A number of our Year 6 classes have moved away from the traditional Parent-Teacher interviews towards a “Celebration of Learning Evening” which was held recently and the students grouped together to present their learning to around 90 adults who attended.
The students had completed a unit on various aspects of Chinese culture, including calligraphy, fan dancing, paper cutting, cookery, lion and dragon masks, children’s games and kung fu. This was the same unit that our Year 12 students had filmed and presented in their Fusion TV Show that I blogged about earlier.
The learning had taken place within the new inquiry learning framework developed by the Preparatory School for their students, and the children were excited to be presenting this learning back to their parents.
The adults moved around the various displays over the course of the hour, with numerous groups seamlessly including technology into their presentations, using a range of tablet devices to show how they had collated their research into sections in their MS OneNote notebooks, along with sharing cooking clips, kung fu moves and music. The parents could also try their hand at calligraphy with different apps being used on the tablets to support this.
Nearing the end of the performing arts section, one of the students ask Mr Dekkers if they could create a quiz for the parents using Socrative.com, a tool that allows for real time quizzing within a class and one that I’ve blogged about before here. The aim of the quiz was to check parents had been reading all the work the students had on display, and included a number of multi-choice and short answer questions:
- What does the colour red mean?
- When were the first Chinese masks made?
- China is a country with up of about ___________ years of culture and history?
- What are the dances that are well known in China?
Parents were then asked to use their own smart phones to access the quiz online (the students guided them through this process, showing how simple the technology actually was). You can see some of the answers below (parent names removed!):
When I heard about this from Mr Dekkers I was delighted by the initiative demonstrated and that our students are starting to see technology as “just another tool” that can both help with their learning, but also to demonstrate their learning. I mentioned in this earlier post that:
Whilst the phrase “ubiquitousness of technology” is over used, this lesson did demonstrate that when used effectively, the technology is not at the forefront of the lesson.
I see this example from the Preparatory School as reinforcing this – it was the student voice and presentations that was the true celebration of learning, the technology used merely augmented this.
As the confidence of students increases and they identify a wider range of applications for technology in their learning, I anticipate more examples such as this emerging from our classrooms.
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