Thursday, 25 February 2016

Community - Challenge Based Learning

We conducted our video call today with a fellow year 2 class in New South Wales. Things weren't all smooth sailing as the school we were calling had some crazy restrictions on websites including Skype. We tried Google Hangouts as I was really keen to try that but it wouldn't work and Facetime decided (after the first successful attempts) that it wouldn't co-operate when we went 'live'. In the end, as the teacher and I were friends on Facebook, we decided to try out Facebook's video chat function; it was a resounding success - PHEW!!!

Aside from the technical difficulties, the students really enjoyed learning about each others communities. We had quite a lot of questions that we wanted to ask our new friends and they were so keen on hearing the answers. It was especially interesting to see my students reactions when they found out the other school only had around 250 students compared to our nearly 1000.

The most rewarding thing for me to see was the genuine curiosity the students displayed and the keen interest they showed in learning something that was very interesting to them. Learning about community as our Challenge Based Learning (CBL) topic this term has really opened their eyes to the world outside their own and to see them so deeply involved in their path of learning has been invaluable.

The students have learnt important 21st century learning skills such as critical thinking and problem solving as well as communication and collaboration skills. For me, I have learnt to sit back more and let the children lead their learning and act more as a facilitator. It has given me more passion to learn more about how children learn rather than how I can teach them; which I think is much more important.

From here, we will follow up with our video call by keeping in touch with our new friends via blogs and handwritten letters. It's amazing the amount of key learning that can be undertaken from such a simple sounding topic - reading (reading about the school we are 'visiting'), writing (writing questions and then writing to the other students), maths (data gathering, analysis, mapping and graphing), geography (the world around us, Australian places), History (the growth of our school). It has been an incredible thing to witness.

No comments:

Post a Comment