Engaging staff and empowering students

Weeks 1-2 (April 21 – April 30)

Whole school

In order to revisit and refocus attention on Cyber Smart awareness before moving students into new domains we revisited the department’s and school’s Students Online Policy. We highlighted safety issues with web 2 technologies and the importance of appropriate use when interacting on the internet.

During the week staff unpacked the National Curriculum in literacy and audited it against our whole school literacy strategy. One area we needed to focus on further was a whole school approach to word processing skill building as staff agreed this was slowing student opportunities.

Jared and Lis attended the virtual university at 7.30 am from Lis’ house as the power at the school was cut off for the morning due to the BER work site  connections. We found the virtual university very interesting, especially when you are in professional dialogue with educators from around the world. A special experience.

In the classroom

Jared’s 4/5 class
Year 4/5 (TA3): Across the past couple of weeks, students in TA3 have started using their own classroom website and  to access useful information, reflect on their learning and share their understandings. The website acts as a classroom homepage where students and parents can access information relevant to our classroom and the  provides students with a meaningful and authentic audience for their reflections and other work. So that students could become fully independent in their use of these sights both at school and at home, I have had to spend some time running through skills such as logging in with their own individual  and passwords as well as emailing. These lessons also provided excellent opportunities to discuss cyber safety issues  and other online protocols.

Students are now making comments in relation to posts that I make and seem to be genuinely excited about seeing their work online for the world to see. Every day, I think of new possibilities for our website and blog site – just this morning I recorded some student reflections using a digital voice recorder and will now explore how I can upload these reflections onto our website. When students use Marvin later this term, I also want to upload these projects onto our sight. This process is making me think critically and reflectively about my teaching practice and the learning that takes place in my classroom.

Kellie’s 6/7 class
The beginning of term two has seen many changes in year 6/7.
Both the physical set up and the operational practices of our room have been through a major overhaul.  The classroom now has learning zones and we
have implemented a new rotation system which enables us to infuse ICT
into our everyday practices much more effectively.  Students
no longer have their own desks where they work for most of the day; instead they follow a rotation system which lets them know which zone they should be working in and at which time.  This system of continual rotation is proving to have many benefits including:

·       Providing better opportunities to target teaching according to need.

·      Ensuring available computers are being used more efficiently and effectively.

·      Developing a greater sense of independence and self-regulation within students.

The transition to this new mode of education in our
classroom has not been without its hurdles however the genuine
enthusiasm and commitment of the students reassures me that continuing in this new direction is not only desirable but also highly feasible.

This term we will be using Marvin to collaborate with Canadian Innovative Teacher Carrie Granberg’s class in Moosehorn, Manitoba. Carrie has developed a project, honoured at last year’s Innovative Teacher’s forum in Brazil “Collavorating: collaborating through the use of avatars”. We are very excited to begin working with Carrie and her students as we use Marvin to Support the development of writing outcomes. I look forward to keeping you posted with our progress.

Year 3 – 7 classes
Year 3-7 students revisited their WA Department of Education ‘Student Portals’ that allow students access to their DET email accounts. Each student has their own individual login to computers and the departments portal which provides them an email address. Students have been reviewing appropriate use agreements with staff and parents.


Cyber Cafe week 2
At the Cyber Cafe staff talked about their expectations and goals in ICT, we looked at focus questions and opportunities ahead through both system programs and Microsoft opportunities. Jared shared his classes web site, blogs and how his students are interacting from home and school quite readily. Some staff though the students writing was not theirs but Jared assured them as the process had a genuine and real audience the students engagement was much higher.

We went on to review a number of software programs and talked about how Marvin and Kudo were progressing in classrooms


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