Learning Conversations and trying new things

Large flock of starlings congregating at dusk

Starling flocks: a wild spectacle Image courtesy of David Kjaer (rspb-images.com)

Back at school for term 4 and I want to share my learning conversations and new things that I’ve been doing in my year 8 English classroom as part of my 21 Century Fluency unit on animation.

How has my thinking been challenged as part of my teaching practice?

This question is particularly pertinent as I start my journey implementing the 21 Century Fluencies. To start with, I made my first Prezi to deliver the scenario. I’d previously been reluctant to use Prezi but it is actually a pretty exciting way of organising ideas. What I liked best was that the Prezi structure enabled a fluid connection of ideas allowing me to link the many discovery points of the unit.  (Here is the link to the Prezi)

But as you are aware from my previous blog I want to use video especially to inspire inquiry.  So how could I  use video in my 21 Century Fluencies Project unit? I presented the scenario to the class as a video and then asked questions such as “What did you notice? What puzzled you?  Students spoke about their knowledge on animation, as well as asking questions about their own ideas and questions about our project.

Now, I’m getting to the main point of this blog- learning conversations and connecting with other teachers. This is what I love about being part of “new things” Innovation- it makes me connect with other educators in my school community.

It was through conversations with other teachers that I began to understand the inquiry process and how important the definition part of the learning process is to define exact details. Another conversation led to sharing great ideas on how students can track their progress and feel ownership of their own learning path. At Wilderness it has been such conversations that have been so important for my professional learning.

I also had the opportunity to be part of a  a video-conference with Lee Crocket that I found a common understanding about using video to excite interest, engage students and to inspire inquiry.

The value of professional conversations was confirmed for me when I read the latest AITSL newsletter and I watched a series of videos by Professor Louise Stoll who spoke about professional learning within schools and conversations between teachers. Many other genuine professional conversations with colleagues lead to openness and to sharing and trying new things.

I hope my blog “conversations” will be read by educators and they will participate in a conversation with me.  I want to help stimulate positive relationships and as Dr Louise Stoll said stimulate deep conversations.

I agree with George Curous on being “connected” when he extends a quote by David Weinburger  that, “the smartest person in the room, is the room,” doesn’t it make a difference on how big your room is? What do you think?

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  1. Thanks for commenting. Yes, I agree. Today’s conversation on Rosie Kerin and creative writing was really inspiring. Loved our teachers’ stories.

  2. Hi Ann,
    great to see your blog on conversations – nice that we can have face-to-face conversations about the 21st Century Fluencies and what works and what the kids enjoy. I must try a Prezi sometime.

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