What AM I doing here again!

As the flat classroom projects enter the final weeks, levels of anxiety start to run rather high amongst the student body – anger, frustration, confusion, indecision, lack of understanding, complacency are many of the emotions and feelings that run high at this stage.
So, as a teacher I need to coax, cajole, coach, encourage, teach all over again, explain, facilitate, survive etc to keep the project’s momentum going.
Some students
•get angry when a wiki war means that they have lost their hard earned work that had been added to their group page on the wiki, or worse still, their outsourced video request has disappeared!
•get frustrated as they don’t think they know what they are doing (and I know that they don’t!)
•don’t know what to put in their video
•do not follow appropriate wiki netiquette
•show some indiscretions in relation to digital citizenship
•have not had an outsourced video completed for them
•real time pressures (almost too much to bear) are experienced
To make matters worse, this year, a severe gastroenteritis went through our school with fierce tenacity, crippling it to a near halt, with more than 40% of the student body away for several days over a two or three week time period. With so many interruptions, I wondered “What am I doing here again!”
But then…….the magic begins!
•the student summits are held when students can enter the virtual classroom with their global class mates, talk and chat to each other in real time, work in an immediate virtual team, collaborate on the elluminate whiteboard to work out what outsourced video clips each student required and who would do them.
•At home, amazed parents sit near their student who has come online after school hours to be in the student summit with fellow students from Germany, China, USA, the Middle East etc. The flatclassroom is now highly evident.
•the outsourced videos start to filter on to the ning and there is real excitement in the classroom again
•Students who had been quite frustrated and downcast, exceptionally quiet in the classroom are suddenly stopping me in the corridors telling me about the wonderful clip that has been made for them
•Last minute preparations of final videos, mean that the year 9/10 students come into the computer lab to complete their work at lunchtimes.
•Their interested friends are in there too, to see what is going on and the room just buzzes!!!
•By now, they have learnt the skills of wiki editing, ning socializing, uploading the videos to the ning for final judging
•A high sense of achievement and increased confidence is evident.
Thank you Julie and Vicki for making this all possible – an amazing project to be involved in, at the cutting edge of both technology and education…… and already I cant wait to be involved in the next project. Students are enrolling for their electives for next year and are already coming up and asking, “Will we be doing the flatclassroom project?”

4 responses to “What AM I doing here again!

  1. I know how you feel. While only some of my gr. 12’s were creating a short video, all were very new to having their own blog. Some need a little more attention when getting their blogs started. Others are like kids in a candy store!

    Check out student blogs on the right and feel free to pass along and/or comment.

    http://history30.edublogs.org

  2. Anything which requires effort in my experience with students is a nightmare BUT as you say when they get focused – the ‘buzz’ can be fantastic…

    We help motivate students to get THAT BUZZ, on http://www.thebigpicture.eu.com

  3. I’m so glad to see that you have the same experiences I seem to have. It is so stressful but truly one of the most rewarding classroom experiences that has ever happened for me and my students! When parents and others stop you and want to know what the kids are talking about – that says a lot!

  4. Great work Anne! Your enthusiasm is palpable and I’m sure that it’s what has rubbed off on your students. Congratulations on making the flat classroom projects such a success at your school!🙂

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