Digital Narratives – Technology helping Level 3 English Students

I recently met with the Head and Assistant-Head of English here at St Andrew’s College and chatted with them about a new Level 3 (Yr13) English Standard they taught called Digital Narratives (AS.91477). Both were very enthusiastic about the engagement from students and how technology had contributed to the teaching and learning during this assignment. The brief for students was to:

Create a fluent and coherent visual text which develops, sustains and structures ideas using visual and verbal language

Here is an example of a submitted assignment entitled Revolution:

The big focus for students was demonstrating the skill of developing an idea, from there they could have a wide degree of choice in terms of: Continue reading

Living & Learning In A Global Community

A snapshot of recent traffic to this Blog

A snapshot of recent traffic to this Blog

I was reviewing the recent traffic to this blog and was noticing visitors from all over the world had stopped by to see what is happening in the way of eLearning at St Andrew’s College. It reinforced to me just how easily technology facilitates engagement and interaction by our students with an authentic and truly global community audience.

Continue reading

Moodle – what exactly is it? (Part 2 of 2)

In my previous post I introduced you to what Moodle is and why it was chosen as the Learning Management System at St Andrew’s College. There was also a link to our Moodle Site so you could see the home page and other publicly available content on it. The reality is that the majority of the teaching and learning on Moodle happens behind a username/password protected area that is available only to students and their teachers.

In this post, I am going to demonstrate a few of the many ways that Moodle is being used by the teachers at St Andrew’s including:

  • Celebrating student success with stories about our students on the front page
  • Using Moodle as a Document Repository to share MS Office docs, URL (links to external websites), Embedded YouTube Video, and other media such as ETV)
  • Homework / Assessment Submissions
  • Forums – allowing students to share ideas, practice assessment and post their own progress through the course
  • A range of assessment activities that provide real time marking and feedback to students such as Quizzes and Cloze Reading assignments
  • Choice activities – a basic poll set up by the teacher to allow students to express opinions or submit private feedback to the teacher on how they feel they’re progressing with their learning

Continue reading

Moodle – what exactly is it? (Part 1 of 2)

One of the questions that is commonly asked by new students and parents alike is:

What is this thing called Moodle we keep hearing about?

It’s a fair enough question and, as with many things on the internet, a quick Google will often find you answers of one kind or another. Unfortunately, these quick and easy answers are not always that helpful, evidenced by this definition:

The word Moodle was originally an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, which is mostly useful to programmers and education theorists.

Simply put, Moodle is a Learning Management System – more jargon for what is effectively a website with a focus on learning online and one that aims to engage students through interactive activities. Thinking of it as a central location for staff and students to find, share and create resources is a helpful starting point and then expanding to include multiple forms of assessment, feedback, and differentiated learning pathways and you’re starting to get a glimpse at the power of a Moodle site.

In the past, St Andrew’s College has used older versions of Microsoft Sharepoint to deliver content from teachers to students. Continue reading

Recording the Learning – for now and later

Today’s blog post will explore how science teacher Mr Matt Nicoll has implemented class blogs to record key learning moments that his students can refer back to at anytime.

mniAlready a regular blogger over here, Mr Nicoll started to explore what impact it might have for his students if there was a class blog targeted directly at them, recording their key notes and concepts. His rationale was surprisingly simple:

If students knew they had full access to correct and accurate notes, they would spend less time copying, more time listening to crucial explanations and demonstrations, which would lead into greater focus and accuracy when they conducted their own experiments.

One of the class blogs he is most happy with is the one for his Yr11 Level 1 Science class. When we sat down together to talk about his classroom blogs, Mr Nicoll made the pleasant realisation that the last few entries had been made by his students who were creating collaborative study notes from the lessons. Continue reading