February 13, 2006

Bee - coming a Webhead: Full House

Bee - coming a Webhead: Full House Thanks to Bee, I found the transcript of the TappedIn session with Ewan Macintosh. Ewan, who teaches French and German in a Scottish high school, had some interesting things to say. Here's a sample:
  • How do you motivate kids who believe they will make more money from being a family plumber or joiner?

  • Keep these kids interested in my potentially lethally boring and irrelevant subject by making it relevant. The easiest way, honestly, was to use technical means.

  • the next best step was to use the incredibly powerful tech that kids bring with them every day to school (and which we ban in our schools): Mobile phones were the first thing I used.

  • To record information from pupils (speaking assessment for practice, for example)... Also, using mobile phones or personal CD players (this is BEFORE the mp3 player) to record information that kids could use for practice or revision.

  • In 2003 I went to Canada (New Brunswick) on a study trip funded by the League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers. I looked at how immersion French was done in 8 schools, from elementary to secondary. There was one common and very successful factor - COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

  • Think of someone you know who doesn't teach as well as you think they could. Does that person work collaboratively with other teachers? Does that person share their resources or keep them in their cupboard? Does that person moan more than they congratulate their students? So, how can you BEGIN to talk blogging and wikis and podcasts with people whose attitude is actively AGAINST sharing?

  • we've just had the kind of discussion that happens when you talk to teachers about blogging who have no experience of working collaboratively. At the recent European Centre for Modern Languages BLOGS Project, for which I am helping run blogs in Scotland.... collaborative learning came out as the first issue - a positive one you'd think... But straight after there were discussions about ASSESSMENT. "If kids are working collaboratively how can they be assessed?"

  • My answer, along with others, was that not everything had to be assessed, that the learning outcome from working together and working on peer assessment was more valuable. This ended up being the main block for teachers getting blogging.

  • a portfolio is, by its nature, a FINAL product; it implies that learning has stopped.

  • I started blogging first of all on school trips. We ran an annual school triup to France and wanted to keep in touch, more than any kind of grand educational claim.
    What happened was, in fact, highly educational.

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