At the end of last year I surveyed our teaching staff in reference to students digital skills.
Emmaus is in a phase of transition with technologies – in 2016 we will have two year groups with 1:1 iPads.
In my time at Gilroy I lead and programmed a subject that the Principal and Assistant Principal started that was called Integrated Learning, IL started as a course designed to teach skills for learning but as our students needs changed it became a cross-curricular subject that taught DIGITAL SKILLS.
For more info on IL you can read about it here: https://moniquedalli.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/how-integrated-learning-works-at-gilroy-with-ipads/
The time has come for Emmaus students to have the same opportunity, with a timetabling success our past Principal Brad Campbell is leaving me a legacy of TIME. The hour a week class is called iLearn.
Because no school is the same (students certainly aren’t!) I sought to better understand from both a teachers and students perspective of what digital skills were needed. . . . (*note I did NOT edit responses, but have not included all)
Our 2015 year 7 students were asked:
What was your most MEMORABLE LEARNING experience this year when using technologies?
- Playing kahoot – popular response!!
- The iMovie we did for religion, that was really enjoyable.
- My memorable experience this year using technology was when I was designing a room for my tech assessment in the 1st & 2nd term.
- I think the most memorable learning experience this year when using technology is making different group projects
- Science- We had an assignment where we had to build an Island and the class used MineCraft to build it.
- Pic Collage
Subject I use my iPad in the MOST:
My take homes are: they LOVE creating, interactive tasks, they like apps that keep them organised and present their work beautifully.
Our staff were asked:
What deficits do you see in students digital skills:
- I think that there is a lack of core skills. We assume that as digital natives that they are aware and know how to use apps etc; however, they do need to have framing done for them and have the foundation skills placed down in front of them. There needs to be a distinction made between tool and toy; by that I mean that their various devices can add to learning rather than being a distraction. And that they can see the social networking and media devices can be used an meaningful learning devices.
Knowing how to find reliable sources online! Very surprised when I have worked with students and they didn’t know what a “blog” was!
Using the Internet to research Using Word/PPT – or Google docs effectively
- – researching difficulties / discernment of reliable sources – accurate referencing of sources – difficulties achieving a quality product…
What digital skills would you like student to develop further?
Research skills that help them identify more than just the obvious webpage.
Ability to translate research into their own words and determine the validity of the website they use for the research
Smoother integration of electronic work and written book work
My take homes are: research and information seeking is an apparent concern, organisation skills are mentioned but not as prominent as authoring.
So, these holidays i have been busy working on the iLearn program, there are SIX UNITS:
Digital Native: Technologies are a big part of our lives, at the age they are at they have always known technology and are considered digital natives. This unit will set the standard of digital expectations for the course and year group in: netiquette, behaviour, rules and quality of work. Technologies DO make their lives easier and CAN enhance their learning IF used to their potential and safely. Students will connect to the network and download their school apps as part of the iPad roll out.
Copy Write: You cannot just simply GOOGLE? Research skills are important foundation skills for secondary students, they need to be able to SEARCH, DISCRIMINATE, FILTER and REFINE their research. This unit of work will look at tricks and tips to use when researching online, how to be a discriminate seeker of information AND how to implement researched content WITHOUT plagiarism.
Monster Maintenance Manual: The aim of this unit is to demonstrate the variety of apps they have on their device and HOW they can LINK and work together to create a project outcome much like a school assessment. They will digitally submit their work, collating their final chapters as one class book using tools like BookCreator and Drive. They will write a chapter of their own that includes: image, text, audio based on the work of an existing text/author (“The Monster Maintenance Manual – A Spotters Guide”)
Moral of the Story: Each student has a story to tell, this unit looks at different ways of expressing their stories – focusing on a stop animation movie. Students will have created a movie that is produced to demonstrate a chosen MORAL or MESSAGE that is important to them, their family or community.
My Best Selfie: Students have a digital footprint. My best selfie is about promoting their LEARNING as something to be proud of. In Technology Mandatory they have started a personal blog/website, this unit will continue the work of that subject by getting students to share and promote their learning success. We will look further into Cyber Bullying and Digital Footprint, the focus is to produce a positve one!
Game On: Students are gaming consumers! This unit will demonstrate how they can create an app, a game and share it with their classmates. We might see the next upcomming developers and coders in this unit!
I have attached the programs and scope so far for you to read, evaluate, use and maybe even give me some feedback?! I need to attribute the 21st Century Fluency project for their resources and training I did in 2012 as well as the Author of the Monster Maintenance Manual book – Peter McMannis as he graciously allows us to use his book as a learning resource for students!