Class blog:

Team Wiki:

Back into the class full-time after two years of teaching in and running our Poutama Centre is very exciting, challenging and another learning curve to take.
This year challenge is being team leader of the e-learn team of 3 classes and facilitating the learning using 21st century ideas and tools.

First hurdle has been getting all the technology working. We have gone for a BYOD which has new and sometimes challenging components to it. Security, responsibility and networking the device to work with our network some of the aspects we have faced so far.
Second hurdle is what and how are we approaching the learning but still fulfilling all the school goals and expectations. I have read and looked at numerous websites and mulled over the many ideas.

Learning spaces: My class is lucky to be starting its journey in a cool space - the staffroom - with great window, a kitchen and a bit of an L shape I have managed to create several key spaces. Behind a rattan blind is a corner for a secret space, the art space is close to the sink and an teaching station is a great place to clip art work to. Lots of new furniture - ottomans, couches, cool coloured chairs, interesting shaped tables and several whiteboard areas all help to make our room have lots of spaces to go to for a variety of activities. The science and music areas are a work in progress.
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The Learning: One paper by MM Lombardi - 2007 discuses the idea of the learning being authentic and this is one of the major things I want our students to get from being in our team.

She states what is authentic learning is...
Authentic learning typically focuses on real-world, complex problems and their solutions, using role-playing exercises, problem-based activities, case studies, and participation in virtual communities of practice. The learning environments are inherently multidisciplinary. They are “not constructed in order to teach geometry or to teach philosophy. A learning environment is similar to some ‘real world’ application or discipline: managing a city, building a house, flying an airplane, setting a budget, solving a crime, for example.”

My first authentic learning project came form the need for the students to learn about digital citizenship so I decided to give the learning a purpose - they will need to learn what is in order to teach others. So my class are making and presenting something to teach the other students in our school on how to be a responsible digital citizen. With many students in our school using the internet and collaborating/talking with others from around the world they need to know what Digital Citizenship means.

We have a range of ideas and formats on the go. The students have had to discover what DC is and how it would look, feel and sound like to be able to then try to work out how to get this message out to the other students. I have let them head off with a basic plan and some starting points for some this has been fine and they are pulling it all together and coming up with a presentation to fulfill the task.

For others we have had to stop evaluate and rethink where to and why. Biggest issue is reading and then understanding what we have read and being able to then put the text into language that our fellow students will understand. Some group teaching was needed here on comprehension skills and finding the key information needed.

It feels a little hectic at times and so much to think and look at - group dynamics - self managing - collaboration skills - computer skills - reading skills - presentation skills so much for us all to learn and work on. BUT the students are engaged, motivated and learning from the experience along with me.

Class routines are beginning to emerge and we are now looking at self managing. To make sure we are remembering to finish all our work and manage our time better this week we start on our management books hopefully that will help some to keep themselves on track and start on the road to being self responsible learners.