A team of teachers and associates braved the cold and surrendered part of their teaching recess on Wednesday to join in what turned out to be a very collegial and productive experience. Several Mount Maunganui College teachers were joined by Jan from Trident at Whakatane, Richard from the Katikati Matamata ICT PD cluster, Mel Gibb from Tauranga Boys College and Amy Wilson from Bay of Plenty Polytech - along with some of our children and Mel's new (boxer dog) baby Millie. The best part of the day was that we all enjoyed helping each other in an extremely supportive learning environment.
To me this was a classic example of the way classrooms/learning environments should be structured. What do you want to achieve? What steps could you take to achieve this? Who can help you? Why are you doing this (purpose/audience)? Where do you plan to publish/create/post it? When do you plan to complete it - are there steps in your timeline?
For those who came with a specific purpose in mind they were happy to have achieved those goals, for others - once they had explored some of the possibilities of establishing a moodle class or metacourse - they were back to some solid thinking and planning before we take the next steps.
Clearly it is essential to know what we want our learners to gain from an experience before we set it up - it is essential that we are not continuing to follow the time honored tradition of busy work that merely keeps learners occupied. If ICT is to be integrated successfully into learning we must constantly keep asking ourselves why we are using a particular tool and how will it help learners gain what they need, and to remember that the needs are extremely broad and varied - maintain the no size fits all approach.