Friday, January 27, 2012

Learning from -v- learning with

Over the next couple of months our students will be given opportunities to connect with other students in a virtual global classroom.  One class of our Grade 4s will be involved in Quad Blogging action research to see how student blogging can be used to teach quality writing - this class will be connecting with other students in the USA, the Czech Republic and Thailand.  I'm also keen to have our Grade 2 students connect with other students worldwide as they investigate how the weather and climate affects us.  Our students will be involved in global learning that will be based on the connections that myself and the homeroom teachers are building through our personal learning networks.  We have come to realize that knowledge is distributed widely across these networks and that instead of learning from others we are now hoping to learn with others through inquire and the co-construction of knowledge.

This is a wonderful opportunity for our teachers and students to develop a new form of literacy:  network literacy.  Learning in networks and online communities will require new pedagogies and practices. The vast majority of our students do not yet see their teachers as being connected to these networks and taking advantages of the learning possibilities that these networks provide:  currently they do not see these learning connections being modeled by teachers and therefore many students are not learning how to use online networks in safe and responsible ways.  I'm hoping that the students will come to see the power of technology for creating virtual classrooms and learning communities with other students whom they have never met offline and that these first steps will lay good foundations for them becoming responsible digital citizens and being able to create their own networks and learning communities in the future.

Photo Credit:  If I Only Could Make a Deal with God by Bethan AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works 

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