I am a huge believer in Student Voice – I feel that students should own their environment and take charge of their own learning. So for me this inquiry is extremely exciting.
As you have previously read, in my post about “Using Twitter in the Classroom”, we have started a student lead inquiry based around “The Ultimate Learning Environment”, we are investigating the key question – “What Makes a GREAT Learning Environment?”
The inquiry was not planned and to me that is the most important part. It was student driven and that is exciting to see such real learning from your students. We had been discussing the importance of being an active online user and being a positive digital citizen when the conversation moved into learning environments and we discussed the small and “un-student friendly” (their words) environment that they were currently sitting in.
So the teachable moment was taken and we ran with the idea. The students began by creating co-constructed list of “What makes a GREAT Learning Environment” from their Point of View – this is what they came up with:
They then organised the list into 4 categories – like so:
This was all completed in one session and demonstrated the students basic understanding and knowledge of what a learning environment was and what they would like their environment to look like.
The next step was to have a detailed discussion about how to find information. We discussed searching the internet, but the students realised they had too many ideas and needed to narrow it down first –> more research gathering was required!
We discussed social media and how it works, the students decided that they wanted to try using my Twitter profile to reach their target audience.
So on Tuesday 6th May the students came running into class with great anticipation – today we were connecting to the Twitterverse!!!!
I had my twitter profile loaded up on the interactive whiteboard with the hashtag #AGSLE (School letters + Learning Environment) up on the stream. We discussed a strategy to make it work. Students split into groups and across 4 devices the students put out questions and found information. This kept them engaged for over an hour as they asked questions, responded to educators and classes from all over the world and read links that were shared. It was amazing real-life learning and I was blown away by what they had learnt and discovered and such a short amount of time!
This has all happened over the last 2 days and over the next few days we are going to be exploring the Twitter Stream Story that we made using Storify – https://storify.com/mrkempnz/ags-learning-environment and we will be analysing all of the messages and information to come up with a clearer idea of what we want our environment to look like. They will be taking photographs of the current environment and putting together an idea of what their ‘ultimate’ environment might look like.
Over the next week we will continue this stage of the inquiry and I will keep you all updated with our progress. Watch out for Part 2 coming soon 🙂 Feel free to contact us and track our progress via my twitter profile @mrkempnz
Stay connected, follow this blog and connect with me via twitter – if you are an expert in this area, have a contact for someone or have a class of students interesting in joining our journey please contact me and we can organise some collaboration. We would love others to join us on this exciting journey.
Here are some images of our Learning Environment to date ….