Thursday, February 13, 2014

My classroom has been transformed over the summer, new desks and new seating. A result of the research I did last year on learning environments. Now I want to write up some good programs that are more collaborative, individual and give students more control of their learning. One of the things I have done is introduce all my classes to OneNote.
We use Microsoft Office 365  at school rather than Google. It is taking a little getting used to but I really like the function of OneNote. Where I can create a textbook which is constantly being updated and one that can be shared easily with students. The students in turn have all created their own OneNote for English and have shared it with me. All was going quite well until some of my seniors clicked on - now they are not so keen. They are not so keen because I can see their classwork and where they are at with their HW- very quickly. The majority of students do like it as they are getting feedback on work they would not normally hand in. However, the ones who don't like  (one student has said it is  'big brother') suddenly can't work it, or don't get it or it's too hard.  
I will persevere with these students. However, it is interesting that we can hand  the learning to the students, give them more control, choice, and ways to work and they don't necessarily want it or don't want the responsibility or to be accountable. But this is only a few students.
What I am enjoying is seeing students click on to asking others for information. Actually getting out of their seats to share ideas or find someone else that can help them or using the resources they have to find the information. It is interesting to see how students change from feeling like they have to guard what they know, to sharing what they know. 
It is always interesting watching how a class comes together and even though I can teach two classes the same unit of work the culture and environment within them is distinctly different.