Restoring The Faith

Just when I get gloomy about things (like Eeyore in my son's Pooh Bear books) some thing will happen to restore my faith and remind me that other educators do get it and even if they don't are prepared to have a go at trying to get closer to it. (Whatever it might be in the world of blending technology with learning!) I moaned last night that my class was missing opportunity because of my limited time and opportunity to get them access to work with ICT tools. Then this afternoon after a fairly full day working with the middle primary classes on their Problem Based Learning and showing one class how to turn their Maths surveys on favourite sports and cartoon show into speccy pie graphs in Excel, Nat, my co-teacher brought our class into the computing room for the last lesson of the week. She had set them a task so we could meet and plan for next week's installation of curriculum shifting. But it was the task that caught my eye and restored my faith. The students had just watched that stalwart of Australian primary school children's current affairs, Behind the News (common acronym BTN) and had taken some handwritten notes on the news item of their choice. They had to then use Publisher to turn it into front page news, roleplaying a journalist, news editor putting "their paper to bed." It was great because it wasn't a lesson on Publisher; in fact, a few kids hadn't used the program ever before. But Nat trusted their "digital native" instincts enough to let them go, work out the templates and editing tools for themselves and the results of 40 minutes of self directed work was fantastic. I was stoked because I have a teaching ally who listens without feigning boredom when I rabbit on about blogs and social software and the like and in her hands, the class will get the opportunities they need when I'm off discharging my other school responsibilities. So, Nat, thanks - I will get our class blog off the starting line and key you up on how to be an equal partner in its future.

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5 thoughts on “Restoring The Faith

  1. Bronwyn G


    I hope you get your class blog off the ground and that I can participate too.

    I love the way that Nat got her kids to be journalists using their digital native skills! She must be a splendid co-teacher for you, because she follows your ideas and critiques them.

  2. Graham Wegner

    To be fair, Nat’s ideas are her own but we both share the “use technology as a tool for learning” perspective which many of my colleagues don’t share. I don’t influence her as much as I sometimes think.

  3. Mike Baker

    I was just checking back into your RWLO site & class today, and as a conseqeunce of your comments on student publishing, thought I might share another tool Polaris Career Center offers to students, SOARWEB.

    This tool offers an entirely different format for students to publisht to the web. There is more of a learning curve involved than w/RWLO, but the medium is intriguing. This project on Volcano studies was completed using the development site
    , once again no fees and no advertising.
    There are tutorials linked when opening any one of the four colored modules at Limited as they are, I have some additional training resources at and a brief tutorial within the context of a SOARWEB “media show” at

    Good luck with the students, i’ll be stopping back again.
    Mike Baker

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