Friday, August 6, 2010

Developing a Learning Society

I watched this wonderful and thought-provoking YouTube video a minute ago. Well, of course, I received it through Twitter, where else. So, anyway, it immediately gave me an idea of how I would use it during the induction week with my teachers and I'd like to share this with you, just as I believe in sharing, learning and shaping our teaching together with the whole school staff.

Before you go on reading, it would be great if you watched the YouTube video first and thought about how YOU could/would use it in your school at the beginning of the year.
Jot them down for later reference. This is an essential step as every school is different having unique needs, depending on number of things: country, region, culture, type of school, type of teaching your school represents, teachers you are working with, facilities, and most importantly your students. So take a few minutes to watch it and note down your own thoughts. When you have done that, read on and compare with the ideas below. What are the similarities/differences? What could we learn from your ideas? And then share it with us by posting.



So let's see how I would use it in my school during the induction week in an intro session for the academic year.

1. I would introduce the story of how I got hooked onto twitter, and the type of teachers I decided to follow. This would lead to the YouTube video I stumbled upon in this PLN.

2. Also, ask if anyone is using Twitter as a self-development tool. If there are a number of people using this or other platforms for self-development, I would ask them to share their stories in groups of 4-5, say, and in feedback summarise the most inspiring one.

3. Then I would play them the YouTube video - being lucky enough to have a internet access and a projector - above and ask them to jot down any words, ideas, first reactions that occur to them as watching, even if it feels like a silly thing at that moment. Even things like: , "wow", "bullshit" (excuse me), admin blog, cultural awareness SIG, etc.

4. As a next step, again, just as for anybody else, I would ask teachers to take more time to think about how we could apply this idea in our own school, with our students, teachers, administrative staff...everybody, to allow us to develop a different kind of learning society. Here they would have to think of one or two concrete ideas to later share with their group members. This is one of the most important steps in this process, so I would let teachers think about it for at least ten minutes.

5. Teachers then share their ideas in their groups to see which one would serve the school best and is also feasible. If it's less feasible, for example because of no internet access for sts within the school, how could the idea be tweaked to make it work. This stage would most probably take up about 15 to 20 minutes.

6. I would then ask teachers to report one idea they choose as their best to the whole staff, and then we would reflect on these together to see what the majority of staff thinks.

7. As a closing stage we would all make note of what everyone of us needs to do to make the idea(s) we decided to take further work in the next academic year. At the end of the first term, we would come back to it to see what has worked and what needs to be improved,plus how.

So these are the steps I have come up with now quickly, but some if it might need to be changed at second glance. In any case, do let me know if you tried it out and tell me what result came out of this process.


And now I'll have to go back to packing. Leaving to Romania to visit our family and friends for two weeks. Hurray!!! Then back to teacher training. Hurray!!!

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