We’ve just finished supporting a student English teacher, Amy Knott, in a learning platform based project around the text her Y9 class are reading, Robert Swindells’ Stone Cold.
The main focus was producing a short Audacity show about homelessness. To complete this students had to conduct some internet research on homelessness and write a short script.
Our input was to construct a platform page to structure the research and scripting elements.
We learnt the hard way years back that just getting younger students to research using Google is not productive so part of the page was set aside for easy links to charities, public info sites etc. Time was limited in class so Amy deemed this the best approach.
The interesting bit was how they collected the information. Rather than give all the students the task of blanket researching the topic Amy gave certain students particular questions on selected charities. We then set up a selection of discussion pages so any information they found could be easily shared with the whole group. In the end it became something similar to a wiki but using discussion forums.
The next challenge was saving work as we wanted to keep everything on the platform, rather than our network drives. In the absence of e-portfolios (we’re still working on developing that strand of the VLE) we created a separate forum where students simply attached a word doc to their reply. A little clumsy on our part but effective nonetheless.
The whole project took more lessons than we planned but the outcomes were successful. When Amy has had a chance to mark the work I’ll put an example of the finished audio on this post.
I’m hoping Amy will post a comment back on this to give her evaluation on the project, particularly how she sees this sort of project developing in her future career.
It was refreshing to work with someone who was willing to take risks even during her training placement and I hope she gets plenty of credit for that.