Friday, November 21, 2008

Managed Learning Environments

Yesterday was an interesting day. Had the opportunity to find about LAMs - an online course and lesson planner, exe - similar tool for teachers to design learning material for lesson or course sequences, Moodle - a Learning Management System predominantly used in secondary schools and lastly Maharas e-portfolio applications.
Creating content is a time consuming task, teachers all over the globe and throughout New Zealand are creating and recreating similar kinds of material. Would a different and much needed approach be to first gain national consistency around key learning progressions in student speak. Rich digital material could then be linked to specific learning intentions e.g digital learning objects, flash animations, artifacts, games etc that students self select. Isn't our goal for students to know how they are going?, where they are going? and where to next? Should the students not be more empowered to own this learning process more. Is it extremely motivating for students to select their next learning goal and work towards achieving it because they are owning the process. A student who requests an assessment to check in on how they are going is a huge constrast to the assessment being done to a student.
I am sure the benefits would be two fold as I am constantly hearing that teachers need support in developing content knowledge. Let's put the learner more in the driving seat, as Hattie suggests students raise the bar more for themselves as to their next learning steps than teachers.
The rich material is there, let's stop working in isolation on this and gain the clarity nationally around these progressions. Then if more writing of content is required in certain areas it can be developed and added to a depository that all teachers across NZ could benefit from.
The literacies is a great place to start - the numeracy is there and assTTle has put huge effort into the writing matrices. Let;s get kid speak around it and get better about showing kids exactly where they are and what the next steps look like.

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