the session that interested them the most.
The sessions were pretty good as far as they went. The audience were engaged as they were able to select their session of interest (although sometimes some people weren’t interested in any of the offerings). We did have conversations ab0ut how the tools could be used in classes, although as there was a wide range of subject areas represented, there wasn’t time to talk about each and every subject area.
Last year the school focus was on using OneNote and I assisted learning areas in how to use the software.
This year, we had yet to decide what I was going to focus on apart from ’21st century learning’. Thanks to reading lots from Jenny Luca and even more from Bianca Hewes (and others) and hearing Marco Torres speak on project based learning, I thought this a concept that took the very best ideas from ’21st century learning’ and ran with them. I also wanted to incorporate Susan Cain‘s ideas from her TED Talk and her book Quiet on introverts and how they learn.
So I was asked to address the leadership team about my ideas this morning. I had a while to put together resources and had so many, I decided to flip the meeting; the leadership team had 10 days to watch the first four videos here. They were then asked to add their thoughts to a Padlet site, which was a great way to get conversations going outside of face to face time.
This morning I began my session with the good old Mr Winkle Wakes video and here are the notes I wrote for myself. We then watched the Common Craft video here (along with some other resources). I showed one minute of the new Sir Ken Robinson TED Talk (6.20-7.20). I explained a project Marco Torres spoke about when he was in Melbourne late last year. Then we went on to discussions.
It was very exciting that the support for the idea was immense and discussions led to how we would introduce the concepts to the wider staff. Leaders were already discussing how they could use PBL in their own classes. Emails coming in through the day were also supportive.
So let’s hope this is the catalyst for some PBL to begin at my school. I’ll keep you informed.
Thanks to Jenny Luca for support and sharing her PBL journey and to Bianca Hewes for publishing and sharing all aspects of her PBL work.