Monday, 6 May 2013
How high up is the school in the cloud?
http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud.html) and thought maybe I am doing to much teaching and it is time to hand some more responsibility over to the students. Sugata Mata believes that the education system we have today, based on the Victorian system used across the British Empire is no longer fit for purpose. He believes that children given the right encouragement and not burdened with assessment can, using the tools of today learn by themselves. He experimented by leaving computers in remote villages in India for children to access and though they did not speak English (all downloaded content was in English) or had ever seen a computer they achieved incredible results in learning by themselves. If you have 20 minutes spare the video is well worth a look. His main idea is that if you give a child a 'big' question they will be able through curiosity and the interweb be able to find an answer. What I am thinking of doing is not so grand or big at all but does involve the students doing their own learning and teaching. I will take the text books off my S1's and S2's, put them in groups and pose them their own big question. Something like 'How tall is the school and how could we measure it using mathematics?' Hopefully they would come back with some Trigonometry but it would be interesting none the less. They would have to go away, research the question, collaborate in their groups and then teach the class. It will take a lot of direction I think, but I don't want to do too much more than manage their time so as not to stifle their creativity. I could then assess both the students and 'teachers' to see how they have got on, this kind of goes against the idea a little bit but I will have to think of someway to to check for understanding. I will put the Smartboard and a class set of iPads at their disposal and encourage them to go nuts. Technology will play a huge part in their lives so it should play its part. Maybe they will make a video or a Prezi or a podcast or something?! The idea is still in its infancy, I have much to think about and better run the idea past the boss but I have high hopes that we could have a lot of fun and much could be learned. I also want to make sure that the questions cover the work and topics we still have to do and that we can get it done in the time left. If it all goes pear shaped we can always knuckle down and recover the work as time is on our side. I will also try to blog it on a daily basis so as to document it, I can now blog on my smartphone so it should make life easier. I am excited, onwards and very much upwards..
In other news last week my Curriculum Leader came to observe me, as is good practice, teach my S3 class. This is my most challenging class but the hard work has payed off as the working relationship no longer suffers dips after holidays, we are getting some serious work done and most importantly we are having fun whilst we learn. The lesson went really well and everyone was happy. What was humorous about the lesson was that every single student was present. I had not had a full class on one single day for a few weeks but Murphy knowing full well that this observation was taking place decided to use his law that day! It is never a dull moment in that class as there is a lot of issues to deal with but we have a lot of fun during our learning and I hope we all get back together again before the next observation!